After months of refusal, the co-owners of Portland-based bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa have finally paid the $136,927.07 fine they were ordered to render after the owners Aaron and Melissa Klein refused to make a wedding cake for lesbian couple Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer citing religious beliefs, and then inflicted intentional emotional distress by publishing their names and home address online two years ago, reports the Associated Press.
The amount also included accrued interest and co-owner Aaron Klein paid $7,000 earlier this month in addition to the check that was delivered on Monday according to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.
The fine, levied by the BOLI, has been dodged by the Kleins for nearly six months, while they made the rounds at religious conservative conferences and gatherings, and raked in donations.
The couple scored a bonanza of more than $500,000 via an online fundraiser established by the religious right to pay the couple's fees. Yet in a court filing, the Kleins argued that the fine of $135,000 levied July 2 is excessive and would lead to "financial ruin," according to Oregon newspaper Willamette Week.
BOLI commissioner Brad Avakian denied the request, pointing out the money the couple raised via crowdfunding sites and ordering that the money they owed be held in escrow, as the Kleins appeal the decision to the Oregon Court of Appeals.
LGBT people gained legal protections in employment, housing and public accommodations with the passing of a 2007 Oregon law which also bars private businesses from discriminating against potential customers.