Standing up for their faith, a Christian couple who owns a pastry shop in Portland, Oregon, refused to make a cake for a lesbian couple, and eventually got rewarded with thousands of dollars for their steadfastness and courage.
Two years ago, Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of the bakeshop "Sweet Cakes by Melissa," did not agree to bake a wedding cake for lesbians Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer, saying doing so would violate their faith.
This prompted the lesbian couple to seek damages before an administrative law court in Oregon, claiming that they were discriminated against by the Christian bakers.
The court eventually ruled in favour of the lesbian couple. In its ruling, the court ordered the owners of the pastry stop to pay some $135,000 in damages to the lesbian plaintiff, the bulk of which was supposedly to compensate for the emotional suffering the Christian couple allegedly inflicted on the lesbians.
The Kleins were also forced to close their shop in January 2013 following the backlash they experienced after the incident.
This prompted the Christian bakers to seek financial help online through the crowdfunding website "Continue To Give," which describes itself as a "faith-based giving platform" for "churches, missionaries, nonprofits, individuals and adopting parents."
On their fundraising page, the Christian couple stated that they have been "struggling financially ever since they were forced to close the doors of their bakery." They also said that their income has been "cut in half" following the incident with the lesbian couple.
As a result of their firm stand upholding their Christian beliefs, the couple has raised a record-breaking amount of money on the website in a span of two months, amounting to $372,000, more than double the $135,000 damages the court ordered them to pay the lesbian plaintiff.
Aaron Klein encouraged other Christians around the world to always take a stand for their beliefs, especially against same-sex marriage.
"For years, we've heard same-sex marriage will not affect anybody. I'm here firsthand to tell everyone in America that it has already impacted people. Christians, get ready to take a stand. Get ready for civil disobedience," he said.
The Klein couple is also planning to challenge the court ruling, contending that it was them who were discriminated against, not the lesbian couple, based on their religious beliefs.