The owners of a Gresham, Ore., bakery who refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple are shuttering their storefront, reports Oregon's KPTV. But the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa contend they aren't going out of business, just scaling down to operate out of the owner's home.
Owner Melissa Klein told KPTV her business has suffered since her shop made national headlines earlier this year when Klein's husband and shop co-owner, Aaron Klein, refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.
Rachel Cryer, 30, one half of that couple, told OregonLive.com that she visited Sweet Cakes bakery last January, asking the bakery to make a wedding cake for her upcoming nuptials to her parer, Laurel. But when she revealed the cake would be for a same-sex wedding, Aaron Klein refused to bake the cake, allegedly calling the lesbian couple "an abomination of the Lord."
Melissa Klein told KPTV the decision to shutter the brick-and-mortar shop was a direct result of that controversy and the national attention it attracted, but on Sweet Cakes' Facebook page, said the business move was intended to give Melissa more time at home with her children.
Melissa told KPTV she was shocked and saddened by the numerous protests that took place outside her store and online, where she contends LGBT activists forced websites to remove Sweet Cakes' listing, claiming the company was homophobic.
"I guess in my mind I thought we lived in a lot nicer of a world, where everybody kind of tolerated everybody," Klein told KPTV. "And I can live my life the way I want, and somebody else can live their life the way they want."
The state's attorney general is currently investigating the incident, and the couple filed an additional complaint with the state's labor bureau, to see if Klein violated the state's antidiscrimination statute, which prohibits discrimination in public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
But the Kleins stand by their decision to deny service to the lesbian couple based on their religious beliefs.
"The Bible tells us to flee from sin," said Aaron Klein. "I don't think that making a cake for it helps."
Watch KPTV's report below.