True fact. And she loved cake.

So, these fuckers, you might remember them. Aaron and Melissa Klein had a business in Gresham, Oregon, called “Sweet Cakes By Melissa,” which was a purveyor of sweet cakes, obviously, and is definitely not a veiled reference to Melissa’s piping hot rack. And of course, they have Beliefs. Very, very important Christian beliefs, the kind which are Sincerely Held, and are centered around hating gays. So, same old story, a gay couple wanted a cake for their wedding, gross bigots refused to bake cake, etc. Complaints were filed with Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), and after a couple of years of litigation, they ruled last week that the Kleins were GUILTY AS CHARGED under Oregon’s nondiscrimination laws:

In a statement Friday, BOLI said: “The facts of this case clearly demonstrate that the Kleins unlawfully discriminated against the Complainants. Under Oregon law, businesses cannot discriminate or refuse service based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot turn customers away because of race, sex, disability, age or religion. Our agency is committed to fair and thorough enforcement of Oregon civil rights laws, including the Equality Act of 2007.”

Okay, so the law is pretty clear, and it applies to everyone equally, are we done here? Of course not. The state decided that the Kleins should have to pay a fine of $135,000 — 75K to the lesbian what was shopping for the cake and did not get to have cake, and another 60K for her wife, who was presumably on a non-cake gay agenda mission that day — as penance for their crimes. That number is not final, by the way. It could go up to $150,000, which is what the prosecutors want, or it could end up lower. Regardless, the Kleins got a GoFundMe, because that is what happens when you are a gay-hating wingnut (or a black-hating wingnut, whatever), and you openly discriminate against people in Obama’s America. You cry and bitch, in a very public way, and then mouthbreathers from around the country worship you as a martyr and give you their money. And their GoFundMe was doing pretty well! In just four hours, they had almost $37,000 whore moneys!


But by the time they had “earned” $109,000, dark lord Satan decided to intervene, by cancelling their GoFundMe! Trickster Devil that he is, apparently Satan had previously written into the GoFundMe rules that raising money to pay for actual violations of the law is Not Allowed. GoFundMe said, specifically, that “the subjects of the ‘Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa’ campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled.” The company also said that this was different from the GoFundMe for the Deliverance extras who own Memories Pizza in Indiana, because those people didn’t actually break any laws, but merely said they didn’t want to make pizza for faggot weddings, in the abstract. Details!

So, GoFundMe’s regulations seem, um, reasonable? But Melissa Klein is pretty damn sure that Satan is behind the whole thing, posting the following on FaceSpace:


(Melissa Klein is A Idiot, by the way. The GoFundMe statement also says they get to keep all the Bigot Bucks they raised before Satan broke into the GoFundMe offices and put a stop to things.)

So, that is where things stand, but can Wonkette do a contrarian Slate-pitch at you for just a sec? This won’t take long, we promise. We definitely think that these laws, which protect LGBT people from discrimination, are right and correct and holy and wise. But $135,000 seems like A LOT OF FUCKING FINE for refusing to bake a cake. The wingnuts who are setting up these GoFundMe’s want to be martyrs SO BAD, and they want to push a narrative that says that they are being persecuted, and that the gays, lesbians, Bruce Jenners and Bisexicans of the world are trying to murder them for their faith, and it’s all, of course, cockamamie bullshit, but $135,000??? Why don’t you just hand them their martyrdom trophy on a silver platter, Oregon? These laws need to exist, and they need to be enforced, because wingnuts need to get their little pea-heads around the idea that gays and lesbians should be treated equally, in every state. But when the laws are enforced, it should be a Teachable Moment, rather than a Career-Ending Disaster. And without GoFundMe, that could have happened for the Kleins.

Clearly, they are assholes, and they are also $109,000 buckaroos richer, just because they boldly refused to put some fancy-ass flowers on a bakery item for a lesbian, because Jesus Of Nazareth died for them, or whatever it is they believe. So fuck them, with their own cake frosting gun.

But $135,000? Really??? Tell us why you wrongly think we are wrong, and why that is the exact fine they should pay, in the comments, which are still not allowed.

[The Oregonian via The New Civil Rights Movement]

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  • chascates

    Looking at their family photo I think the Kleins need to trade cakes for birth control.

    • SecludedCompound

      Their quiver-full is what saved them from Satan’s onslaught, obvs.

  • Good_Gawd_Yall

    Um, you’re wrong because these are exactly the types of people who should lose their businesses? IMHO, of course.

  • Callyson

    Go fund me has shut down our Go fund me page and will not let us raise any money. Satan’s really at work

    “Kindly stop giving Satan credit for something that was My idea, Melissa!”

    – God

    • fka_donnie_d

      “God is dead”


      “Nietzche is dead”


      • glasspusher

        There is no god, and Dirac is his prophet

      • mtn_philosoph

        “I don’t give a God-damned fuck.”

        – Holden Caulfield

  • nmmagyar

    If the fines are not crippling, they will just be laughed off. A $10.00 parking ticket is less effective than a $500.00 boot charge

  • Toomush_Infer

    Fines are not the answer – baking said belated cake from jail – priceless…

  • OrdinaryJoe

    Wonnkette as the Devil’s advocate. Saaayyyytannnnnn !!!!!

  • Me not sure

    They don’t call it Devils Food For nothing. Why wouldn’t he allow fund raising in support of a criminal judgement on his hellish munnies site?

    • mtn_philosoph

      Angel Food don’t need no GoFundMe munnies. But it also wouldn’t be a bigoted prick either.

