Christian Bakers Fined $135,000 For Discriminating Against Gay Couple Throw Embarrassing Tantrum


Unable to accept defeat, an Oregon Christian-owned bakery found guilty of discriminating against a lesbian couple has vowed to keep “fight[ing] back” against the government despite having lost a massive lawsuit that will require the owners to pay $135,000 in damages.

You may recall the story of “Sweetcakes,” the Oregon bakery owned by Aaron and Melissa Klein that in 2013 flat-out refused to bake a cake for the wedding of a lesbian couple because it was against their Christian beliefs. The couple took the bakery to court and, thanks to the state’s forward-leaning laws protecting the LGBT community from discrimination, the bakery was quickly found guilty of violating the couple’s rights in the same way that it would had they discriminated against customers based on race, religion, or gender.

The law isn’t even particularly hard to understand. There is absolutely no way that the Kleins could have misinterpreted it to justify their refusal of service.

Under Oregon law, businesses cannot discriminate or refuse service based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot turn customers away because of race, sex, disability, age or religion.

The Oregon Equality Act of 2007 includes an exemption for religious organizations and schools, but does not allow private business owners to deny service and unlawfully discriminate against potential customers. [source]

Consequently, it was not hard for an Oregon judge to award a total of $135,000 in damages to the victims, Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer – and the Kleins have promptly lost their minds.

Not content to just cut their losses and get back to baking cakes (for everybody), the owners seem dead set on turning their cupcake war into a holy one. Speaking with Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, they vowed to fight on while playing the victim of mean old godless liberals.

“He wants to silence anyone who opposes his point of view,” Klein told The Blaze, speaking specifically about Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, who has spearheaded the case against the couple. “Unfortunately, he’s doing this with the wrong Christian, because I fight back.”

Klein also delivered a message to Americans and business leaders about why he believes that his case is monumentally important.

“For years, we’ve heard same-sex marriage will not affect anybody,” he said. “I’m here firsthand to tell everyone in America that it has already impacted people. Christians, get ready to take a stand. Get ready for civil disobedience.”

As entertaining (and lucrative) as it would be to watch Christian store owners across the nation refuse service to gay people and subsequently get fined tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a piece, the idea that Christians need to “fight back” against gay people is an unsettling thought within the context of an already hostile climate that exists towards the LGBT community.

As conservative homophobes continue to suffer historic losses in their fight against progress, the fantasy that they are the victims of religious discrimination for not being allowed to discriminate is growing. Even mainstream conservatives, including several Republican presidential candidates, have expressed the opinion that things like the Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage is an assault on Christianity. In this respect, the Klein’s aren’t at all different from their mainstream counterparts in the Republican Party.

As for the Kleins recent court loss, they say they will appeal the decision because the payout could “financially ruin [their] family” and believe they will win because the judgment “flies in the face of the Constitution.” It’s the ultimate irony, because, of course, the Supreme Court just used the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to validate a law meant to protect people from being discriminated against based on their sexual orientation. In other words, good luck with that defense. But hey, I guess if you’ve already lost $135,000 on hate, what’s a bit more down the drain in lawyer fees in a hopeless bid to prove a long-lost point.

White Anti-Gay Activist Wins Election After Pretending To Be Black

Dave Wilson: not black
Dave Wilson: not black

This is wrong on so many levels…

Think Progress

An electrician best known for mailing homophobic fliers to thousands of Houston voters attacking the city’s lesbian mayor narrowly won an election to the Houston Community College Board of Trustees after he misled voters into believing that he is African American. Dave Wilson defeated longtime incumbent Bruce Austin, who actually is black, in an overwhelmingly African American district.

Wilson’s campaign fliers were filled with black faces that he admits to simply pulling off of websites, along with captions such as “Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson.” Another flier announces that he was “Endorsed by Ron Wilson,” which is the name of an African American former state representative. Only by reading the fine print will voters discover that the “Ron Wilson” who actually endorsed Dave is his cousin. The cousin lives in Iowa.

In an interview with a local TV station, the anti-gay activist turned higher education policymaker did not deny that he intended to mislead the electorate, instead justifying his actions by claiming that “[e]very time a politician talks, he’s out there deceiving voters.”

It’s worth noting that Wilson was likely able to get within striking range of a 24-year incumbent member of the board due to a wave of scandals involving insider dealing by board members. Nevertheless, he defeated the incumbent Austin by just 26 votes, so it is likely that Wilson’s deceptive campaign tactics helped push him over the edge to victory.

The Houston Community College Board of Trustees governs the college and has the power to approve the school’s “educational program.” Previously, Wilson unsuccessfully tried to scuttle the campaign of victorious Houston mayoral candidate Annise Parker by mailing a flier to 35,000 voters featuring a picture of Parker standing by her same-sex partner and the caption “IS THIS THE IMAGE HOUSTON WANTS TO PORTRAY?”


