TheBlaze reported Tuesday on the Oregon bakers who were handed a $135,000 fine for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Christian owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, claim the hefty fine could put them out on the street. They joined Glenn on radio Thursday to discuss their plight and how the Christian community is rallying to their aid.
Below is a rush transcript of this interview
You're not going to recognize your country. You will not have religious rights soon. The people that can tell this first-hand are Aaron and Melissa Klein. They had a bakery in Oregon called Sweet Cakes by Melissa. A lesbian couple came in and wanted them to make a cake for them. They said no because of their religious beliefs. It went to court. The court just ordered a fine of $135,000 for not baking this cake. They have lost the bakery, they have shut it down, and now they have to pay $135,000 fine because the lesbian couple, Rachel and Laurel, said that they had experienced all kinds of physical, emotional and --
PAT: 88 symptoms now, because --
GLENN: It's actually 90. Excessive sleep, they felt mentally raped, acute loss of confidence, doubt, dirty, shameful, they felt they had high blood pressure, impaired digestion, loss of appetite, migraine headache, pale and sick at home, shocked, stunned, weight gain, worry --
PAT: There's nothing you can do after being denied a cake other than start smoking again.
GLENN: True. I would like to get Aaron and Melissa on the phone and find out what they ever received. I'm sure they didn't have any worry, uncertainty, shock, weight gain, acute loss of confidence, doubt.
PAT: Are you guys smoking again?
GLENN: Hi, guys. How are you?
MELISSA: Good. How are you?
AARON: Definitely not a smoker.
GLENN: I don't think I would describe myself as good, if I were you
two. And you two are amazing people. You really are.
MELISSA: Oh, well you're amazing too, Glenn.
GLENN: That's what I mean. That's what I mean. You guys -- because Pat said he would say -- Early on the show today --
PAT: I put it like this. I would tell them not a dime are you going to get from me. Not a dime.
GLENN: He would not be as Christ-like, and you guys have not said anything bad about this couple. There's no hatred coming from you on this couple and that's got to be hard.
MELISSA: I mean, honestly, we don't feel any hate or frustration or upset-ness towards them at all. We really don't.
PAT: Even after all this?
AARON: I've got to be honest. The thing is that yes, one of the girls filed a complaint initially with the Department of Justice, which is the wrong venue for this, but they filed the complaint, got the ball rolling, but the state picked it up from here and the state really is the accusatory agency here, so you go this isn't the girls doing this to me. It is my own government doing it to me.
PAT: How do you feel about the list of 90 symptoms they have because you didn't bake them a cake?
GLENN: And how many did you have, of the 90?
MELISSA: Yeah, I definitely -- I don't even -- to be honest, I don't know what to say. We definitely have experienced a lot in this. It's been kind of tough on us. We have five kids, and there's been a lot of stress through this. There's -- it has definitely not been easy.
PAT: Plus, you're not making what you were when you had the bakery, right, that you guys -- you are making about half?
MELISSA: Our income has dropped drastically. I would say we probably are about, probably about half of each month, what we were making before. We are at about half of that now.
GLENN: What have you pulled out of this? If you had to do it all over again and those two walks into your bakery, what would you say today?
AARON: Number one, I wouldn't -- it was one and their mother, but the situation has not changed. God's word still defines marriage as what it defines it as. The hard part is this was never intended to hurt anybody. This was never intended to go after anybody based on sexual orientation. This strictly had to do with my faith, strictly had to do with my ability as a private individual, to adhere to my faith in the workplace. It comes down to -- I believe every American should be able to live and work by their faith.
GLENN: We have all believed that in the past, but I want to play something that Hillary Clinton said this weekend. I don't know if you have heard. I want you to listen to this and tell me what you think?
HILLARY CLINTON: Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will; and deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.
PAT: So she is saying deep-seated religious beliefs, like the one you guys are talking about right now, have to be changed?
GLENN: How do you feel about that?
AARON: That would be reason 1,472 why I wouldn't vote for her, but, you know, that is the mind-set in the government, that is what is going on here. We're seeing almost a cleanseing of Christian faith. I mean, I wouldn't be in this situation -- at least I don't believe I would be in this situation if I was a follower of Islam.
GLENN: I think -- it wasn't Steven Crowder that went into an Islamic bakery and said he wanted a cake made for him for him and his --
STU: And --
GLENN: They said no, we won't do it. Nobody said a word about it.
PAT: With this judgment against you, this $135,000, what are you doing with that? Appealing that? Certainly --
AARON: Well, this is coming from administrative law judge. This guy doesn't hold a law degree nor is on the Oregon State Bar.
PAT: So it is not official?
AARON: He makes a recommendation to the Commission of Bureau and Labor try. And the commissioner, he will give the final say on what happens here. I can tell you, from looking back at his past rulings, we could probably look at an increase on this.
PAT: Oh, my gosh. What will you do, if it comes down like that?
AARON: Well, I'm going to appeal it. I'm definitely not going to appeal it. Not something I could come close to affording. The agenda has pushed us out of business, which is one thing, but now that's not good enough. The state still says, well, your personal assets are on the table. Now we are talking we want your house, we'll put you on the street, we want to take the food away from your kids, because that's reasonable too, and really, what this comes down to is almost like to see us destitute and begging on the street corner. That's what it would appear to be. I would like the commissioner to hear that. If that's what he wants, then go ahead and let this come down. If that's not what he wants, if he wants to protect the religious freedom in the state of Oregon, he ought to think differently about this case.
GLENN: So you put a Go Fund Me page together, but another bakery actually got them to take it down, right?
MELISSA: We didn't set up a Go Fund Me, but a gentleman here in Portland, another business owner, he called our lawyers, and wanted to set up the fund for us, and he asked our lawyers, should we do that? Is it okay? They said yeah, that's fine. I mean, I guess it was -- I think up for about eight hours, and it was just amazing to just see
the amount of support that came in so quickly. We were just -- I can't even like thank the people. I wish I could thank everybody individually, but it just -- the outpour was amazing. It got -- we discovered it got taken down. We didn't hear, though, until just recently, we saw in the papers that evidently, another business owner here in Portland was kind of gloating on their Facebook page that they got it taken down.
GLENN: So Franklin Graham stepped in. On his web site, samaritanspurse.org, he set up a donation page for you.
MELISSA: Yeah. We actually -- the next morning after all that happened, we woke up and we saw -- I can't remember where I saw it, online or where I saw it, but I saw he put on his Samaritan's Purse page, to help us out. I just was -- I can't even describe the feelings that I'm feeling with all of that.
PAT: This is a more egregious situation than the Memories Pizza thing. In just a couple of days, their Go Fund Me site went crazy. So hopefully --
GLENN: Hopefully people go to samaritanspurse.org and donate to Melissa and Aaron Klein. Sweet Cakes by Melissa. Look there are
that. We met you and you are so nice and so kind, and so gentle, so loving and so Christ-like I have not heard an angry word from you. I just pray that you stay close to the Lord and don't lose hope or don't -- you call us, you start to lose hope, you have a bad day, feel free to call us, please. I mean that sincerely.
MELISSA: Aw, thank you, Glenn.
GLENN: If you were haters, that's one thing, but you're not.
MELISSA: No. That's for sure.
GLENN: Right. So I just wish you the best and we'll talk again. God
bless you both.
MELISSA: You too.
PAT: Good luck.