A Christian bakery is being investigated because it declined to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in Oregon, USA.
The owners of “Sweet Cakes”, Aaron and Melissa Klein, said they were trying to protect their religious conscience when they refused to sell a cake to Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer for their gay wedding.
Mr and Mrs Klein have received death threats, hate mail and have lost half of their customers since the incident in January.
Now they are under investigation by state officials, who are reviewing whether the lesbian couple were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.
Mr Klein said his stance is based on his beliefs about marriage.
He said: “I believe that marriage is a religious institution ordained by God. The Book of Genesis talks about that for this reason: A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. That, to me, is the beginning, the basis of marriage.”
He added: “We’re struggling, but in the end, my faith is more important to me than a dollar. So I will continue to stand for what I believe in. And I don’t think anybody is ever going to force me to go against my religion.”
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries received the anti-discrimination complaint against Sweet Cakes last Thursday.
In a similar incident, a Christian baker in the US state of Colorado is facing the threat of a possible jail sentence for refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding.
At the time of the incident last year, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was a criminal offence in the state.
The case is scheduled for a hearing next month before Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission.