In October, we brought you the story of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, whose "owners Melissa and Aaron Klein refused to provide service to Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer in January 2013, citing religious objections to their same-sex union."
They were ordered to pay $135,000 in damages to the couple for emotional suffering and for violating an Oregon civil rights law, but they refused to do so. On Tuesday, an Oregon state spokesperson said the discriminators did not have to pay $135,000. Actually, they had to pay more.
In the end, the Kleins were forced to pay $144,000, which represents the initial fine, plus interest for waiting so long to pony up.
"We were in touch with their attorneys in giving precise amounts in what they needed to pay to cease collection efforts," Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries spokesman Charlie Burr told Reuters. That collection effort had so brought in around $7,000 of the money owed, but the state received a check for the balance on Monday, clocking in at around $144,000, or the same price as a fully-loaded new Tesla.
The Oregonian reported in September that the Kleins had "very publicly" raised $500,000 from supporters' donations, raising questions about why the Kleins would not pay the fine and sit pretty on the surplus. The state eventually referred the situation to collections, where around $9,000 in interest was accrued.
However, this story isn't over just yet. Burr says that the money will be frozen in an account until the Kleins exhaust the appeals processes available to them.
Tyler Smith, attorney for the Kleins, acknowledged that while it would have been cheapest for his clients to pay the money while appealing to avoid the interest, the Kleins are "devoted to honoring God in every aspect of their lives, including how they conduct themselves in this litigation."
I wonder what the Book of Romans, say chapter 13, verses 7-8 has to say about owing debts:
Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
Nothing useful. Thanks a lot, Bible.
David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.net—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org