Gresham bakery that denied service to same-sex couple closes

Gresham bakery that denied service to same-sex couple closes
Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery in Gresham.

KATU News is talking with the owners of Sweet Cakes today. Tune in at 5 p.m. to see what they have to say.

GRESHAM, Ore. – A Gresham bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple and became the subject of a state investigation has closed.

KATU news gathering partner Willamette Week first reported that Sweet Cakes by Melissa announced the closure on its Facebook page.

“This will be our last weekend at the shop we are moving our business to an in home bakery. I will post our new number soon,” the post said.

Willamette Week reported that Facebook comments expressing negative views of the bakery have been removed. The remaining comments are supportive of the business.

The same-sex couple filed an anti-discrimination complaint with the state in August. Bakery co-owner Aaron Klein refused to bake the couple a cake in January. The story made national headlines at the time.

Klein told KATU at the time that when the couple came in and asked for a cake, he apologized and said his bakery doesn’t do cakes for same-sex weddings because it is against his religious beliefs. Aaron Klein owns the bakery with his wife Melissa.

The bakery drew a large number of supporters and protesters.

At question is whether Sweet Cakes by Melissa violated the Oregon Equality Act of 2007. Oregon law doesn’t allow businesses to deny service based on sexual orientation. There is an exemption for religious organizations and schools, but private businesses can’t discriminate based on sexual orientation, race, sex, age, veteran status, disability or religion.

The complaint will be investigated by the Bureau of Labor and Industries and is required to be completed within one year.

“We are committed to a fair and thorough investigation to determine whether there’s substantial evidence of unlawful discrimination,” said state labor commissioner Brad Avakian.