Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Around The Nation

Bakery That Refused Service to Gays Has Closed
via KATU TV Portland, Oregon
GRESHAM -- The Gresham cake shop that refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, closed its storefront this past Saturday. This follows a complaint filed by the couple to the Oregon Department of Justice last month citing a a possible violation of an Oregon law that prohibits discrimination in places of public accommodation.
The complaint by Laurel Bowman stated that Klein called her and her fiance “abominations unto the Lord,” and said their money wasn't equal.
Aaron Klein, owner of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, denied calling the couple “abominations” or saying their money was unequal, but he acknowledged to The Oregonian newspaper and KATU-TV that he refused them service. 
Klein said he sells cakes to customers of all sexual orientations, but draws the line, however, at wedding cakes for same-sex couples. 
According to the bakery's Facebook page on Friday;
"This will be our last weekend at the shop we are moving our business to an in home bakery. [sic] I will post our new number soon. Email will stay the same."
The sweet cakes website says they “strongly believe that when a man and women come together to be joined as one, it is [truly] one of the most special days of their lives.”
The Willamette Week newspaper reported that after the initial press reports, the store's Facebook was inundated with messages showing support for the couple who'd been denied service. 
Reports also showed that the shop had received an uptick in business following the incident, from people who supported Sweet Cakes' position that they could refuse to serve same-sex couples on religious grounds. 
The announcement by the shop caused a back and forth showing support and offering opinions from detractors on its Facebook page.
"Please do not let those who are trying to deny you your free expression of your faith to discourage you." read one comment while another comment, later removed read:
"Back in the Jim Crow era, white businesses would say "We are not discriminating. Stop trying to force us to do things that are against our beliefs! There are plenty of other business out that that can and will serve *them*."

Cleveland police investigate 'gay hate crime' attack
CLEVELAND -- A 26 year old gay New Yorker visiting family was attacked Sunday in what Cleveland police are calling an anti-gay hate crime. According to a police spokesperson, Jared Fox was headed from his parked car to a popular Cleveland Westside gay bar, when a group of approximately 20 men surrounded him on the sidewalk, using anti-gay slurs.
Fox told a local television station Monday:
"They didn't know if I had money. They didn't know anything about me," said Fox. "They saw that there was a gay bar at the corner and they saw me walking to it." 
He said that then the group attacked, punching him in the face repeatedly and knocking him to the ground. 
"They said what's in your pockets and I said, I got no money I'm broke, and they said, 'oh so you're one of those broke faggots?' And then they just started swinging," he said.
Cleveland Police spokesperson, Sergeant Sammy Morris, told media outlets that officers were responding to numerous calls for a group of young men attempted to assault another man but upon arrival, and after a search, were unable to locate any suspects.
Morris added that Fox's mobile phone was stolen before he was able to escape inside the bar and that Fox suffered a black eye, a ruptured right ear drum and some hearing loss, as well as dozens of bruises across his body. 
Phyllis Harris, the executive director of The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland told WKYC-TV:
"This is not new in the city of Cleveland, many cities experience this and it needs to stop. We want to be a city that folks will be proud of - I don't care if you're straight, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, whatever," said Harris. 
Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call Cleveland police detectives at 216-623-5118. Anonymous information can be given to Crime Stoppers by calling 216-252-7463 or texting TIP657 plus your message to CRIMES (274637)