Parker told a local news station that he opposed Parker because “[t]he openly gay lifestyle leads to extinction.”

Chick-fil-A Seeks To Distance Itself From Anti-Gay Owner

Think ProgressChick-fil-A President Dan Cathy

On Monday, a Baptist Press story quoted Chick-fil-A’s president Dan Cathy admitting his company’s anti-gay ideology — a stance the company previously attempted to deny. But after two days of Cathy boasting about the story, the company’s Facebook page now features a message flatly contradicting its head.

In his interview with the Baptist Press, Cathy admitted that the company indeed has an anti-gay political agenda. When asked about reports that the company was against same-sex marriage, he told the paper “Well, guilty as charged,” adding:

We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit… We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.

Cathy reinforced his views in a radio interview, in which he asked “God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.” He continued his anti-LGBT campaign Wednesday on Twitter, twice bragging that the Baptist Press interview had “lit up the gay community.”

Today’s statement on the the Chick-fil-a Facebook page takes the exact opposite view. The company now claims:

The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.

Continue reading here…

Bachmann’s Husband Calls Homosexuals ‘Barbarians’ Who ‘Need To Be Educated’ And ‘Disciplined’

Shades of 1935 Germany!

Think Progress

When trying to figure out where presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) gets her stringent, anti-gay views, you only have to look as far as her husband. Dr. Marcus Bachmann, who has described himself as his wife’s “strategist,” runs a Christian-based counseling center in Minnesota that has been rumored to offer reparative treatment for those looking to “ungay” themselves.

Just last summer, Dr. Bachmann explained his position on homosexuality while offering theoretical advice to parents concerned that one of their children was gay.

BACHMANN: We have to understand: barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps…

And let’s face it: what is our culture, what is our public education system doing today? They are giving full, wide-open doors to children, not only giving encouragement to think it but to encourage action steps. That’s why when we understand what truly is the percentage of homosexuals in this country, it is small. But by these open doors, I can see and we are experiencing, that it is starting to increase.


Continue reading…

George Takei Calls Out Anti-Gay Arkansas School Board Member

Significantjay’s You Tube Channel

George Takei’s hilarious response to anti-gay bully Clint McCance, former Arkansas school board member who called for more gays teens to kill themselves. (The views expressed here are those of George Takei and do NOT necessarily reflect those of the Trevor Project.)

George Takei is best known for his role as Sulu on Star Trek on both TV and film. He has appeared in NBC’s “Heroes” and is currently a spokesperson for Sharp TV and a regular guest announcer on the Howard Stern show. George will star in his first Broadway role in 2012 in “Allegiance”–a story of a Japanese American family during WWII and the internment.

h/t James

Georgia Megachurch Pastor Comes Out Of Closet – For An Unselfish Reason

I admire Pastor Swilley for “coming out”.  Whatever his motive and whatever kept him closeted for so long is now irrelevant.  The fact that he has taken a stand and outed himself (as opposed to someone suing him for “improper behavior with teens…) and the fact that he wanted to help young gay kids in his congregation is honest and admirable.  In this age of political and religious pontification about “homosexuality being a curse”, this story, in my opinion is a refreshing one!  Kudos to Pastor Jim Swilley.


ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. — The pastor of a Rockdale County megachurch has publicly announced he is gay.   Jim Swilley, bishop of Conyers’ Church in the Now, said he hopes his coming out will change attitudes toward homosexuality.   “I know a lot of straight people think it is a choice. It is not,” Swilley told Channel 2’s Diana Davis.

Swilley, 52, founded the church 25 years ago. He seemed the stereotypical picture of a pastor, with four kids and a wife who doubled as his associate pastor. But Swilley said he’s known he was gay since he was little boy. He said his wife, Debye, also knew his secret from the start.

“I think some women marry gay men because they really think they can change them,” Swilley said.

The now-divorced couple kept their secret for 21 years, but earlier this year, Swilley said Debye told him it was time to stop living a lie. 

She said he should practice what he preaches and follow the church’s motto, “Real people experiencing a real God in the real world.” 

So, Swilley came out to his kids and his congregation. He said he knew he might risk everything, but the recent rash of gay teen suicides pushed him over the edge.  

“As a father, thinking about your 16, 17 year old killing themselves. I thought somebody needed to say something,” Swilley said through tears. 

He says he’s received support from many in his congregation, but at least one conservative Christian blog has called him sick, twisted, unclean and an instrument of the devil. 

