Judge Orders Bakers to Pay $135,000 For Refusing to Make Gay Couple's Cake

A judge in Oregon has concluded that the bakery owners who refused, for relgious reasons, to make a cake for a gay wedding should be forced to pay $135,000 in fines.

"[T]he forum concludes that $75,000 and $60,000, are appropriate awards to compensate [the gay couple] for the emotional suffering they experienced," wrote Alan McCullough, a judge for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries.

The owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Aaron and Melissa Klein, who have seven children, say the exorbitant fine could force them into bankruptcy.

In January 2013, Aaron Klein declined to make the gay couple a cake after her learned their were two brides and no groom. He and his wife, both Christians, would later say they believe marriage is between a man and a woman.

The gay couple filed a complaint and the Oregon bureau proceeded to charge that the Kleins had discriminated against the pair. This past January, a panel decided the Kleins had violated state law. 

The gay couple said they had suffered emotional and mental damages -- even physical harm -- and set their claim at $135,000. Each of the women listed 90 separate damages they suffered when the Kleins refused to make the cake.

The damages include "acute loss of confidence," "excessive sleep," "high blood pressure," "impaired digestion," "loss of appetite," "migraine headaches." One even said she started smoking again because of "worry.”

Because the couple was forced to close their business, the $135,000 would come from their personal assets. The proposed fine now goes to the Labor Commission, which will make a final decision.