  • anniegetyerfun

    I was thinking that the fine was excessive, but I tend to feel that way about punative damages awarded for emotional distress, especially when no one was injured or died.

  • Ellis_Weiner

    I had the same reaction–YES, they’re Christian nitwits, and if Melissa truly believes Satan is real she’s a moron. But the fine is excessive, and even nitwits AND YES, EVEN MORONS deserve equable justice. Sign me, Mister Fair Person.

  • timpundit

    Yeah, that’s way too big a fine. I’ll pray for the fine to be lowered as I hate the sin not the fucking bigot sinner.

  • Lizzietish81

    I wonder if the fine was being pushed so high BECAUSE of the Go Fund ME

    • Villago Delenda Est

      It might well be the idea behind it. To make sure they don’t wind up profiting from their discriminatory actions.

      • mtn_philosoph

        That is my take too. But apparently GoFundMe is allowing them to keep the contributions made before the site dropped the Philanthropic Banhammer on them. So the big fine (if it even holds up on appeal, which is not at all certain) may have been appropriate given the particulars of this one case.

  • On one level I agree, especially because I believe most fines should be proportional based on individual income rather than fixed, and I do think heavy, disproportionate fines are Symptom #61890 of the System Being Broken.

    On another level, the part of me who grew up and worked as a gay man in an area so conservative I couldn’t even really talk about my personal life, I’m all, “DRIVE THE FUCKERS OUT OF BUSINESS.”

    • anniegetyerfun

      I wouldn’t weep if they lost their business, but I would be happier if they lost it because the general public was, like, yeah, let’s buy cake from a bakery that doesn’t hate.

  • Tallmutha

    Make me Supreme Dictator and excessive fines will not be something these people have to worry about.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      There will be other sanctions that will draw their attention elsewhere?

      • Jaime Oria

        I’d go with “Red-hot Iron Coffins With Spikes On The Inside”.

        • ThatDale

          Or votes.

    • Gleem-McShinez

      Make me Supreme Dictator

      Donate to my fund at the DictatorMe website!

  • Spotts1701

    Look, I think a hefty fine is appropriate. But by “hefty” I mean something in the high-3, low-4 digits. A $1,000 or $1,500 fine for a small business isn’t something to sneeze at.
    But six figures? As a fine? That’s nuts.

    • FauxAntocles

      I was thinking 10Gs or so: newsworthy enough to get the point across, but like the man said, not enough to put them out of business. Let the boycott handle that.

  • Lizzietish81
    • expipiplus1

      Thanks. That is absolutely hilarious. And so may you always shall.

  • Wild Cat

    I had no idea the Octomom ran a bakery. I thought she did good things like give people porn, not diabetes.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Gresham, I’m afraid, has something of a bad rep in the PDX metro area for being a pocket of religious asshats. It’s sort of like a piece of Josephine County transported through a dimensional rift right next to Portlandia.

    • YourMom

      As a native Oregonian, I find your description horrifyingly accurate. I worked with a woman from Gresham who famously said at work one day, “I’m not prejudiced, but…..”

    • SecludedCompound

      Strangely enough, most of our meth jokes are also Gresham-based.

  • Mehmeisterjr

    Lesbian Satan is one tricky dick.

    • mtn_philosoph

      Something something forked tongue something paradise.

  • Virginia Dreaming

    If Satan is a lesbian, wouldn’t the homesexual waitstaff of the hyposthetical wedding place be welcome at a satanic wedding and vice versa? That numbnut really needs to research his strawmen more carefully.

  • speed racer

    At first I thought the fine was appropriate. But you have convinced me otherwise. As much as I dislike these people and what they stand for, they still have to make a living and support themselves.

    • John Griffone

      Read through the opinion to which JD Mulvey posted a link above. Your thoughts may change back.

  • dslindc

    I’m with Satan . . . er, I mean, Wonkette. The fine is way too high. Something smaller to teach them that the law should be followed and that equality is important, along with the negative publicity should be enough.

    • YourMom

      I love the fact that people here may be snarky, but tend to be more forgiving and generous than the Christianity-on-parade faction.

      • Yeah, but don’t get us started about those cakes we like…

    • BackDoorMan

      How about a reasonable fine (enough to make them feel the pain, but not kill the business outright) PLUS any and all monies raised by past or future “crowd funding” efforts? That’s a twofer – these asshats pay, and their supporters see their money go to the people they hate so much.

  • Beowoof14

    Oh I think being a moron hater should be expensive. Really Really expensive. So the fine amounts work for me.

    • Skeptical_thinker

      I thought they hated on lesbians.

  • MrBlobfish

    Consider it a really, really, REALLY teachable moment.

  • Enfant Terrible

    I’m with Satan Evan here – a six-figure fine is excessive, unless it’s for dumping toxic bakery chemicals into a nearby stream. Seriously, this is too much like a Ferguson-style shakedown.

    • John Griffone

      Money doesn’t go to the government. The order awards $135,000 to the victims of the discrimination.

  • elviouslyqueer

    Keep on grifting that ganache, Melissa.

  • MrBlobfish

    Draco approves.

  • Virginia Dreaming

    It seems to me that the ideal situation would be for the couple to go to a different bakery and get their cake. The bakery that refused service would have to pay the bakery that provided service, then provide baked goods worth a similar amount of money to a charity of the court’s choice (like a food pantry for instance). That seems pretty proportional. The alternative would loss of their business license.

