Ten years ago, Aaron and Melissa Klein (pictured) – who ran a small bakery in Salem, Oregon – faced discrimination charges when they declined to bake a cake for a same-gender "wedding" based on their strongly held religious beliefs. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries took them to task, found them guilty, and fined the couple $135,000.
Stephanie Taub, Senior Counsel with First Liberty Institute, tells AFN there was some good news last week.
"The Oregon Court of Appeals held that that Oregon state agency – the one that was responsible for bringing the case, for prosecuting the case, and for judging the case – was biased against Aaron and Melissa's religious beliefs," she shares.
According to Taub, that should have been the end of the state's hostility toward the Kleins. But as she explains, a flaw in the ruling raises a red flag.
"After finding that there was this lack of neutrality that infected the case below in the agency that was prosecuting the case, they're sending it right back down to that very same agency for essentially a do-over," the attorney says. "We believe this is a miscarriage of justice."
First Liberty intends to appeal the ruling and, if necessary, will take the case back to the U.S. Supreme Court – which in the Jack Phillips Masterpiece Cakeshop decision warned courts and government agencies that they must not be hostile to people's religious beliefs.