A California state judge on Friday handed a victory to a bakery owner who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, citing religious objections.
Kern County Superior Court Judge J. Eric Bradshaw ruled that California’s Department of Fair Housing and Employment failed to show Tastries Bakery owner Cathy Miller violated the state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act by intentionally discriminating against the couple.
Miller had refused to make a custom cake for Mireya and Eileen Rodriguez-Del Rio in 2017 for their wedding and referred them to another bakery, court filings show.
The judge ruled that baking the custom cake falls under “artistic expression,” so Miller’s First Amendment protections to free speech supersede the state’s interest.
“[The department] failed to prove that defendants intentionally discrimiinated against Eileen and Mireya because of their sexual orientation,” the judge ruled.
“The evidence affirmatively showed that Miller’s only intent, her only motivation, was fidelity to her sincere Christian beliefs,” Bradshaw continued. “Miller’s only motivation in creating and following the design standards, and in declining to involve herself or her business in designing a wedding cake for a marriage at odds with her faith, was to observe and practice her own Christian faith.” Read More»
Zach Schonfeld | “California baker wins case over same-sex wedding cake” | October 24, 2022
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