    • John Griffone

      As common-sense as your position may seem, the agency in question (the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries) is limited in its statutory remedies to these kinds of issues. They conduct an investigation, make a finding, recommend a remedy and present it to an administrative law judge. The judge hears the case and comes to a decision. The Oregon state legislature limits the available solutions.

      Also, the case isn’t about the denial of a cake. It’s about intentional infliction of emotional and mental distress while violating the law. The fine is compensation for the pain of the victims, not punishment to cause pain to the violators.

  • neminem

    Oh man. A brilliant plan is hatching in my mind now.
    1. Claim you’ve opened a bakery (don’t actually bother to do it. That would take effort. And money.).
    2. Claim you’re a deeply “moral” Christian and refuse to sell your baked goods to teh gays, and you’re being “persecuted”. (But don’t actually, because as mentioned, you don’t even have an actual bakery, and also, have no issue with gay people. Gay people are just fine.)
    3. Make a GoFundMe.
    4. Watch as morons funnel you all their money, instead of giving it to actual bigots who totally don’t deserve it.
    5. Profit.

    • YourMom

      I’m sure someone’s way ahead of you on this.

    • John Griffone

      I like your plan, but I suspect you would run afoul of state fraud statutes. Unless you are very, very clever in your execution.

  • Joshua Norton

    “The difference between faith and insanity is that:

    Faith is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence,
    Insanity is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence.”

    –William Harwood

    You own a bakery. Just make the damn cake. I mean, that IS your job. Right?

    • mtn_philosoph

      Faith is the ability to hold some views that aren’t backed up with evidence.

      Insanity is the ability to hold firmly onto all of one’s conclusions despite the fact that none of them are compatible with reality.

      Different order of magnitude.

  • elpinche

    Can i sue GoFundme, Kleins, anyone? for being flabbergasted?. Shit…just send me money for weed.

  • Derp perp

    I think that the 75k fine is okay, I don’t get the 60k fine for someone who wasn’t there to be discriminated against. The fine has to be strong enough to get their attention and make them want to avoid another one. Also, many companies get fined 100s of dollars for violating local laws, and don’t change their behavior because it is cost effective to continue in the illegal behavior. Penalties are not written as, “If company grosses $500k or less annually, fine will not exceed $2k. For companies grossing $500,000.01-$2.5mil, the fine will not exceed $25k, blah, blah, blah…” So, should Exxon only pay a couple grand for violating LGBT protections?

    • John Griffone

      The issue of discrimination against an absent party is addressed in the finding of the administrative law judge. It’s a long read, but definitely worth the time.

  • Joshua Norton

    But $135,000? Really???

    It’s akin to “punitive damages”. In other words, you may get to be as big an asshole as you want,but it’s gonna cost you. Maybe you’ll think twice next time.

    • JD Mulvey

      No, it’s NOT called “punitive damages.”

  • Notreelyhelping

    They’ll probably appeal and it’ll get knocked down, and a big chunk of that cash will go to the lawyers: Satan always wins.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Or John Milton, if you believe in that sort of thing.

      • Toomush_Infer

        They belong in Dante’s seventh layer cake…

  • Viva La Tabula Raza

    Maybe they can give the money that’s already been donated to the Obamacare-hating Arizona ex-sheriff.

    • chicken thief

      Isn’t that fucker breaking the law also too? There is mandate….

  • HobbesEvilTwin

    was this the homophobes’ first offense (other than just existing)? If so, 135k seems a little more than punitive or dissuasive.

  • chicken thief

    Off topic, but is that a NASCAR car behind Melissa’s sweet cakes and Mr Melissa?

    • JVisconti

      dunno. looks like one of those $109,000 Jaguars to me.

  • Bill T.

    Of course, Satan cancelled the GoFundMe account. The love of money is the root of all evil.

    • mtn_philosoph

      The root of all money is the love of evil.

  • Ryan Denniston

    I think they should cover legal fees and court fees. Oh, and cater this particular wedding with 2 cakes. And all the other gay weddings in Gresham for one year.

  • Bill Slider

    I trust the IRS notifies all of these idgits that gofundme is not notaxme. This is not earned income and should be taxed like lottery winnings. This is not the kid who had his wheelchair stolen. These are homophobic mutherfuckers trolling for free dollars.

    • mtn_philosoph

      I think it would be more likely classified as a gift or bequest from private parties rather than gambling or sweepstakes winnings. Still subject to taxation though.

  • Damien

    That big fine is a teachable moment. I bet every other religious bakery just learned that they aren’t going to discriminate against gay people.

    • Blank Ron

      I wish I could believe that.

      • Damien

        Even religious bakeries can look at their checking accounts and do simple math. (They have to be good with numbers, baking requires precision! Or maybe not, maybe Jesus makes the cakes.)

        • Blank Ron

          Maybe. Could be why he was invited to that wedding in Cana – they asked him to make the cake after a bunch of asshole Christians refused.

          • Damien

            Cana is proof that Jesus liked to party. He turned water into wine, and not the cheap stuff, the good stuff! That’s like waiting until the third keg to tap Sam Adams after two kegs of Michelob Ultra.

            And he’s clearly a baking machine, you’re right on that point. Loaves and fishes, man.

          • Blank Ron

            Hehehe. Fundies HATE this story, for exactly that reason. It’s why the whole ‘when the Bibble says ‘wine’ it means grape juice’ was invented, because why should Party Jesus get to put on a wine buzz when they can’t?

