The Oregon Department of Justice is investigating a complaint against a Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding. Here’s what happened in a nutshell. A woman and her daughter came into Aaron Klein’s store requesting a wedding cake. When they told Klein that the cake was for a wedding with two brides, he informed them that he does not serve same-sex weddings.
The woman and her daughter filed a complaint with the appropriate state agency. Now Klein is under investigation for breaking “The Oregon Equality Act of 2007,” which says business owners cannot deny public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity. [Editor’s note: the original URL (link) referenced is no longer valid, so the link has been removed.]
In interviews afterward, Klein explained that he bases his views on what the Bible teaches about marriage. In the interview below, he quotes the text of Genesis 2:24 as his definition of marriage. Klein contends that the first amendment guarantees his right to practice his religion without interference from the government. In short, he believes that he shouldn’t have to violate his conscience by providing his services to a same-sex wedding. He claims that his Constitutional right to freedom of religion trumps Oregon state law. Klein says he has no problem serving homosexuals, and he does so regularly. He simply doesn’t want to bake cakes for same-sex weddings.
This case is like the cloud on the horizon that looks no bigger than the size of a man’s hand. But make no mistake, there is a huge storm coming with that cloud (1 Kings 18:44). We have not even begun to imagine the enormous challenge that the redefinition of marriage will visit upon Christians like Aaron Klein. The storm is coming, and Christian business owners may be the first to get hit. Klein says he’s willing lose his business over this, and it may very well come to that.
This is only the beginning.
Denny Burk is Associate Professor of New Testament and Dean of Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminar. He blogs on matters concerning politics, theology and culture. This article is used with his permission.