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Gresham bakery owners appear in conference video

After the fallout of refusing to work with a lesbian couple, Melissa Klein speaks to Values Voter Summit

The Gresham couple who refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple last year was thrust back into the limelight during the Values Voter Summit last week.

Values Voter is an annual political conference for socially conservative American activists, leaders and officials.

A video released from the conference showed Sweet Cakes by Melissa owner Melissa Klein crying as she spoke about closing the storefront of her business.

“I would want to know everything about her wedding,” Klein said, reminiscing about interacting with clients at her business. “Her flowers, her dress, the centerpieces, her colors, the way her hair was going to be, her ring. I would even want to talk about ‘where are you going on your honeymoon?’’’

Klein then broke down and said she had been honored to be a part of couples’ big days. But Klein has faced intense scrutiny the past year and a half.

In early 2013, Klein and her husband, Aaron, gained national notoriety for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. The state found significant evidence the couple violated the Oregon Equality Act of 2007.

Now, the couple is fighting a $150,000 lawsuit from the state and facing the repercussions of national outrage about their case. Sweet Cakes still continues to operate out of a home kitchen and takes orders online.

— Lisa K. Anderson


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