  • Ian

    Maybe the fine has to be scaled to account for the gofundme fundraising binges? Any less and they would have ended up with a profit…

  • Angry_Cop

    The size of the fine should be a function of how seriously society takes the offense.

    Right now, Oregon takes discrimination pretty fucking seriously, by the size of the fines. Would definitely make me think twice about discriminating in the Beaver State!

    Make it cheaper and it will make it easier to get away with.

  • I agree with you on the fine. How was it even quantified? Is there a way of determining level of pissed off with an attached chart for converting to dollars?

    • JD Mulvey

      How are ANY non-monetary damages quantified? They listen to evidence and pick a number that seems about right.

      Is it a perfect system? Hardly. But if you’re suggesting that nobody should get compensation in cases like this, I say you’re wrong.

      • I’m not suggesting that nobody should get compensation, I’m suggesting that a wedding cake isn’t worth over $100,000.

        • John Griffone

          I understand your thoughts on this, and I shared them at first. However, I read the finding of the administrative law judge that JD posted. There’s a lot more to it than the cake.

          Imagine spending years of your life fighting to have your own family accept you as you are. Imagine being in a loving relationship committed enough to adopt children, but afraid to marry after nine years because of the hatred of some members of society. Now imagine overcoming these fears, finally committing to yourself and your loved one, only to have someone, a person you were relying on to provide you with a vital service, refuse and call you an abomination to your mother. Imagine the pain and embarrassment you would feel having put your mother in that position. The guilt and shame of believing you were worthy of being considered a normal human being only to have that rejected by someone you were trusting to provide you with a source of happiness.

          It’s more than just a cake. Frankly, the Kleins are lucky the ALJ refused to take into consideration the media attention and public hate that was directed at the couple after Adam Klein decided to publish their personal information on his Facebook page.

          • Points taken, thank you for the response.

            I will only continue to disagree on one point;that providing a wedding cake is a vital service. Even with the bigot bakers coming out sounding like monsters, that is an abuse of the definition of vital service, in my opinion.

          • John Griffone

            Heh. Seemed pretty vital when I got married a couple decades ago, but I’ll stipulate to your argument. In the end, the point isn’t the cake, though.

          • Word. All this talk of cake makes me want a wedding pizza.

  • beavertank

    Eh, the point of the fine is for it to be punitive. To convince the other mouth breathing assholes that it’s not worth footing a slap on the wrist and a fine to stand up for their “right” to be an asshole.

    If the fine isn’t so high that it makes you stop and go “daaaaaamn” it’s not doing its job. You can’t have a legitimately punitive fine without hurting someone’s wallet badly enough to make them a martyr for people who already agreed with them.

    • JD Mulvey

      Not true. These damages aren’t punitive, they’re compensatory.

      That is, they are not a punishment of the Kleins for wrongdoing, but are compensation to the victims for their pain and suffering that resulted from the Kleins’ actions.

      The Bowman-Cryers gave testimony about the trauma that their conversation with the Kleins had caused –conversations in which the Kleins told the Bowman-Cryers that their marriage was “an abomination.” They also testified about subsequent contacts from right-wing hate jocks, including one that contacted them while they were in a hospital, and harassment they received via social media.

      Here’s the order. The judge in the case discusses the pain and suffering claims in detail at pages 78 to 95.

  • Fly

    Satan works in mysterious ways.

  • PirateCafe

    I think “purveyor of sweet hate” sounds about right.

  • teddy21

    The fine does seem disproportionate but if it were a simple $1000 fine or some such affordable number, the bigots would just consider it part of their tithing. Hell they would probably band together and create a SuperFund 4 Christ to pay all of the bakers fines across the country. I’m sure Franklin Graham would gladly offer to “manage” such a fund… for Jesus of course ;)

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Sounds great! Gay couples would be able to just dip into that fund whenever they needed a hundred grand. “You know, hon, with another $100k we’ll be able to buy that vacation home.” “Great! I’ll go down to the Jeebus Bakery and order a cake!”

  • I bet her Devil’s Food cake is terrible.

  • ixzist

    Most fines just end up in the cost-of-doing-business for lawless companies. This makes a point: using discriminatory practices can kill your business – as it should be. Also, have you seen how much money they are raking in from Franklin Graham and fellow bigots? I don’t think hardship is an issue anymore.

  • Toomush_Infer

    Make them eat those cakes we like…

  • JD Mulvey

    We all have a tendency to think that hateful words are just words and anybody ought to just shake them off and move on.

    That’s not always so easy.

    I’d encourage people to read the judge’s findings about the intentional cruelty that the Kleins decided to inflict on the Bowman-Cryers that day, and the subsequent anguish and harassment they’ve been subjected to, before deciding that the damages award is too large.

    See at pp 78-95.

    • mtn_philosoph

      In that case, fuck Sweetcakes with both hands and both feet. And then do it again.

  • William Keeler

    Started a new GoFundMe account for Sweet Cakes. This account is to help them raise funds so they can get a new location and move their business out of their home.

    • Do you s’pose GoFundMe won’t notice?


      • zerosumgame0005

        the commenter’s there sure did notice, lots of them tearing Billy up there a new one, but he keeps on trying to defend bigotry

        • dshwa

          They always do. They just don’t know when to quit.

      • orygoon

        Someone is sneaky,cuz the page is a goner.

    • zerosumgame0005

      um, why?

    • vivian

      Jesus is so proud of you right now. He’s thinking, “ya’know, it all was really worth it. Finally someone is standing up for me. Well, not me really. Because I didn’t say ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you, except when…’ but, hey, why split hairs?”

