Starnes: Oregon official who bullied Christian bakery owners loses election

An Oregon bureaucrat who waged political jihad against the owners of a Christian bakery was given the heave-ho by voters. Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian was defeated by Republican Dennis Richardson in his bid to be Secretary of State. It’s the first time a Republican has been elected to a statewide office in Oregon since 2002. So consider this – Avakian was too liberal for what is arguably one of the most liberal states in the country. Avakian, a passionate advocate for the LGBTQIA crowd, was thrust 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, declined to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple’s ceremony. The Kleins, who are devout Christians, explained that participating in a same-sex wedding would violate their deeply-held religious beliefs. Avakian launched a very public and very ugly 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 overrun by militant LGBT activists posting obscene and profane messages. The Kleins were eventually ordered to pay $135,000 in “emotional damages” to the lesbians. They were also forced to shutter their retail location – and eventually shut down their family bakery. “The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate,” Avakian told The Oregonian in 2013. Avakian was just as ruthless in his attacks on a Portland bar that turned away transgender patrons. The owner of the Twilight Room Annex did not want his establishment to be known as a “gay bar.” The bar was slapped with a $400,000 judgment and was forced to shut down. The Kleins are represented by First Liberty Institute, one of the nation’s most prominent religious liberty law firms. They are appealing the fines levied by Avakian’s office. “We will never know if Mr. Avakian’s unprecedented attack on religious liberty played a role, but we are hopeful that there is a path toward justice,” attorney Hiram Sasser told me. “Everyone’s beliefs deserve respect and tolerance even if some disagree with those beliefs.” Sasser said 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 Americans believe in tolerance and respect and the dignity of each person to live their lives according to the dictates of their own consciences,” Sasser said. Voters saw Avakian for who he really was – an anti-Christian bully with no regard for the U.S. Constitution. Nobody likes a bully – especially a liberal bully.

Indeed!!  Glad the good people of Oregon threw this jerk, Brad Avakian, out on his butt.  One word..karma.


  1. Happy about Richardson, but every time I hear the story about the bakery I get sad. Sweet Cakes was very clearly a Christian bakery, they had Christian pictures on their walls and a Bible on the front counter and the couple knew this as one of the parents had had a cake made there. Not to say those things mean that, “we don’t make cakes for gay couples” but, it does show that the couple knew they were seeking out a Christian business. These are just observations and I’m a bit biased because they made my wedding cake and I happen to know what kind people they are, but, it did make the whole situation seem different than the media in Oregon portrayed it.

    1. Of course! And that is why the dominantly liberal mainstream media took such a bashing in this recent election. Melissa and Aaron were persecuted, and their First Amendment right to peaceably assemble was clearly violated. That right allows we-the-people to associate with whomever we want, and to NOT associate with whomever we don’t want to. Remember when you would go into a restaurant or bar and there would be some sign posted that said, “management reserves the right to refuse service to anyone.” Remember that? I sure do. Apparently someone decided to sue someone, and it litigated its way up the court food chain, and now good folks like the Kleins don’t seem to have that precious right anymore. Thanks as always for weighing in, and sharing your personal story! 🙂

      1. I remember those signs. I do have mixed feelings on being able to legally discriminate against others, for religious beliefs and whatnot. I am against any one group having special rights but as I Christian, I also understand why some feel it is a sin to be involved in gay marriage in any way, even though that isn’t necessarily how my beliefs work. Something I’ve been struggling with making a choice on lately because I don’t want to be hypocritical in my views. That aside, I have been on the side of the issue where I was discriminated against, as a straight person in a gay bar and a white mom of a mixed daughter in a black hair salon. It is funny how when the tables are turned, some feel like they have the right to discriminate against someone who doesn’t belong to their “group” and if I were to fight back, they would cry “white privelage”

  2. I would encourage you to not think about it in terms of discrimination. But, rather.. We have the right (or did) to associate with whom we want. And, you have the right (or did) to do business with whom you wish. That doesn’t mean you hate or otherwise have ill-will towards other ethnicities, religions, lifestyles and so on.. It’s kinda like when you get married. You love the person you’re gonna marry. But, because you’ve chosen a person special to you, it doesn’t mean you hate other people. It’s really that simple. And, honestly, attacking or otherwise showing hatred toward straight, white, Christians/Catholics is the only form of politically correct, and accepted bigotry or “intolerance” allowed. Blacks have Black Lives Matter (and God help you if you dare to say ALL Lives Matter), the NAACP, and the BET channel. Hispanics have La Raza (the “Race,” for crying out loud), and a veritable army of so-called “immigration” attorney, activists, and other such organizations. Gays have all sorts of organizations and groups promoting their lifestyle with “Pride” marches/festivals and on and on. But, if you dare to have a “White Pride” t-shirt, they’ll probably not only accuse you of being racist, but probably suggest you’re in the Klan. How hypocritical and insane is that?! And, oh my if you suggest that there be a Straight Pride parade or maybe a WET tv channel since there is BET, lol. See the hypocrisy? They have EVERY right to have THEIR constitutionally protected associations, and absolutely we respect that. But, if you’re a white Christian couple in OR and want to do business in accordance with YOUR beliefs (and exercise YOUR constitutionally protected right of association), they’ll run you out of business and bankrupt you. Not only is that wrong, it’s unconstitutional. For the record, there have been several former gay customers of Melissa who were very happy with the cakes and such that they bought at her place. It’s just that she drew the line on making a wedding cake for religious reasons. Once upon a time in this country, that was more than a sufficient reason. But, instead of this gay couple shrugging their shoulders, and taking their business elsewhere (I’m sure there was other vendors who would be happy to cater for them, and maybe even cater to folks that have that lifestyl), they decided to use the opportunity to express THEIR “hate,” by going after them legally, and running Melissa and Aaron out of business.

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