An Oregon bureaucrat who went on a vicious vendetta against the owners of a Christian bakery has been rejected by voters. Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian was defeated by Republican Dennis Richards in his bid to become Secretary of State. In a major upset, a Republican has been elected for the first time since 2002 to a statewide office in Oregon. Avakian, a passionate advocate for the militant LGBT crowd, strode into the national spotlight when he declared war on a Christian bakery in 2013.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa, fell victim to Avakin when they declined to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple’s ceremony. The Kleins explained that because of their deeply held religious beliefs, participating in a same-sex wedding would be a violation of some of those core beliefs.
Avakian launched a sustained public assault on the Klein family – alleging they had discriminated about the lesbian couple. They faced boycotts and picket lines and other wedding vendors were threatened with similar action if they did business with Sweet Cakes.The family’s young children received death threats and the store’s social networking platforms were deluged by militant LGBT activists posting obscene and threatening messages.
The Kleins were eventually forced to pay $135,000 in “emotional damages” to the lesbians. This extremely large fine, along with all the harassment, forced the bakery to close.
Sounding like a character out of a George Orwell novel, Avakian told the Oregonian, “The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate.”
The Klein’s attorney said that Americans should have the freedom to live according to their own conscience without the force of government being used to punish those who disagree with government officials like Avakian.
“Perhaps this will serve as a point of reflection for government leaders that the people of Oregon and indeed most American Voters saw Avakian for who he really was – an anti-Christian bully with no regard for the U.S. Constitution. Americans believe in tolerance and respect and the dignity of each person to live their lives according to the dictates of their own consciences,” said attorney Hiram Sasser.
Perhaps this will serve as a warning to other like minded bureaucrats.
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