      • William Keeler

        Vivian, do you believe in Jesus?

        • vivian

          Isn’t the REAL question:
          Does Jesus believe in Vivian?

          • William Keeler

            On one hand you quote Jesus. And on the other hand you call him a liar. Is he a liar or worthy of quoting because of his truthfulness?

        • Jen_Baker_VA

          I believe in Jesus. And Jesus never said, not once, not even intimated, that we have to discriminate against gay people because of Jesus.
          Not once.
          Jesus also did not say, even once, that we should fund people who are breaking the law in order to discriminate against someone else. He actually said the precise opposite.

          Edit: But please continue to send your bigot bucks to people like this :D more outta the coffers of the GOP, more in the hand of individual grifters, as God intended.

          • William Keeler

            Do you believe homosexual acts are sinful?

          • vivian

            Depends on the act. Anything without rehearsal is pretty bad…

          • Blank Ron

            What, you don’t like homosexual improv?

          • vivian

            Its a better act when everybody knows their parts.

          • Blank Ron


          • vivian

            Intimately. Even better if they’ve mastered their parts.

          • Blank Ron

            Well, you know how that works. You rehearse and rehearse and rehearse, and if you have the chance you try out for a few smaller roles along the way.

          • OK, it is clear that you are not going to get on well here.

            Allow me to show you the door before things get ugly.

            Or you start proselytizing.

        • vivian

          William, do you believe in Creflo Dollar?

          • William Keeler

            Head over to his Youtube page and check out my comments about Mr. Dollar. That will answer your question.

          • vivian

            What, are you a sadist?

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Raise enough and they can move to another state entirely. Alabama might want them.

  • TheBidenator

    Evan, sure I’ll explain why you’re wrong, this fine is accordance with wider anti-discrimination laws so while it may seem excessive to be fined 150k for baking a cake it also covers employers who refuse to hire gay people or minorities, housing discrimination, etc by people with deep pockets. Essentially what’s the point of the law if the fine for violating is so miniscule it’s like a parking ticket? Besides, wingnuts will martyr themselves because these laws exist, I think you give too little credit to the outrage machine. Personally, I’m fine with it…this will make other Chris-tiun bidnesses think twice about openly discriminating against people because businesses shouldn’t fucking have religious beliefs.

    • deanbooth

      All punishments should be set based on the most deterrence for the least pain. My sense in this case is that the point on the graph where deterrence crosses pain would be somehere around the $10K mark.

      • JD Mulvey

        It’s not a punishment –it’s a tort. The damages aren’t intended to inflict pain, they’re intended to compensate the victims
        That’s the way the law was written.

        • Unforgotten

          About the punishment and compensation stuff, here’s a movie totally unrelated to gays but that emphasys on the emotional duress that people who happen to just want to be treated fair and receive a lot of hate aimed at them because of that.
          ‘The Winslow Boy’.
          It’s about a true (and absurd to the core) case that happened in the UK over a hundred years ago, the Archer-See Case.

  • deanbooth

    I’m with you 100%. Punishment inflation is way too high these days. I’m surprised flogging hasn’t made a come back.

    • zerosumgame0005

      at least it’s not over 30 years those (black) cheating teachers got (because black)

      • deanbooth

        That case is just so sad. Taking away teaching certificates would have sufficed.

  • toomanyrappers

    I was shocked to see the gentlemann was wearing a camo hat.

    No, wait… I wasn’t.

    • JD Mulvey

      Perhaps he was wearing it ironically?

      • vivian

        I wish he’d wear an iron camo hatly.

  • Sebastian Melmoth

    When I was a boy in Gayistan, people like the Kleins would be taken out and stoned — with pot brownies.

  • jhannon

    Yes, the fine is ridiculous. $5,000 with ongoing surveillance for future violations, when the fine would increase.

  • AlanInSF

    Call me Old Skool, but putting the Kleins in stocks, in the public square, would have been sufficient. As Tea Partiers, they’d be fine with that.

    • leemoder

      This too, also.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      Putting them in stocks, putting them in bonds, putting them in futures contracts? No, the real punishment would be putting them in Bitcoins and Glenn Beck magic seeds.

  • SuperMatt

    What would the fine be for refusing to serve heterosexual white people having a wedding? I have no problem with huge fines, since this is intentionally discriminatory, and smaller fines might not be a sufficient deterrent.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      You’re the real bigot for wondering what would be the fine etc. etc. I’m guessing that Billo would file a butthurt suit for his own pain and suffering on behalf of besieged white people everywhere.

  • SFRealness

    I don’t think the fine is unreasonable. The damages are based on intentional infliction of emotional distress, and aren’t at all outside of the range you normally see for torts.

    One factor to consider is that these kinds of cases generally have to be brought by private citizens, and without enough money on the table, lawyers simply won’t take the cases. It’s a big problem in employment law, for example, where many wage theft cases would be too small to pursue were it not for a relatively simple administrative process….

    Also, in the United States, we don’t levy fines based on the ability to pay. If that was the case, we’d be an awesome country like Sweden, where a multimillionaire recently got a $58,000 speeding ticket. But instead, we’re a country where poor black men get held in jail for months on $100K bail. So until that changes, I’m not going to shed any tears over this fine.

  • JD Mulvey

    People clearly don’t understand how this law works.

    It’s not a punishment. The damages award isn’t a “fine.” The Kleins haven’t been convicted of a crime and they’re not being taught a lesson to discourage them from doing it again.

