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June 02, 2015

Bias In Gay Wedding Cake Prosecution? Emails Reveal Possible Political Agenda

Kelsey Harkness reports:

The Daily Signal has exclusively learned that the government agency responsible for enforcing Oregonís anti-discrimination law appears to be working closely with a powerful gay rights advocacy group in its case against Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa.

Communications between the agency, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, and the LGBT organization, Basic Rights Oregon, raise questions about potential bias in the state's decision to charge the Kleins with discrimination for refusing to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.

In April, a judge for the agency recommended the Kleins be fined $135,000.

Communications obtained through a public records request show employees of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries--which pursued the case against the Kleins--participating in phone calls, texting, and attending meetings with Basic Rights Oregon, the largest LGBT advocacy group in the state.

"State agencies have a duty to represent the best interests of the general public, not the interests of one particular advocacy group," said @HvonSpakovsky.

"That's a clear conflict of interest," Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.

...


It is unclear what occurred during these meetings and phone calls, but the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries commissioner, who is in charge of determining the Kleinsí'final punishment, met with Basic Rights Oregon on multiple occasions and purchased tickets costing hundreds of dollars benefiting the advocacy group.

...

But unearthed emails appear to challenge [claims of impartial enforcement], and based on The Daily Signalís findings, lawyers for the Kleins on Friday requested the case be re-opened for further investigation.

We're at the stage where we expect government agencies charged with enforcement of the law to be wining and dining advocacy groups. They've conditioned us to expect this, and accept this.

But we shouldn't.

On This: You may remember that GoFundMe disabled the Kleins' donation page, citing alleged breaches of that company's Terms of Service.

Josh Smith explains why that's a lie.


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