Stop the presses – Todd Starnes was wrong again.
A state agency in Oregon called out the Fox News contributor’s erroneous reporting on a discrimination complaint filed by a same-sex couple who were denied service by a bakery.
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries found Monday that Sweet Cakes by Melissa violated the state’s anti-discrimination law because it is not a registered religious institution.
The Portland bakery’s owners might be ordered to pay fines up to $75,000 to the women – but Starnes got some facts exactly wrong in his Fox News report, “Christian bakers face government wrath for refusing to make cake for gay wedding.”
Starnes incorrectly reported that bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein could face $200,000 in fines and damages – which an official with the BOLI flatly denied in a statement to Media Matters.
“Todd Starnes is writing that the bakery owners face fines of up to $200,000 in damages. That’s false,” said Charlie Burr, the agency’s communications director. “In fact, it’s the Kleins who have asked for $200,000 in damages from our agency for our enforcement of the Equality Act.”
An administrative judge rejected the couple’s request to dismiss the case and award them damages, court costs, and attorneys fees.
Starnes, who is known for pushing one-sided and frequently inaccurate reports about alleged persecution of Christians, had not corrected his Sweet Cakes story as of Wednesday afternoon.