    It’s not a legal determination that the Kleins are bad, or that they need to be smacked by a court for being meanies.

    It’s a TORT. The anti-discrimination law was written as a way for people to be compensated for pain and suffering they experience as a result of illegal discrimination.

    When someone files a complaint and it is found to be valid, they then give evidence about the impact that the conduct had on them. The judge listens to it and decides on a dollar amount that will roughly pay them back for the harm they exprienced.

    Thus, the legal question in determining the amount of damages is NOT whether the Kleins are jerks (they are), NOT what will be enough money to make them hurt a whole bunch, and NOT how much will make other bigots not be bigots (no amount in the world).

    It’s what the Bowman-Cryers pain and suffering should be worth.

    The judge talks about exactly what that pain and suffering was in his order, and he decides it’s worh $135,000.

    If you disagree with that amount then tell us all why it’s not the right value to place on the anguish that the Bowman-Cryers experienced.

    • Zippy

      Basically what I just posted

      (not that teh wonket allows comments)

    • Jeff Furlington

      How do you get to $135K in pain and suffering when some stupid bigot refuses to bake you a cake, and says the kind of stupid, bigoted things that stupid bigots will say? No one was locked up, no one was beaten. Some people just had some regressive dead-enders be dicks to them.

      • JD Mulvey

        Calm down, wipe yourself off, and I’ll try to explain…

        Whenever a court has to put a value on something that is intangible –in this case, “pain and suffering” –they listen to testimony from both sides about how much pain and suffering was experienced from the incident. Then the judge makes the call about how much it’s worth. Eventually an appellate court will probably substitute their own call.

        If you’re looking for some assurance that the dollar amount will never be one penny too high or too low, sorry.

        If you think the judge was wrong in this case, go to law school, become a judge, and then you can use your “was he locked up or beaten” test.

        Btw, this judge was kind enough to give us a set of written findings to explain exactly what the pain and suffering was that justified the damages award. Have you read it?

        • Mehmeisterjr

          Temporarily turning off the snark

          I agree with you. Maybe because I bear the stigma of having practiced law for a few years, I know there are differences between fines, financial damages, pain and suffering damages and punitive damages. Many of the Kochservative calls for so-called Tort Reform are based on anecdotes about supposedly excessive damages that turn out to be entirely defensible. Not, as you correctly note, necessarily perfect or immune to review, but well within the range of reality. What the baggers really hate is triple damages for insider trading, although lax enforcement has weakened the force of that particular banhammer.

          It is frustrating that, for the time being, these bigots can actually make a tidy profit from their bigotry but that’s not the fault of the courts. When you operate your business in such a way as to deliberately hurt others, you should pay a hefty price for that infliction of pain.

          I’ll turn my wise-ass persona back on in future messages, I promise.

    • laineypc

      Perhaps the anguish they experienced could be partially remediated with some kind of restorative justice/reconciliation where Sweet Cakes and Kleins sit down together, maybe bake some cakes and engage in active listening and empathy exercises or something. Pay $135,000 or bake them a super swell 1st Anniversary cake, plus $5 thou. Something that results in hugs and tears. I dunno.

      • SecludedCompound

        Lulz, wingers don’t do that shit.

      • JD Mulvey

        That’s not a bad idea. I’m a big fan of restorative justice , where the basic idea is that a lawbreaker accepts responsibility for violating societal norms and agrees to make amends in order to be reintegrated into the community.

        In this case there’s no contrition, no acceptance by the Kleins that they did anything wrong.

        What you’re describing is more like a mediated settlement. Not sure if they tried that, but not a bad idea.

  • ca_rickf

    If it looks like a ghey bear and dresses like a ghey bear – it’s a “Christian” ghey bear on the downlow. Amiright, Aaron Klein?

    It’s not like a closeted gay man has never bred or anything.

  • Zippy

    It’s not just a fine, it compensation to the victims. What’s their pain and suffering worth? Compared to tort awards in civil cases this is peanuts. If it was simply a case of the state keeping the money I might agree, though that ignores the obvious problem with these sorts of cases- even at $135K the bakery isn’t going to pay out anywhere close to that, thanks to the erstwhile gofleeceme account. Had the fine been set at $5000 they would have made their money in 20 minutes and turned a handsome profit in an hour. And make no mistake, whether the fine was $5000 or $500,000 the bigots were going to shower these people with money. They aren’t protesting the fine amount, to them it’s a matter of principle. Lowering the fine just makes it easier- one blast from Drudge or Hannity and the fine is paid ten times over and no lesson whatsoever is learned.

    • SecludedCompound

      Isn’t there some rule about profiting form one’s crime?

  • chiefkurtz

    Almighty, omnipotent and all powerful god, done in again by mere mortals.

  • Kate

    That’s the best illustration I have ever seen!

    • JD Mulvey

      “Adults Only”!

  • OneYieldRegular

    No problem! Those still interested in contributing to making sure the Kleins continue to get the attention they deserve don’t have to take Satan’s blocked route through GoFundMe; they can just contribute directly to!

  • Lex Luthor

    I just love the really awkward look on the 12-13 yr old daughter, trying to stand as far away from the rest of the family as she can get away with and giving the camera the side-eye. I know everyone thinks their parents are embarrassing at that age, but she’s actually right.

    • Celtic_Gnome

      They fulfilled the Lord’s wish that all women remain pregnant and in the kitchen, although I don’t think the kitchen being a commercial endeavor was really what they were thinking.

