Free speech issue: Oregon bakery fined for refusing to bake cake for same-sex marriage ceremony

White House Rainbow colored to celebrate SCOTUS same sex marriage ruling

The Oregon Labor Commission ordered owners of a Gresham, Oregon bakery to pay $135,000 to a lesbian couple for refusing to bake them a wedding cake. The Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery cited their religious beliefs in refusing the service. The bakery said they will appeal the ruling. (Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2015, by Michael Muskal)

Conservative Christians are among those upset about the recent ruling, arguing that the commission silenced the bakers for the content of their speech thus violating their First Amendment rights. (The Federalist, July 6, 2015, by Rachel Lu)

Eugene Volokh, The Volokh Conspiracy in The Washington Post, July 6, 2015, thinks the Oregon ruling passes constitutional muster. He writes that given that in Oregon, refusal to serve someone based on sexual orientation is illegal, refusal to bake the cake was “essentially a threat of illegal conduct” and as such not protected under the First Amendment.


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One Comment

  • So if a Muslim restaurant who is known for smoking food refuses to smoke my ham, can I sue him? Of course not, he’s a Muslim. But Christians are fair game. What a sham!

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