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Food TV star offers cake to gay couple denied by local bakery

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A man whose cake-making expertise has been featured on various Food Network programs says he wants to bake a cake for a lesbian couple denied business at a local bakery.

The Huffington Post reports pastry chef Duff Goldman, star of the show Ace of Cakes, sent out an open offer to the couple.

He told the Huffington Post he'll bake and transport the wedding cake free of charge.

Goldman then told HuffPost Live his business, Charm City Cakes, has been making same-sex wedding cakes for some time.

"For a cake decorator to really feel like he really needed to take a stand… it just makes absolutely no sense," Goldman told the Huffington Post. "It's petty, it's small… this man has wrapped up his hatred in the cloak of religion."

Aaron Klein, of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, admits he refused the couple's business to make them a same-sex wedding cake on religious grounds.

"I stopped what I was doing, I looked at them and said, 'I'm sorry I may have wasted your time, we don't do same-sex marriages,'" he said.

Klein, however, denies calling them "abominations," as alleged in a formal complaint. The state is now investigating this case.

Klein and his wife, who opened the bakery five years ago, do not hide their religious beliefs.

The Sweet Cakes website says they "strongly believe that when a man and women come together to be joined as one, it is [truly] one of the most special days of their lives."

A Bible sits on top of a bakery display case.

While Oregon law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, Klein believes the U.S. constitution protects him.

"I'm free to exercise my religion however I see fit. I should not be compelled to violate my conscience," he said. "If I'm told I have to make a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage, I feel that I'm violating my beliefs. I don't think I should have to do that."

After Klein responds in writing to the Department of Justice, they will determine whether or not to take action against Sweet Cakes. Klein said he will ready for any outcome from that process.

Klein also said they have received support from across the country after the story hit the internet, while others flooded the bakery's Facebook page with so many negative comments it had to be taken down.

There is no word yet if the couple will take up Goldman's offer of a free cake.

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