  • Relativicus

    My guess is, the fine is not for refusing to bake a cake, but for violating their civil rights. Describing it your way is similar to how House GOP’ers, in trying to stamp out Wasteandfraud(!), find funny sounding projects, remove all context, then say, “Look at the funny sounding Wasteandfraud! Kill it!” So while the fine may seem unreasonable (is their a floor to the fine, or is it $0-150,000?) based on the details of the case, what I think the judge is really doing is saying, “Look, you dongs, you can’t discriminate based on sexual preference!” And, being as that has called into mind “Stay outta Malibu, Lebowski,” the judge may also have been saying, generally speaking, “This is what you get when you [refuse to provide services to someone who may like to] fuck a stranger in the ass!”

  • mrpuma2u

    Hey, uh I no like teh gayz neither, no bakes cake or peezas. I can haz hunnerd grandz dollarz pleez?

  • cessnadriver

    If Gawd is so fucking powerful why doesn’t he just get rid of Satan? They never answer that one.

    • Zippy

      Then who would he have to play Pinochle with on Saturday nights?

      • Celtic_Gnome

        Why would God play Pinochle with Satan? Wouldn’t Satan cheat?

        • handyhippie65

          he would have to. god would already know what cards you would be dealt for the foreseeable future. omniscient, don’t ya know.

          • Biel_ze_Bubba

            Yeah, it’s not much fun playing games with the old man. He knows who will win before you even start.
            The only exception is when he plays dice with the universe. He’ll toss ’em, wait a billion years, and then he’ll be like, “Well I’ll be damned!” and then he’ll laugh at his little joke. He never gets tired of that one.

          • JD Mulvey

            Read the Book of Job. It’s all about God and Satan getting jollies by torturing some poor sap.

          • Biel_ze_Bubba

            Don’t remind me. I still can’t believe I took Him up on that bet.

        • jimbolandjots

          No, god would cheat and then hide it. LOL

    • dshwa

      He’s going to, eventually. Or so they say. Why he’s procrastinated so long and sat by while all these terrible things happen to people are caused by Satan they never get around to explaining.

  • SecludedCompound

    I mean, do we know how much Our Lesbians had to pay over the last two years for lawyers fees, lost wages, etc. dealing with this effrontery to cvility? I don’t think this amount sounds like it’s completely out of the ballpark.

    Plus, they totally deserve to go out of business for being hateful bigots. It wouldn’t really look good standing up for ol’ Ma and Pa down in Dixie after 1964 saying that certain people still can’t sit at their counter, would it?

  • ThisNameInUse

    I despise the Taliban in all their forms here in this country, but I agree that that fine was excessive. Perhaps by a couple orders of magnitude (sorry to use Satanic science terms but hey).

    I think some kind of token monetary fund to recoup the state’s costs in enforcing the law is appropriate, but it couldn’t be that much needed.

  • Celtic_Gnome

    Oh, Melissa, you poor child. God will not help you. God doesn’t do that. Satan actively works in the real world to achieve his goals, and God sits on the sidelines and prays that everything works out for the best for his children. Somehow.

    • According to my understanding of the term, God only intervenes in the world through his agents, like Jesus, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Buffy Summers.

      • jimbolandjots

        Doloras, you are my new BFF for this comment! Brilliant!!

  • Andrew Byrne

    Career-ending fines are a great way to spread around the word that this is intolerable; they are threatened regularly for building or health code violations, and de rigeur for drug dealers. Self employment is a privilege; this baker is free to later seek employment with a larger institution, perhaps one that follows the law.

  • handyhippie65

    how much did the old woman who spilled coffee get from mickey d’s? oughta be worth that much at least.

    • novocaine is awesome

      The elderly woman in that case suffered third degree burns on her thighs. Most of what everyone thinks they know about that case is dead wrong. That poor woman deserved every penny she got and more.

      • handyhippie65

        really? if i cut my finger off with my saw, is it the saw companies fault? if i fall off my ladder, is it the ladder companies fault? if i drop my hammer and break my foot, is it the hammer companies fault? why is the restaurant’s fault if she spills hot coffee on her self. if an employee spilled it on her, i can see it would be their fault. and by the way, all of those things have happened to me in the years as a self employed carpenter. and i didn’t sue any of them, because all of the incidents were accidents, or i was not paying enough attention to what i was doing. personal responsibility, it is a wonderful thing.

        • Are you jealous that the old lady got a payout and you didn´t?

          • handyhippie65

            no, if that were the case, i would have sued. the point was i never once thought the things that happened were any one’s fault but my own. as was hers. blaming others for your mistakes is childish.

          • fredfnord

            But it turns out that lecturing people on subjects that you haven’t even the tiniest nodding acquaintance with is not childish. I’m learning things left and right here.

          • handyhippie65

            i was an alive, adult when she burned herself, yes it was a terrible accident, but if i were on that jury, she would not have gotten the settlement she did. she spilled it on herself. the people i know who drink coffee, want it so hot they can’t drink it right away. if it were not hot, she would have complained. i am all about helping people who are victimized by corporations and their greed, but not when you did it to your self.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    Let’s not lose sight of the fact that all the Bigot Bucks will end up, at the end of the day, in the pockets of the un-caked gay couple. As JD Mulvey has been trying (and trying) to hammer into people’s heads here, there’s a big difference between a fine (paid to the authorities) and damages (paid to the plaintiffs.)

    Fortunately for us lovers of snark and irony, most of the knuckle-draggers sending in their shekels seem unaware of this fine distinction, and are gleefully contributing to the bank account of the gay couple that they hate so much.