“I know all the hateful stuff that’s being written about me online, whatever,” Swilley said. “To think about saving a teenager yeah, I’ll risk my reputation for that.”

h/t neonzx

NAACP backs report that ties racist groups to tea party

Actually, this news comes as no surprise.  The good thing is that it’s all documented.

Washington Post

A new report, backed by the NAACP, has found what it says are efforts by white nationalist groups and militias to link themselves to the tea party movement, even as some tea party leaders have expelled members who have expressed racist sentiment.

The report, called Tea Party Nationalism, uses news articles, visits to white nationalist Web sites and observance of tea party functions to claim that tea party events have become a forum for extremists “hoping to push these (white) protesters toward a more self-conscious and ideological white supremacy.”

Its findings cite that members of groups such as the Council of Conservative Citizens, which opposes all efforts to “mix the races of mankind,” have become involved in tea party chapters, and that posters on the online white nationalist Web site have written of “inflitrating” tea party events.   Continue reading…

The Season of Gay Whiplash

The New Yorker Magazine has an excellent article on the recent rash of gay bashing, bullying and assaults…

Between Paladino, the Bronx tortures, and the suicides, are things really getting better?

A few weeks ago, I found myself wondering whether the Logo reality show The A-List—in which a handful of vapidly handsome men make fools of themselves in the playground of Manhattan—would be “bad for the gays.” That this would even occur to me as a concern shows just how blissfully easy it can be to be a gay man in New York.

How embarrassingly silly that worry seems this week, with the news of the torture of three young gay men in the Bronx. That came on the heels of a string of gay-teen suicides nationwide, including one young man at Rutgers who felt so humiliated by his roommate that he jumped off the George Washington Bridge. And in the midst of it all, this state’s Republican nominee for governor declares that homosexuality is not a “valid or successful” option. As we were trying to process all of this, the Washington Post allowed Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, to write a thuggish op-ed inspired by those suicides, as though his bigoted gay-conspiracy theories are legitimate.   Continue reading…

Conservatives Go After Judges Who Rule In Favor Of Marriage Equality

Using their well used “mob mentality” to quash dissent from their ideology, conservatives will once again go after judges who they feel are pro-marriage equality.

I wonder if these folks realize that their actions are against everything this country stands for.  The Constitution of The United States tells us that ALL people are created equal, yet conservatives would rather use their hate and skewed view of “equality” to “go after” anything and anyone in contradiction to their core beliefs.

Think Progress

On Wednesday, Vaughn Walker, chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, issued a landmark ruling declaring the state’s ban on marriage equality unconstitutional and without any “rational basis.” His opinion was widely praised by legal scholars, with Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick writing that “nobody can fairly accuse Judge Walker of putting together an insubstantial or unsubstantiated opinion today.”

The right wing is trying nevertheless, as they have in other states where judges ruled that denying same-sex couples marriage rights is unconstitutional. They have called for impeaching the judges, launched political campaigns to oust them, and perhaps most disturbingly, perpetrated nasty whisper campaigns about their personal lives:

– Impeachment: The right wing is already calling for the impeachment of Walker, whose main crime seems to be issuing a decision with which it disagrees. The American Family Association (AFA) sent out one of its many action alerts yesterday, saying that Walker “frustrated the express will of seven million Californians.” Margaret Marshall, chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, said that after her decision legalizing marriage equality, opponents “hired a small plane to fly for weeks over Boston” — including over her apartment building — trailing a banner reading, “Impeach Margaret Marshall.”

– Political Campaigns: Last year, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled that marriage equality is legal. Scholars said that while the decision was “politically divisive,” it was “legally sound.” Critics, however, have launched Common Sense PAC, an effort to vote three of the justices who are up for a “retention vote” in November out of office. Common Sense PAC has “spent $2,272, and had $1,392 on hand as of July 15,” and it is erecting black plywood signs that are “designed to look like a ballot, with red check marks in the “No” column for each justice.”

– Personal Attacks: The right wing is currently engaged in a vicious smear campaign to dismiss Walker’s opinion by arguing that he is gay. AFA wrote its supporters that Walker is an “open homosexual, and should have recused himself from this case due to his obvious conflict of interest.” MSNBC commentator Pat Buchanan said Walker must be gay because it was “unnatural” for an “older white guy” to support marriage equality. The right wing similarly went after Marshall in 2004, saying that she allegedly “colluded with homosexuals.”

These attacks are nothing more than sour grapes and grasping for straws. As NPR’s Karen Grigsby Bates has pointed out, conservatives had no problems with Walker’s sexuality when it was first announced that he would be the judge. Supporters of Prop. 8 “did not ask that he be recused from it. They didn’t think that he’d have a conflict in overseeing it,” she said. President George H.W. Bush also nominated Walker, who was opposed by many Democrats for being perceived as anti-gay.