The popular fund-raising website GoFundMe has stepped into the latest war between gay activists and Christians when they took down a page erected to help the Christian owners of a bakery in Oregon who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding who were charged with discrimination.
The Wasington Times is reporting on the fund raising page erected by Oregon bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein who were charged with discrimination and fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple. After gay activists pressured the site, GoFundMe administrators took down their page, claiming it violated their policy against raising money “in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.”
“The campaign entitled ‘Sweet Cakes by Melissa‘ involves formal charges. As such, our team has determined that it was in violation of GoFundMe’s Terms & Conditions,” GoFundMe said in an email statement to the Times.
The Kleins will be receiving all of the money raised prior to the company’s decision to take down their fund-raising page.
“The GoFundMe account that was set up to help our family was shut down by the administrators of GoFundMe because they claimed it was raising money for an illegal purpose,” the Kleins posted on their Facebook page. “We have told GoFundMe that the money is simply going to be used to help our family, and there is no legitimate breach of their terms and conditions. We are working to get the account reinstated. . . “
The Kleins, who are the parents of five children, refused to bale a cake for the wedding of Laurel Bowman-Cryer and Rachel Bowman-Cryer in 2013. The two sued and claimed to have suffered emotional and mental damages including “acute loss of confidence,” “excessive sleep,” impaired digestion,” “loss of appetite,” and “migraine headaches” due to the Klein’s refusal to bake their wedding cake.
On Friday, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries found that the Kleins were in violation of the state’s anti-discrimination law in February and proposed a fine of $135,000 against them. The proposed fine now goes to the Labor Commission, which will make a final decision.
The couple, which is still operating their business from home and is suffering extreme financial distress, immediately set up a GoFundMe page to pay the fine. Within eight hours, they raised $109,000.
“For all of you who gave to the gofundme account before it was shut down, we so appreciate your love and generosity,” the family stated after the page was shut down.
Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief group headed by the Rev. Franklin Graham, stepped in and launched a fundraising drive Friday to help the Kleins continue to raise money to pay the fine.
“Please pray for Aaron and Melissa, and pray for our nation. When our judges are punishing Christians for practicing what they believe, that’s persecution, plain and simple,” Mr. Graham said in a statement on the website.
Click here if you’d like to make a donation to the Klein family.
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