Sweet Victimhood: Bakers Claim They Can’t Pay Fine Despite Raising Half a Million Dollars
It looks like a couple of bakers in Oregon are angling to steal the spotlight from Kim Davis.
The former owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa are trying to convince the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) that they’re simply too poor to pay a $135,000 fine for discriminating against a same-sex couple. The Willamette Week reports that the couple, Melissa and Aaron Klein, have refused to pay up for three months now, even though they’ve raised over $500,000 for expenses via a crowdfunding campaign.
According to emails published by the Week, BOLI has repeatedly offered to find a way the Kleins may satisfy the debt without paying cash. In early August, BOLI prosecutor Jenn Gaddis informed the couple’s attorneys that they would “stay collection” of the damages - provided the Kleins furnished them with a bond or irrevocable letter of credit.
At first, the Kleins agreed. But the email chain between Gaddis and Herbert Grey, an attorney for the couple, shows that consensus didn’t last.
On Sept. 8, Grey informed Gaddis that the couple did not have a bond or letter of credit and had “no further plans to obtain one.” It’s hard to read this anything other than an outright refusal to comply with any of the terms set forth by BOLI.
Gaddis wasn’t amused. “It is unfortunate that they will not seek the bond or irrevocable letter of credit, that you had initially stated they were interested in seeking, when they have clearly raised close to $500,000 with which to pay the damage award,” she wrote to Grey. He did not respond.
Gaddis’ claim appears accurate. The Kleins opened a “Continue To Give” account in order to raise the funds for the fine.
From the description on their page: “If they are forced to pay the damages to the lesbian couple they will be in much worse shape than they are now. They are pioneers in standing strong for the Lord and have been very courageous and steadfast throughout this whole ordeal.”