Melissa Klein, one of the owners of a Christian bakery who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple and have since been fighting the state of Oregon over the matter, broke into tears when describing her business during a panel at the Values Voter Summit on Friday.
“For me personally when I would sit down with them I just would want to know everything about her wedding. I’d want to know about the flowers, her dress, the centerpieces, her colors, the way her hair is going to be. I would even want to talk about ‘where are you going on your honeymoon?'” Melissa Klein (pictured) said before tearing up.
In January, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries said that there was serious evidence that the couple broke the law by refusing to bake a cake for the lesbian couple.
“I would just feel so honored to be part of such an amazing, special day,” Klein said, fighting back tears, of how she felt baking the cakes.
Moderator Peter Sprigg then asked the couple about legal action taken against them.
“I mean quite frankly, they didn’t just harass us, they harassed the other wedding vendors that we did business with. It cut off our referral system,” Aaron Klein, Melissa’s husband, said. “We had to shut the shop down. Melissa does very limited cakes out of our house. I mean we’re facing in excess of $150,000 of damages for this, just for simply standing by my first amendment rights.”
Klein said it’s a “violation of my conscience, I mean it’s a violation of my religious freedom.”
“I mean it’s horrible to see your own government doing this to you,” Aaron Klein said.
Sprigg later asked the couple if the whole dispute was really about sexual orientation.
“It’s about marriage and the event,” Aaron Klein said.
Photo credit: Jeffrey Malet
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This post has been updated.