Letters to the editor
Sweet Cakes backs Oregon law
Sweet Cakes by Melissa serves gays and lesbians and has for years, and will if the state allows them to serve them for years to come.
The business does not, however, bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples because it goes against the beliefs of the business owners.
Reminder: A same-sex wedding is not allowed in Oregon, so the marriage itself is not legal. Unions yes, marriage no.
Discrimination cuts in both directions
After hearing about the controversy concerning Sweet Cakes by Melissa, we decided to try to listen to, and understand, people on both sides of this issue.
We visited the bakery and spent several minutes with the owner. We were pleased with his steady quietness and lack of anger and fear over the reaction to his decision.
The owner never made negative comments about the same-sex couple. He did not give out their names or encourage his supporters to cause trouble for them. This shows consideration for them, not hate. It shows that he is continuing to follow his religious beliefs.
He was quoted in the newspaper as saying their money was not equal and that they were abominations. But he said to us that he did not say those things. Since we didnt hear him say anything ugly, we believe him.
We followed the news reporting and also went online to see the comments by others. Those who support gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender lifestyles have the mantra, equality acceptance and tolerance for all. But they do not show that for anyone who does not agree with their goals and lifestyle. Instead, they resort to name calling.
For example, in the Friday, Feb. 8, edition of The Outlook, the bakery owners were described as morality police by the editor. Others in the newspaper described the bakery owners as disgusting, bigot, homophobic, judgmental, unloving, unaccepting, cruel, callous, insensitive and unkind. They are none of these hateful labels.
It is fine if others spread the word to boycott this business. But people who oppose the bakery owners have photo-shopped his face to picture him doing vile things and are trying to run them out of business by jamming their phone line so that customers cannot call. All of this is hate.
We looked up the Oregon Equality Act. It looks to us as if the prohibition against discrimination based on religion and sexual orientation are in conflict.
The owner has said he sells to homosexuals all the time. But he is refusing to violate his conscience and religious beliefs by providing a wedding cake, and in that way participate in a same-sex marriage, something that is illegal in Oregon.
We want to ask this question of anyone who opposes the bakery owners: Do you support their constitutional right to the free exercise of their religious beliefs, even if you disagree with them? The same-sex couple has already gone to another baker for their cake. So why cant those who disagree with the baker show tolerance for his religious beliefs, and let us all live in peace with each other?
Ray and Fran Hornback
Whose rights take precedence?
The hoopla over Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, and their refusal to sell a wedding cake to a lesbian couple has stirred the secular community in our city with shouts of outrage and emotional indignation.
The question here is, who has the greater right, the business owners or the lesbian couple?
The typical tactic of the gay community is to label anyone who doesnt support their lifestyle as intolerant bigots, regardless of the sincerity of their beliefs. But when their rights are denied, who is the more intolerant?
I think what frightens and concerns me more is, has government gotten so big that it can tell you what you can and cannot say (regardless of your personal beliefs), who you can and cannot sell to, and if you dont bow to the demands of big brother, you are immediately threatened with legal action, condemnation and eventually forced to close the business?
I have always believed that if you dont like a particular place of business, you dont have to shop there. You have other options.
What are we becoming as a nation? Are we a bunch of robots, which through harassment and labeling no longer have the right to speak our beliefs freely or run our business as we want and not feel intimidated by big brother and all these self-righteous demagogues?
Louis H. Bowerman
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