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Case against Christian owners of 'Sweet Cakes by Melissa' reopened after conflict of interest revealed

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Aaron and Melissa Klein faced a massive fine for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple.

Owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Aaron and Melissa Klein's court case may be reopened in a civil court, after it was revealed that the administrative officials and gay rights activists had been communicating closely. These allegations are cause for the defendants to reopen their case for further investigation to consider possible biases under the agency.

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MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries officials and gay rights activists for Basic Rights Oregon are under fire after records of their close communications publicly surfaced.


The records indicate the state agency officials responsible for the handling of discriminatory cases were "participating in phone calls, texting, and attending meetings with Basic Rights Oregon." According to The Blaze, Commissioner Brad Avakian met with the gay rights group multiple times, putting the legitimacy of the fine imposed to the Kleins questionable.

Blatant conflict of interest, said the Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow Hans von Spakovsky of the issue between the two separate entities. Daily Signal, the foundation's conservative news site, published emails showing the conversations between the two groups.

This includes an email from an employee of Basic Rights Oregon to Commissioner Avakian, addressing him as a "coalition partner."

"I think the case should be pulled out of [the Bureau of Labor and Industries] court and put into a civil court because I cannot get due process here. We were shut down at every turn, so to say that Basic Rights Oregon should have access to [Avakian], that is absolutely ludicrous," said Aaron Klein in a statement with the Daily Signal.

The commissioner is reportedly the official who gave the final fine amount to be paid by the Kleins. Avakian did not lower the amount, even if he could as an official suggest a fine of $135,000 for rejecting a cake bake.

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Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

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