Oregon couple Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer broke their silence on Tuesday about their legal battle with Sweet Cakes by Melissa and its owners Aaron and Melissa Klein. Their lawsuit was less about the cake the company refused to sell them for their wedding, the couple says, than the intense harassment and bullying they received once their complaints and personal information were made public.
From Willamette Week:
"Aaron Klein had posted a copy of Laurel’s complaint on his Facebook page. The complaint included Rachel and Laurel’s home address and phone number. Rachel and Laurel received hundreds of angry and threatening messages in response to Klein’s post, including death threats. Klein later testified he was unaware that the women’s personal information was on the complaint when he posted it. The BOLI decision found his denial was not credible.
Laurel: Our neighbors had dropped off notes on our doorstep saying they don’t agree with what we are doing to this good, decent Christian family.
Rachel: You couldn’t possibly feel less safe in that situation.
Laurel: Your own neighbors are against you, and they’ve known you for years.
Rachel: At the same time, I find out from people on the Internet sending me messages that our address and phone number were published on Mr. Klein’s Facebook page.
Laurel: Even our email addresses—everything.
Rachel: And to know that there’s this other element that somebody actually wanted to kill us. They didn’t know where to find us, but when he put our information out there, suddenly this person knew how to find us.
Laurel: We had the FBI at our house at one point."
The Kleins didn't just discriminate against the Bowman-Cryers; they actively endangered the safety of the couple and their two young children. All over a wedding cake that was to be part of a ceremony celebrating love.
As Rachel Bowman-Cryer said, "For us, the marriage and the wedding in particular was about bringing together our families—being able to bring together these families, to commit to raising these kids, the children, together as one family."