Oregon L&I: Bakery violated rights of same-sex pair

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PORTLAND — Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries has determined that a suburban Portland bakery violated the civil rights of a same-sex couple by refusing to bake a cake for the women's wedding.

Agency spokesman Charlie Burr said Friday that investigators found substantial evidence that Sweet Cakes by Melissa unlawfully discriminated against the couple based on their sexual orientation.

The state will oversee a conciliation process to see if the parties can reach a settlement.

Oregon law bans discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in jobs and in places that serve the public, such as restaurants and bakeries.

Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman of Portland said they were denied a wedding cake last January by the bakery's owners, Aaron and Melissa Klein.

The Kleins' lawyer, Herbert Grey, said his clients will participate in the conciliation process but maintain their original stance. They have said they were simply practicing their right to religious freedom.