Bakery under investigation draws supporters, protesters

Bakery under investigation draws supporters, protesters »Play Video
Kim Crane (center) and Rachel Oleson (right) gave away free cupcakes Saturday protesting baker Aaron Klein's decision to deny making a wedding cake for a same sex couple at his Gresham bakery.

GRESHAM, Ore. – People on both sides of a controversy over a wedding cake showed up to speak their minds in Gresham on Saturday.

A baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple is the subject of a state investigation.

Two women protested the decision Saturday by giving away free cupcakes outside Sweet Cakes bakery and holding signs that said “tolerance is sweet” and “don’t hate, let them eat cake.”

“We just thought that was really hurtful and we feel like we should be out here taking a stand,” said protester Rachel Oleson. “We’re not going to go along with that type of hate.”

“We’ve talked to gay people and lots of allies in this neighborhood, and just so they know that shop and those views aren’t the only ones that are around,” said Kim Crane.

The Oregon Equality Act of 2007 prohibits discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. The statute includes public accommodations, such as businesses. Oregon Attorney General's civil enforcement officers are looking into whether Aaron Klein broke the law when he denied the couple a cake.

“I apologized for wasting their time and said we don’t do same-sex marriages,” Klein said Friday. I “honestly did not mean to hurt anybody, didn’t mean to make anybody upset, [it’s] just something I believe in very strongly.”

Supporters flocked to the bakery as well. Klein said Saturday was one of his busiest days ever.

“We’ll be coming here as long as they’re here,” said Miya Shalashov, who supports Klein’s decision. “We’ll buy everything.”

“[There was] pretty much a line out the door since 9:30 this morning before we opened,” Klein said. “The phone hasn’t stopped ringing all day long.”

The Portland couple who filed the complaint against Sweet Cakes asked for privacy Saturday, but their lawyer told KATU News that they appreciate the support they’ve received.

Klein said he doesn’t care about the publicity.

“It comes down to one thing plain and simple,” he said. “This is what I believe. This is my religious faith.

“The initial rush may wane, we’ll see how that plays out, but again, like I said, I’m willing to take this as far as it needs to go to stand up for what I believe in.”