It's one of the more unusual front lines in the battle for gay rights: an Oregon bakery. The state declared yesterday that a Portland business called Sweet Cakes by Melissa violated the civil rights of a gay couple when it refused to make them a wedding cake, reports NWCN.com. The owners cited their religious beliefs, but the state ruled that they're running a business, not a religious institution, and thus must abide by laws that prohibit discrimination against gays. State officials will now try to work out a settlement between the bakery and rebuffed customers Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, reports the Oregonian.
If they can't, charges will likely follow. Owners Aaron and Melissa Klein have moved the bakery into their home since the case began, and their Facebook post about the decision is drawing support. "They’re being punished by the state of Oregon for refusing to participate in an event that the state of Oregon does not recognize," says their attorney. Cryer and Bowman say they're pleased with the ruling, but it remains unclear whether they'll ever get that cake. (Read more Oregon stories.)