In a case similar to several others, a Christian baker has been in a legal battle with a same-sex couple over whether she can refuse to make them a wedding cake because it would violate her beliefs to celebrate their wedding. Now a judge has ruled in her favor.
According to The Hill, Cathy Miller, who owns Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, California, was approached by Mireya and Eileen Rodriguez-Del Rio, who wanted a cake for their same-sex wedding.
When Miller said she couldn’t because she was a Christian, the couple complained to the California Department for Fair Employment and Housing, which sued her. Miller fought back with the help of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, which advocates for religious freedom and family values.
“If we’re not able to follow our conscience we’re no longer able to be who God created us to be. I am incapable of doing something that would hurt my Lord and Savior,” Miller argued, according to the Bakersfield Californian.
Kern County Superior Court Judge David Lampe ruled in her favor, saying, “The right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment outweighs the State’s interest in ensuring a freely accessible marketplace. The right of freedom of thought guaranteed by the First Amendment includes the right to speak, and the right to refrain from speaking. Sometimes the most profound protest is silence.”
Judge Lampe added, “A wedding cake is not just a cake in a Free Speech analysis. It is an artistic expression by the person making it that is to be used traditionally as a centerpiece in the celebration of a marriage.”
It’s a similar argument to the one being made by Jack Phillips, a Christian baker in Colorado who is in the same sort of pickle. Under the advice of the Alliance Defending Freedom, he has defended his decision to not make cakes for same-sex weddings based more on his freedom of expression than his freedom of religion.
For Miller, the judge’s ruling Tuesday was not the end of a war but rather an important victory. What Judge Lampe denied was a preliminary injunction. The case will go to full trial in June.
“We were so joyful. We weren’t expecting it to be so soon. We started screaming and praising God because we felt we had been heard,” Miller said.
The same-sex couple’s attorney, Patricia Ziegler-Lopez, was not happy, saying, "We are disappointed but not surprised by ruling against the preliminary injunction. Bakersfield and Kern County, in general, is very conservative and that, unfortunately, includes some of the judges. But it’s not over. Our fight against bigotry and discrimination is only beginning.”
What do you think of this? In other news, a beloved actor from the “Home Improvement” TV show has died.