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Oregon baker ordered to pay $135,000 in damages to lesbian couple they refused

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An Oregon bakery is being ordered to pay damages of $135,000 to a lesbian couple for refusing to make them a wedding cake, Oregon Live reports.

The ruling by the Oregon Labor Commission upheld a previous finding that Sweet Cakes by Melissa had discriminated against the couple based on their sexual orientation, Oregon Live reports.

“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,” the Bureau of Labor and Industries said in a press release.

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The bakery owners, Melissa and Aaron Klein, were ordered to pay Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer $75,000 and $60,000 each, respectively.

The bakery became something of a cause celebre for anti-gay activists and after shuttering in 2013 continued to deliver cakes as an online service. They sent their baked goods to “ex-gay” organization The Restored Hope Network, Raw Story previously reported.

While the Klein’s can still appeal the order, the decision lays to rest a long-running fight that began in 2013 when the Bowman-Cryers sought a cake tasting from the bakery, only to be told that the business does not serve same-sex couples.

“This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage. It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal,” the Bureau wrote.

The final ruling this week upheld a preliminary finding from March. An attorney for the Kleins told Oregon Live that an appeal is likely.

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Catholic peaders promised transparency about child abuse — but they haven’t delivered

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It took 40 years and three bouts of cancer for Larry Giacalone to report his claim of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a Boston priest named Richard Donahue.

Giacalone sued Donahue in 2017, alleging the priest molested him in 1976, when Giacalone was 12 and Donahue was serving at Sacred Heart Parish. The lawsuit never went to trial, but a compensation program set up by the archdiocese concluded that Giacalone “suffered physical injuries and emotional injuries as a result of physical abuse” and directed the archdiocese to pay him $73,000.

Even after the claim was settled and the compensation paid in February 2019, however, the archdiocese didn’t publish Donahue’s name on its list of accused priests. Nor did it three months later when Giacalone’s lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, criticized the church publicly for not adding Donahue’s name to the list.

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Mike Pompeo’s behavior is straight out of Nixon VP’s playbook: historians

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s expletive-laden dust-up with NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly is on message for the Trump-led Republican Party. Complaining that Kelly’s question about Ukraine was “another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this Administration,” Pompeo has rallied the Republican base by slamming a journalist doing her job.

Whether he knows it or not, Pompeo is drawing from a playbook written a half century ago and perfected by a politician once voted the worst vice president in American history. Secretary Mike Pompeo, meet Vice President Spiro Agnew.

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‘Our chances of ever exiting the nightmare are shrinking’: Paul Krugman explains how the GOP is getting worse

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It is a great detriment to civil discourse that the divide between left and right in the United States is often depicted as being purely cultural — as if one’s politics were solely mediated by aesthetics, such as whether one prefers shooting guns or drinking lattes. This fabulist understanding of politics is harmful inasmuch as it masks the real social effects of the policy agendas pushed by left versus right. Seeing politics as aesthetic transforms what should be a quantitative debate — with statistics and numbers about taxation and public policy, questions of who benefits more or less from policy changes — and devolves it into a rhetorical debate over values.

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