Couple that refused to bake wedding cake for gay couple talks to Glenn

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.

GLENN: Really?

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.

Featured image via Flickr

It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


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There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

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Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


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But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


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John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


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Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


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A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


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Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


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And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


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When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


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"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


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-AND-

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Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


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At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


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Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


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This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


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It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.