Sweet Cakes by Melissa Suit Not About LGBT, But Death Threats

Mike TuttleLife

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Sweet Cakes by Melissa is getting all kinds of love from Christian conservatives and others who feel that they were wrongly ruled against by an Oregon court this week.

In one instance getting national attention, Candace Cameron Bure and Raven-Symone had a heated exchange this week when the case against Sweet Cakes by Melissa was discussed on The View. Bure presented the case as a miscarriage of justice, saying that the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa had a right to freedom of association.

"It’s about constitutional rights. It’s about First Amendment rights. We do have the right to still choose who we associate with,” Bure said.

But those casting this as a purely LGBT-vs-bigots fight are missing a big chunk of the issue. True, as Raven-Symone pointed out, "The Oregon law bars businesses from discriminating against sexual orientation, race, disability, age or religion."

But the lawsuit brought against Sweet Cakes by Melissa was not just about that. When the bakery refused to serve them as customers, the plaintiffs, Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, rightly brought a complaint to the Department of Justice and then with the Bureau of Labor and Industries.

But when that complaint was filed, a copy was emailed to the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, whereupon they posted the complaint to their Facebook page. The contents of that complaint are the rub.

The names, home address, and email address of the plaintiffs were in that post.

The Bowman-Cryer couple received death threats as a result of that post. The foster children they were trying to adopt were at risk of being taken away from them because the state adoption agency told them they were responsible for keeping the threats at bay and their confidential information out of the hands of those who might endanger the children.

Thus the lawsuit. In the end, Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer were awarded a judgment for $135,000, not as fines or civil penalties against Sweet Cakes by Melissa, but for the "emotional suffering stemming directly from unlawful discrimination."

So framing the award to the lesbian couple as some persecution for being Christian is way wrong. Those people put the couple and their children in danger. That's why they were ordered to pay up.

Mike Tuttle
Writer. Google+ Writer for WebProNews.