WASHINGTON (BP) – Christian wedding vendors who decline to provide services for same-sex ceremonies have suffered another legal setback.
The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 28 that the state did not violate the First Amendment rights of Aaron and Melissa Klein in a 2015 order that included a $135,000 fine. The three-judge panel upheld a decision by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) that found the Kleins’ refusal to design and bake a cake for a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony was based on unlawful discrimination against homosexuals.
The ruling against the Kleins is the latest in a growing number of opinions against wedding service providers – including cake designers, florists and photographers – who conscientiously object to participating in same-sex ceremonies. One of those cases reached the U.S. Supreme Court in early December when the justices heard oral arguments in an appeal by a Colorado cake designer who refused to create a cake celebrating a same-sex couple’s wedding. The high court is expected to issue a decision before it adjourns in late June or early July.