  • Nick.Trite

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of that was lawyer’s fees for the happy couple. Even if an attorney is taking the case ostensibly pro bono, they may still be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees (that’s one of the ways Legal Aid sustains itself), especially in a case like this where public policy wants to encourage people to bring suits. I don’t know who’s representing them, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find it was a big firm with big billing rates, all of them want to get in on the pro bono gay action these days.

    • Paperless Tiger

      With the size of the fine, I was wondering if they had a lawyer at all. I mean, what’s a cake, 450 bucks? It’s not like they refused to sell them a house.

  • dshwa

    Doesn’t GoFundMe have screeners who approve things before they go live? Or can I just start one for a friend who wants to purchase a Babby from overseas to use in his unspeakable Aztec human sacrifice ritual at just the click of a button no questions asked?

    • david green

      Overseas? Why not just contact Justin Harris. He can probably give you a fine,
      american baby. No need to go to all the trouble of dealing with customs and transportation issues that come with an over-seas baby.

  • kfreed

    Obviously, the bigots’ careers weren’t ended as they raised enough money to nearly cover the amount they were ordered to pay. Regardless, you KNOW the Religious Right… fine or no fine, they’d still play the victim. This isn’t about one gay couple being refused a cake by one “Christian” bigot. It’s about right-wing fundies using their bastardized religion to enshrine a perceived right to discriminate into law (as in the setting of legal precedents):

    April 27, 2015: Kentucky “Court Says ‘Religious Freedom’ Gives T-Shirt Company The Right To Discriminate Against LGBT Group”

    Wise up already. If the tea bagging fundies get much further with their corporate religious freedom laws, you youngsters are going to be living the state sponsored theocratic hell you allow these people to create. Have you noticed how Koch-sponsored Teanut legislators and justices have been using the Klein’s case all over the country to pass ‘religious freedom’ laws, like, say, in Indiana?

    Here’s the game these asshats are playing, compare and contrast the following two stories coming out of Colorado. We’d prefer the fundies not make further gains in our state… we have enough to deal with when it comes to these Dominionist lunatics already:

    World Nut Daily: Colorado: “Ask ‘gay’ bakery for cake, get charged with crime”

    Fox “News”: “Colorado double standard: Bakers should not be forced to make anti-gay cakes”

    You getting the picture?

  • DahBoner

    Believing God created Satan to “give you a choice”…

    Makes about as much sense as asking your toddler whether they prefer alcohol or juice in their Sippy cup…

  • Morrigan In Oregon

    Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI)

    Actually,it’s OBOLI

  • trackhorse

    The discussion below on the fine points of compensation, tort, damages, etc. were actually pretty smart, informative, and no prisoners were taken. What the heck!?

  • Trillian Dent

    Some lessons have to be painful to be learned. At only $135,000, the Kleins got off cheap.

  • Kelly Hamilton

    The fine is entirely appropriate in this case because most of it has already been raised. I think it’s great that the wing nuts are raising $135,000 to pay the two aggrieved parties. There should be more large fines like this. Bigotry should start costing something, and there’s apparently a lot of money out there.

  • munacra

    There is more hate in your article than the Kleins have ever supposedly presented to anyone else ever. As a matter of fact if the Kleins were for a fact HATERS, you’d be the pot calling the kettle black…

  • Laketree

    You incorrectly refer to a $135,000 fine. The $135,000 is a sugessted damage amount going to the aggrieved parties, not a fine. This award is not final. The Kleins have contested the $135,000 damages award.
    State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian will set the amount of damages. The maximum damages he is allowed to assess is $150,000. He can lower or eliminate the damage awards or he can assess fines. Avakian’s order, expected this summer, can be challenged in the Oregon Court of Appeals.

  • Laketree

    Ironically, Oregon
    justice is blind. Bruce Bottoms, a
    homosexual baker was investigated by BOLI following a complaint filed by the
    Westboro Baptist Church (WBC). He
    refused to decorate a cake with the WBC logo “God hates Fags” in rainbow
    colored frosting. Bottoms choose to go out of business rather than bake the cake.

    • Sally Stewart

      The Bruce Bottoms cake shop is a fake story Matt Barber came up with as an analogy…Matt Barber is listed on Southern Poverty Law Center’s, “Hatewatch”

      • Laketree

        After checking out the source (Matt Barber) I agree the Bruce Bottoms story is not true. I got information from another source. Considering the name, I should have known. Thank for the correction.

        • Sally Stewart

          You’re very welcome :)

  • EbolaJenkins

    Here is to all you new Boy Scout Masters in the room, in celebration of the “human rights” Obama imposed on the organization effective January 2014:

  • ModVAVet

    I’m fully of the position that if a bakery discriminates, they get to pay for the couple to go and find another baker- with all associated expenses. Every. Time. It won’t kill their business, but it should surely act as a deterrent to this fuckery.

  • trex67

    A. Losing 135K might work as a deterrent against someone else pulling this crap.

    B. They were begging to be martyrs, so their prayers were answered. Odds are pretty good find a way to cash in on the deal.

    C. I don’t give a crap if these assholes do end up losing their livelihood. They’re obviously not learning anything from the experience, like how not to be assholes.

  • jimbolandjots

    The fine was for discrimination against the lesbians, which is illegal under Oregon law. As well, what some people don’t realize is these anti-gay bigot-bakers also doxxed the couple by going online, discovering info about their lives, and using it in their zealous pursuit of their bigoted religion – including publishing the couple’s home address ( ).

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