“Support Sweet Cakes by Melissa” GoFundMe Page Violates Terms
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Byron Beck, GoLocalPDX Features Editor
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI) completed its case against Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a Gresham bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple planning to marry.
The bakery was fined $135,000.
Following the decision Sweet Cakes immediately started a GoFundMe page and raised over $100,000 before it was shut down.
As for the decision, BOLI issued the following statement on Friday regarding the agency’s Proposed Order in the Sweet Cakes case: “The facts of this case clearly demonstrate that the Kleins' unlawfully discriminated against the Complainants. Under Oregon law, businesses cannot discriminate or refuse service based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot turn customers away because of race, sex, disability, age or religion. Our agency is committed to fair and thorough enforcement of Oregon civil rights laws, including the Equality Act of 2007.”
In the Proposed Order, the administrative law judge awards $60,000 in damages to Laurel Bowman-Cryer and $75,000 in damages to Rachel Bowman-Cryer for emotional suffering stemming directly from unlawful discrimination. The amounts are less than what was sought by administrative prosecutors. The amounts are damages related to the harm suffered by the Complainants, not fines or civil penalties which are punitive in nature.
A Proposed Order is not the final step of BOLI’s administrative process. Both the Respondents and agency administrative prosecutors will now review the Proposed Order and may file exceptions. The Labor Commissioner will then issue the agency’s Final Order in the matter.
After the Proposed Order was announced Sweet Cakes started a GoFundMe page and was said to have raised $109,000 in just a few short hours.
Lisa Watson, of Cupcake Jones, started her own campaign to contact GoFundMe and report the campaign as being in violation of their terms of service. Watson’s own post on Facebook stated, “this business has been found GUILTY OF DISCRIMINATION and is being allowed to fundraise to pay their penalty. The gofundme terms of service address hate speech, bigotry, criminal activity, and sexism among other things in their campaign…The amount of money they have raised in a matter of a few hours by thousands of anonymous cowards is disgusting.”
Late on Friday GoFundMe stopped the Sweet Cakes campaign. Via GoFundMe: "After careful review by our team, we have found the "Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa" campaign to be in violation of our Terms and Conditions. The money raised thus far will still be made available for withdrawal. While a different campaign was recently permitted for a pizzeria in Indiana, no laws were violated and the campaign remained live. However, the subjects of the "Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa" campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled."
Starky’s is for those who remember that brunch is best served on Sunday with a Bloody Mary. This true original is more restaurant than bar but that doesn’t stop people from coming here for some of the stiffest drinks in town. (2913 SE Stark St., www.starkys.com)
photo credits: facebook
11. The Fox & Hound
This little charmer is a good pre- or post-function gathering spot where people come to sit down and carry on actual conversation. It’s not much, but it has an incredibly loyal group of regulars. Think of it as a queer Cheers. (217 NW 2nd Ave., https://www.foxandhound.com/)
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120 NW 3rd Ave., www.hobospdx.com/)
This recently relocated men’s bar used to have everyone scratching their heads over how the stayed open in Old Town. Now that it’s more centrally located in the meat of the city, there’s a good chance this will be the one bar that actually might stay open in this seemingly cursed space. (412 SW 4th Ave., http://caseyspdx.net/)
8. Embers Avenue
This old-school nightclub is where many of the cities top drag queens first got their footing in six-inch heels. Embers attracts a lot more straight than it did in the 80’s and 90’s but it still has one of the biggest dance floors in town. It recently went up for sale, so it’s hard to say how long this place will be around before we have to say goodbye. (110 NW Broadway, www.theembersavenue.com)
7. Joq's Tavern
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photo credits: Queer PDX 365
6. Local Lounge
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photo credits: Local's facebook
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3. C.C. Slaughter's
Old school disco with an adjacent lounge. Every Sunday Bolivia Carmichael and a parade of drag-istas lip synch for their lives – ok, maybe just for smallish crowds - at Superstar Divas. (219 NW Davis St., ccslaughterspdx.com/)
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318 SW 3rd Ave., http://www.silveradopdx.com/)
1. Eagle Portland
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835 N Lombard St., http://www.eagleportland.com/)