The strange case of an overzealous politician and bureaucrat hunting down Christian business owners and denying them freedom of association and religion has morphed into a complete repudiation of the First Amendment. A Christian couple was ordered by Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian to “cease and desist” from speaking or publishing their thoughts about the commissioner’s thuggery in driving them out of business because they didn’t want to participate in a gay wedding.
The Daily Signal reported the following:
“This effectively strips us of all our First Amendment rights,” the Kleins, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which has since closed,. “According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech.”
The cease and desist came about after Aaron and Melissa Klein participated in an interview with Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins. During the interview, Aaron said among other things, “This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong.”
Lawyers for plaintiffs, Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, argued that in making this statement, the Kleins violated an banning people from acting on behalf of a place of public accommodation (in this case, the place would be the Kleins’ former bakery) to communicate anything to the effect that the place of public accommodation would discriminate.
“The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation,” Avakian wrote.
Commissioner Brad Avakian is a typical government thug straight from old school USSR, and that is basically what Hans Von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation stated:
It is exactly this kind of oppressive persecution by government officials that led the pilgrims to America. And Commissioner Avakian’s order that the Kleins stop speaking about this case is even more outrageous—and also a fundamental violation of their right to free speech under the First Amendment.
Avakian would have fit right in as a bureaucrat in the Soviet Union or Red China. Oregon should be ashamed that such an unprincipled, scurrilous individual is a government official in the state.
If there is one thing we must learn, it's liberals have no shame.