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Christian bakers’ lawyer says their punishment was ‘un-American’

Christian bakers’ lawyer says their punishment was ‘un-American’

The $135,000 fine given to a couple who refused to bake a same-sex wedding cake is ‘un-America’ according to their lawyer.

Sweet Cakes by Melissa is based in the US state Oregon.

Melissa and Aaron Klein run the bakery.

They refused to bake a wedding cake for Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer in January 2013 because they were having a same-sex wedding.

The state labor bureau ruled the bakery had violated anti-discrimination laws and were forced to pay $135,000 (€112,294.35) in damages.

The Kleins claimed the ruling was a violation of their rights under the U.S. Constitution to freedom of religion and expression.

A three-judge panel of the Oregon Court of Appeals rejected the petition.

The court told the bakers they still had to pay damages to Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer.

The cost of the fine forced the bakery into insolvency.

‘Wrong and un-American’

Michael Berry of First Liberty Institute represents Aaron and Melissa Klein.

He said: ‘The court didn’t think that custom-designing and making a custom wedding cake is a form of art,’

Freedom of expression covers art.

Berry continued: ‘Punishing people for their religious beliefs is wrong and un-American.’

Brad Avakian is the Oregon’s labor commissioner.

Avakian said in a statement: ‘Today’s ruling sends a strong signal that Oregon remains open to all.’

‘Within Oregon’s public accommodations law is the basic principle of human decency that every person, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, has the freedom to fully participate in society.’

The Bowman-Cryers claimed that suffered physical harm from the ordeal.

Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer said they gained weight because of the incident.