Gay man launches appeal for bigots
Matt Stolhandske, a board member of Evangelicals for Marriage Equality in the US, is asking folk to contribute $150,000 to a couple who face a hefty fine for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.
In a “Let’s Rally for the Klein Family and Sweet Cakes Bakery” online appeal, which has so far raised in excess of $3,000, Stolhandske explains why he decided to extend a helping hand:
Melissa Klein is a Christian bakery owner who in 2013, refused to bake a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding. Now, Klein and her husband face a punitive fine of $150,000 or more from the state of Oregon, which she says would bankrupt their family.
We strongly disapprove of the Kleins’ discriminatory act towards the women who simply requested a cake for their reception, but we are raising money to demonstrate to the Kleins what love looks like in the face of discrimination.
We want to begin a conversation with the Kleins and Christians around the country. We want to ask them to begin to use the posture of Jesus Christ as it pertains to the civil rights of gay Americans. Even if you disagree with gay RELIGIOUS marriage, please see that Jesus did not ask His followers to take his words, convert them into laws, and then force everyone to abide by them; that is the opposite of the way in which He asked us to share His message of hope and salvation.
And if you are reading this and thinking, ‘There’s no WAY I’m going to support these people! They have hated on members of the gay community and I do not wish to help them in any way!, I kindly ask you to reconsider. Please consider giving a small amount or at least sending a kind message to the Kleins in an attempt to change the tenor of this national cultural conversation from one of intolerance towards one of compassion and love.
Please unite with us to love others, even when they do not love us as love will be our strongest tool in the struggle for equality.
According to this report, Stolhandske said:
I can’t understand why Klein or any other Christians twist the words of Jesus Christ to justify this behavior. To me, it’s a deeply harmful and embarrassing bastardization of our faith.
He is hoping that his campaign will encourage others like the Klein family to:
Stop using the name of Jesus to explain to the LGBT community why we don’t deserve access to the civil rights afforded to heterosexuals through the legal institution of marriage.