By Jase Peeples
Originally published on Advocate.com May 30 2013 1:45 PM ET
Oregon bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa grabbed national headlines after the business owners refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple earlier this year because they claimed same-sex marriage conflicted with their religious beliefs.
However, two undercover reporters from Portland alternative weekly paper Willamette Week discovered the bakery operators were happy to bake goods for celebrations of other things conservatives traditionally scorn, including parties for divorce, a pagan solstice, and stem cell research.
When one of the reporters called and asked if the business could make two identical cakes to help a friend celebrate the grant she received for cloning human stem cells, a Sweet Cakes employee simply laughed and said, “It’ll be $25.99 each, so about $50 to start.”
A request for a cake to congratulate a friend on her divorce was also happily accepted, with a Sweet Cakes worker saying, “We can definitely do something like that.”
Sweet Cakes was even happy to take orders for cakes for a pagan summer solstice fete — complete with a green pentagram decoration — and celebrating babies born out of wedlock.
The Oregon Equality Act, which was passed in 2007, prohibits businesses in the state from discriminating based on sexual orientation. Yet Sweet Cakes owner Aaron Klein says his religion should exempt him from the state’s law. "I believe that marriage is a religious institution ordained by God," he told NBC News in February. However, while Oregon continues to investigate the situation, Sweet Cakes may find it harder to use religion as an excuse for discrimination now that Willamette Week has highlighted the hypocrisy of the bakery’s policies.
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