Anti-gay baker Melissa Klein cried at the Values Voter Summit last week over the closing of her business after she and her husband, Aaron, faced severe backlash from their refusal to make a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding.
In January 2013, Sweet Cakes By Melissa, located in Gresham, Ore., refused service to a lesbian couple looking for a wedding cake. The subsequent fallout included national media attention and a state investigation for anti-gay discrimination, which may be supported by the Kleins’ agreeing to bake cakes for an “ex-gay” group.
The couple is now reportedly fighting a $150,000 lawsuit from the state, a reality thatmade Klein break into tears while discussing her passion for the process of baking wedding cakes during the Values Voter Summit.
“For me personally, when I would sit down with them, I just would want to know everything about her wedding,” an emotional Klein told the audience. “I’d want to know about the flowers, her dress, the centerpieces, her colors, the way her hair is going to be. I would even want to talk about ‘where are you going on your honeymoon?'”
Following outrage over the business’s anti-gay actions, Sweet Cakes By Melissa eventually chose to shut down their storefront rather than serve gay clients but the bakery is currently operating out of a home kitchen and is still taking orders online.
Clarification: An earlier version of this story reported that Sweet Cakes was “forced” to shut down in the wake of the backlash it received for not serving LGBT clients. However, the bakers chose to shutter their business rather than offer cakes to gay clients.