CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Oregon Labor Official Who Made Owners of Christian Bakery Pay Hefty Fine Loses Election

Brad Avakian
Brad Avakian, Oregon's current Labor Commissioner, lost the recent election for Secretary of State of Oregon.

The Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, who heavily fined bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein for declining a request to bake a cake for the lesbian couple's wedding, lost his race for Secretary of State.

Avakian had slammed $135,000 on the Christian bakery owners for refusing to bake the wedding cake for lesbian couple because of their religious beliefs.

He had also ordered a Portland bar owner to pay $400,000 fine because he asked a group of transgender people not to frequent the bar, claiming that they caused disruption in the business.

Republican Dennis Richardson, who is a lawyer and a Vietnam War veteran, won the popular vote. The historic result ended a nearly 14-year Democratic control over statewide offices, as Richardson became the first Republican to win the office since 1985.

The responsibilities of the Secretary of State include managing elections and public records, and auditing public accounts.

Richardson's victory in Oregon came as a surprise to many as it is traditionally a Democratic-leaning state and one of the six in the country where state House, Senate and the seat of Governor are all controlled by the Democrats.

"I think people in Oregon were uncomfortable with Avakian's stated objective of expanding the scope of the Secretary of State's office to broaden a progressive agenda," Oregon political analyst, Rob Kremer, told Independent Journal Review.

Because of the hefty fine by the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), the Kleins had to close their business, though the fined amount was raised by generous donations.

"The people of Oregon have spoken," said Aaron Klein, co-owner of Sweet Cakes by Melissa. "Hopefully with the guy that won, we'll see religious freedom start to grow in this state."

Kleins' bakery 'Sweet Cakes by Melissa' has served gay customers before, but the owners refused to bake the wedding cake because they said it would be tantamount to taking part in the ceremony which was not in line with their Christian beliefs.

Tags Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, Sweet Cakes By Melissa, Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein

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