|Melissa and Aaron Klein|
The couple running the business refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple because their Christian beliefs include the belief that same-sex marriage is morally wrong.
The Supreme Court rightly ruled that Hobby Lobby does not have to provide certain kinds of contraceptive methods that are against the Christian beliefs of its owners. In that case the Court decided that "closely held" corporation owners have religious rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Further, the government claim that Hobby Lobby has to follow government directives on providing contraceptive methods does not hold because the government has found a "least-restrictive-means" that it has used for religious and non-profit organizations but did not offer to "closely held" corporations.
"(c) (2) The Government has failed to satisfy RFRA’s least-restrictive-means standard. HHS has not shown that it lacks other means of achieving its desired goal without imposing a substantial burden on the exercise of religion. The Government could, e.g., assume the cost of providing the four contraceptives to women unable to obtain coverage due to their employers’ religious objections. Or it could extend the accommodation that HHS has already established for religious nonprofit organizations to no-profit employers with religious objections to the contraceptive mandate. That accommodation does not impinge on the plaintiffs’ religious beliefs that providing insurance coverage for the contraceptives at issue here violates their religion and it sill serves HHS’s states interests." (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., pp. 40-45)Using the same logic, the State of Oregon has found a "least-restrictive-means" in regard to requiring churches, synagogues, mosques and non-profit organizations to perform same-sex marriages or allow their facilities to be used for same-sex marriages (or even marriages of those not of the faith* of the religious body owning the facilities).
The State of Oregon's "least-restrictive-means" for those bodies is that they are not required to perform weddings contrary to their beliefs or allow their facilities to be used for such weddings.
Hobby Lobby is a lot bigger than Sweet Cakes by Melissa, so Sweet Cakes by Melissa certainly falls into the "closely held" corporation category. It seems that the State of Oregon should be required to offer Sweet Cakes by Melissa the same "least-restrictive-means" that it offers to churches, synagogues, mosques and non-profit organizations.
*Discrimination on the basis of religion is also prohibited under Oregon Statutes.