Anti-LGBT Oregon bakers defy state order to pay damages to lesbian couple despite raising $500K online
The anti-gay Oregon bakers who own Sweet Cakes by Melissa may be following the lead of anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and defying government orders concerning same-sex marriage, Willamette Week reports.
*Aaron and Melissa Klein, the bakers who have been made heroes by the anti-gay movement, were ordered to pay $135,000 in July for emotional distress damages. After refusing to sell a lesbian couple a wedding cake, the Kleins started harassing them in the media, including posting their address on Facebook.
Though they have raised $500,000 from crowdfunding sources, the couple seems to be ignoring court orders to pay.
According to emails between the prosecutor and the Kleins’ attorney obtained by Willamette Week, as of September 16, the Kleins have yet to pay up, even though the final judgment against them was rendered July 27.
“It is unfortunate that they will not seek the bond or irrevocable letter of credit, that you had initially stated they were interested in seeking, when they have clearly raised close to $500,000 with which to pay the damage award,” prosecutor Jenn Gaddis wrote. “As we previously discussed, the bond or irrevocable letter of credit would not be dispersed pending appeal(s).”
The email from Gaddis states if payment isn’t rendered, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries will “docket” the payment, meaning the agency will be in a position to place liens on the Kleins’ property, Willamette Week explains.
On September 8, one of Kleins’ attorneys, Hebert Grey, wrote the couple didn’t seem to have any plans to pay.
“Our clients do not have a bond or irrevocable letter of credit in place and have no further plans to obtain one,” Grey wrote in an email.
Grey didn’t respond to Willamette Week’s request for comment.
The Kleins appeared for the second time in a row at the extreme-conservative Value Voters summit, alongside Kim Davis. The Rowan County clerk defied court orders to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Davis was held in contempt of court and spent 5 days in jail before returning to work.
The judgment against the Kleins reflects damages to be paid to the couple, Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer. The Kleins “brought the case to the media’s attention and kept it there by repeatedly appearing in public to make statements deriding” the couple, according to BOLI. The persecution included posting the Bowman-Cryers’ home address on Aaron Klein’s personal Facebook page.
*Editor’s note: This story was updated to clarify that the Kleins were ordered to pay damages to the Bowman-Cryers for emotional distress.