NOM BLOG

Collusion, Improper Communication, and Bias Against ‘Sweet Cakes’

 

Kelsey Harkness of The Daily Signal exposes actions by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Basic Rights Oregon to persecute the small business of Sweet Cakes by Melissa. Sweet Cakes held to their religious beliefs by turning down business that involved a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony, before same-sex marriage was even legal in Oregon.

It appears that the advocacy group and the government agency had been holding meetings, as well as exchanging emails and texts, to conspire against Sweet Cakes before same-sex marriage was legal, and in a completely biased manner.

ThinkstockPhotos-176997365The Daily Signal has exclusively learned that the government agency responsible for enforcing Oregon’s anti-discrimination law appears to be working closely with a powerful gay rights advocacy group in its case against Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa.

Communications between the agency, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, and the LGBT organization, Basic Rights Oregon, raise questions about potential bias in the state’s decision to charge the Kleins with discrimination for refusing to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.

Communications obtained through a public records request show employees of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries—which pursued the case against the Kleins—participating in phone calls, texting, and attending meetings with Basic Rights Oregon, the largest LGBT advocacy group in the state.

Harkness explains the issues in these discriminating communications:

“That’s a clear conflict of interest,” Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.

State agencies have a duty to represent the best interests of the general public, not the interests of one particular advocacy group. The relationship shown by these communications is inappropriate and raises basic questions about the objectivity, bias, and fairness of this agency and its proceedings.

According to emails, Avakian met with Basic Rights Oregon on multiple occasions.

Read the full article at The Daily Signal.