Aaron and Melissa Klein, Christians and former owners of a bakery in Oregon who were ordered by a judge to pay a fine of $135,000 for declining to bake a cake for a lesbian marriage ceremony, have set a record on a crowdfunding site by raising $352,000 in two months, after their campaign was shut down by another site.
The campaign by “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” has raised more than any previous campaign by individuals in the three-year history of the crowdfunding site Continue to Give, site founder Jesse Wellhoefer told The Washington Post. The bakery has received $352,000 through 7,651 donations, and thousands of messages with wishes, such as “Keep on fighting,” “God bless you,” and “Don’t back down!! We are standing with you.”
The Christian couple launched their effort on Continue to Give after another fundraising site, GoFundMe, closed their account earlier this year for “violating” its terms and conditions, after receiving complaints from gay activists.
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, or BOLI, ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 for declining to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, who filed a civil rights complaint against the bakery in 2013 for “emotional, mental and physical suffering.”