In a shocking strong-arm tactic, the state of Oregon fined Christian cake designers Aaron and Melissa Klein out of business.
The "Sweet Cakes by Melissa" owners were slapped with a fine of $135,000 for turning down a demand to design an cake celebrating lesbianism. The two passed on the idea because they said it's against their religious beliefs — and were sued.
They were swiftly punished by the government for not being "politically correct" enough.
The Oregon government's financial penalty for the Christian bakery shop has bankrupted the Kleins. They were forced to shut down their business, and have endured over five years of bank-breaking legal fights.
They also have been the target of hate speech. Facebook allowed messages to the Kleins like, "I hope your shop burns." Social media users told Aaron and Melissa that they "will burn in Hell," and are nothing but a "stupid piece of s-—."
"F—- both of you, you homophobic trash," another liberal wrote. "I hope you lose your house and have to live on the streets and that gay people point and laugh at you."
One woman stated, "We hope your children get cancer and die … You are worthless."
When the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries fined the Kleins, government officials made comments denigrating the Christian view of marriage. The state bureau even went so far as to issue a censoring gag order, commanding Aaron and Melissa never to speak their beliefs on marriage.
The Oregon Court of Appeals later rescinded the gag order but kept the decision against the Kleins and its back-breaking fine. Aaron and Melissa then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Now the Attorneys General from eleven states have petitioned the Supreme Court to take on the case and defend the First Amendment freedom of speech and religious practice.