Just in time to celebrate our freedoms, Oregon has gone out of its way to restrict them.
In a ruling handed down on July 2, the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries has declared that Aaron and Melissa Klein, former proprietors of Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery, are not permitted to speak in support of their religious opposition to gay marriage.
The ruling contradicts a previous judiciary order and was handed down directly from the Commissioner of the BLI rather than a court. In his decision, the Commissioner, Brad Avakian, wrote “The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation.”
In plain English, that says that the Kleins are forbidden to speak out against gay marriage or express that they have the right to refuse service.
This heinous violation of the Kleins’ right to free speech lays bare the true end game of the gay agenda – fall in line or else.
Anna Harmon, the attorney for the Kleins, expressed perfectly the horror of Avakian’s Orwellian order in an interview with The Daily Signal.
“Brad Avakian has been outspoken throughout this case about his intent to ‘rehabilitate’ those whose beliefs do not conform to the state’s ideas. Now he has ruled that the Kleins’ simple statement of personal resolve to be true to their faith is unlawful. This is a brazen attack on every American’s right to freely speak and imposes government orthodoxy on those who do not agree with government sanctioned ideas.”
Various forces of the radical (in)tolerance movement have been arrayed against the Kleins from the beginning. In May, the crowdfunding website GoFundMe changed their rules to kick the Kleins legal fund off the website. Since Sweet Cakes by Melissa has closed, and the Kleins are ordered to pay a $135,000 fine as part of the ruling, that decision was a harsh blow.
In June, it was revealed that the Oregon government was collaborating with a LGBT activist group against the Kleins. Employees of the BLI exchanged phone calls, e-mails, and texts with members of Basic Rights Oregon, a group that agitated for gay marriage. The Commissioner of the BLI is also implicated as contributing financially to the group, indicating a clear conflict of interest.
For their part, the Kleins are vowing to continue the fight for their rights to free expression and religion. In a Facebook post in the aftermath of the ruling, they wrote “We will not give up this fight and we will not be silenced.”
Big Brother Avakian surely didn’t “like” that one.