Christian bakers who were fined for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding are appealing their case in court, as oral arguments for the case were heard on Thursday.
A panel of three judges at the Oregon Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on the case involving Aaron and Melissa Klein. The couple filed a brief appealing the case in April of 2016.
“I’m thankful we actually got to have our day in court. This is the first time we’ve been in a court where due process was recognized, where we actually feel like the Constitution was recognized and we’re looking forward to hearing the outcome,” said Aaron Klein at a press conference following the oral arguments.
The Kleins, who operated the bakery ‘Sweet Cakes by Melissa,’ were fined $135,000 in 2015 by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries for refusing to bake a cake for the wedding of Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer in 2013. Since then, the Kleins have closed shop, and have paid the fees to the Oregon BOLI which are currently in an escrow account.
First Liberty Institute, which is representing the Kleins in court, argued in the brief filed in April that the Oregon BOLI violated the couple’s “constitutional rights to religious freedom, free speech, and due process before an impartial tribunal,” and that the penalties that the couple was compelled to pay were “excessive.”