Public records suggest fix was in after Kleins refused to bake cake

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

Allegations of collusion have surfaced in Oregon, where a husband and wife are being punished for their views on natural marriage and homosexuality. 

The Daily Signal broke the story June 1 that a state government agency that punished Melissa and Aaron Klein is working closely with a homosexual rights group.

The Kleins refused a lesbian couple's cake order in 2013, based on their religious beliefs, and the lesbians filed a complaint against Sweet Cakes by Melissa with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.

Sweet Cakes closed signA judge with the Bureau recommended a $135,000 fine in April, and the Kleins are awaiting a final decision from the director of the Bureau, Brad Avakian.

What caused a political and legal ripple in Oregon is communications obtained by The Daily Signal via a public records request. They show that Bureau employees communicated repeatedly with Basic Rights Oregon via phone calls, texts and emails, and the government employees and homosexual activists also met face to face.

"Well, it really shows that this particular case was fixed from the very beginning," alleges Hans von Spakovsky of The Heritage Foundation, citing the communications.

The Daily Signal story reports that one part of the alleged collusion is Brad Avakian himself, who supported Basic Rights Oregon by purchasing fund-raising tickets while the Kleins were being investigated by the agency he oversees.  

"Can you imagine the out roar," observes Von Spakovsky, "if a federal judge handling a case was engaged in that kind of behavior?"

The story also revealed that the Bureau's communications director and Basic Rights Oregon were communicating about the Kleins – and about refusing to be interviewed by The Daily Signal.  

von Spakovsky, Hans (Heritage)In one text obtained by the Signal, a Bureau employee informs Basic Rights Oregon that the Kleins will be fined $135,000, adding that The Daily Signal is writing a "long piece" about the Kleins and the fine.

"Yes, they requested an interview," a text from Basic Rights Oregon responds. "We decided not to participate."

"As did we," the Bureau responds.

The Kleins and their attorney suspected collusion and requested permission from a judge in March to depose Bureau employees. That request was denied.

The Kleins are hoping the alleged collusion revealed by The Daily Signal story will convince the judge to reverse the March decision. 

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