WASHINGTON, D.C. - Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins made the following statement after an Oregon administrative judge today issued an order demanding that Aaron and Melissa Klein, former owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, pay fines to the State of Oregon totaling $ 135,000 because they declined baking a cake for a same-sex wedding in January 2013 based upon their religious beliefs:
Following are Perkins' comments:
"What happened today is an egregious assault on the freedom Americans have to peaceably live their lives according to their beliefs.
"An Oregon judge made clear in no uncertain terms to the Kleins and all Oregonians that the state has the right to demand that citizens engage in activities that violate their beliefs and if they refuse, they will lose their ability to make a living. In a free country, this is a ruling that cannot and must not stand.
"In the State of Oregon's view, the Kleins need to be 'rehabilitated' and 'reeducated' - terms actually used by the Oregon Attorney General - regarding their religious views on the nature of marriage. Needless to say, government re-education regimes are more reminiscent of fascism than democracy.
"A government able to bankrupt people for standing by their deepest beliefs is a government of unbridled power and a threat to everyone's freedom.
"Our prayer and hope is that these fines will be overturned by a judge who remains committed to constitutional freedoms and that individual liberty will triumph over intrusive over reaching government. The heavy hand of the state must not be used to punish and fine people for merely seeking to live according to their beliefs," concluded Perkins.
This evening at 5:05 PM ET, Aaron and Melissa Klein will appear on Washington Watch radio to discuss today's decision. Listen online at www.tonyperkins.com
This Sunday, churches across the country will show a video telling the story of Aaron and Melissa Klein as a part of "Stand for Marriage Sunday" - an event held in advance of Tuesday's Supreme Court oral arguments on marriage.
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16csepNTeFk