(CNSNews.com) – The owners of a bakery who were charged with discrimination by the state of Oregon because they would not make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple said homosexuals were customers but that making a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage would be contrary to their religious belief that marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman sanctified by God.
“It’s never been about sexual orientation,” Aaron Klein said at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C. on Friday. “It’s about marriage.”
Aaron and his wife, Melissa, owned Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, Ore. In 2013, they refused to make a specialty wedding cake for a lesbian couple and in January 2014 were found guilty of discrimination by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries for violating the women’s civil rights.
Mounting legal expenses and severe criticism from homosexual activists, which included death threats and threats against the couple’s five children, led them to close the shop.
The couple is fighting the ruling and are waiting for a court date, Aaron said at the summit where he and Melissa spoke on a panel on marriage, an event sponsored by the Family Research Council’s political action wing.
Panel moderator Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the FRC, asked Melissa about the process of making a cake for a wedding. Melissa explained that she spent a lot of time with the couples in order to make the “perfect cake.” This includes getting to know the couple and everything about their wedding wishes, from colors and themes to honeymoon plans.
“I would use all this information to help me design the perfect cake that reflected them as a couple,” Melissa said, fighting back tears. “It just really touches my heart."
“If they chose me to do their cake I would just feel so honored to be able to be a part of such an amazing, special day,” Melissa said.
In January, Fox New’s Todd Starnes reported that Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian told The Oregonian newspaper in August 2013 that the ruling was because the couple discriminated against the lesbians.
“Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that folks have the right to discriminate,” he told the newspaper. “The goal is never to shut down a business."
“The goal is to rehabilitate,” Avakian said.
But Aaron told Starnes that he would not be rehabilitated.
“There’s nothing wrong with what we believe,” Aaron said. “It’s a biblical point of view."
“It’s my faith,” Aaron told Starnes. “It’s my religion.”