Christians rally round US bakers as $350,000 raised

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised to help Christian bakers from Oregon, USA, who were fined over their beliefs about marriage.

Aaron and Melissa Klein were ordered to pay $135,000 because of their decision to decline to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.

However, a page has been set up to help the couple and their children, and so far over $350,000 has been given.

Ordeal

In April a separate page in support of the Kleins was shut down by a fundraising organisation. The website later changed its policies to ban “campaigns in defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts”.

However, the American Family Association (AFA) has backed the Kleins, encouraging their supporters to help the couple.

AFA President Tim Wildmon commented: “Now is the time for all Christians to stand together in support of the Kleins and their five children, letting them know that we support them, their stance for God’s definition of marriage and their bravery in the face of this incredible ordeal.”

Alongside the fine, which was confirmed in a ruling earlier this month, the family have been ordered not to publicly express their biblical stance.

‘Discriminate’

Oregon state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries ruled that the couple showed “clear intent to discriminate in the future”.

The order concluded that the Kleins must “cease and desist” from denying services “to any person based on that person’s sexual orientation”.

It also said they must stop publishing or causing to be published any communication that any service will be refused to anyone because of their sexual orientation.

The Kleins can take their legal case to the Oregon Court of Appeal.

Not silenced

Writing on Facebook, Melissa said: “According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech.

“We will NOT give up this fight, and we will NOT be silenced. We stand for God’s truth, God’s word and freedom for ALL Americans.”

In May the Kleins spoke up for Ashers Baking Company – a Christian-run bakery in Northern Ireland which was sued for declining to decorate a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan.

Banner of Christ

The McArthurs, who own Ashers, lost their legal case but are appealing the decision.

Aaron encouraged the Northern Irish family not to give up, to stand for truth and “unite under the banner of Christ”.

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