Bakery owner Cathy Miller did not want to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in August of last year. Instead, Miller referred the couple to another bakery. The couple filed a complaint with the state, but Miller claimed she refused to bake the cake because of her Christian values.
After months of deliberation and hearing arguments from both parties, Judge David R. Lampe ruled in favor of Miller. Lampe argued Miller, who owns Tastries, was within her First Amendment when she refused service.
“For this court to force such compliance would do violence to the essentials of Free Speech guaranteed under the First Amendment,” Lampe said.
Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio, the couple who filed preliminary injunction with the state of California, argued the refusal of service was based on their sexual orientation.
In the months leading up to the judge’s decision, the state of California claimed if Miller were to lose the injunction, she would be forced to close her store, The Daily Caller reported.
The judge cited that her cake creations were a part of artistic expression. “A wedding cake is not just a cake in 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. There could not be a greater form of expressive conduct.”
According to CNN, the couple told reporters outside the courtroom that they will actively continue fighting for discrimination of those of the same sex.
“Bakersfield and Kern County in general is very conservative and that unfortunately includes some of the judges,” their attorney said. “But it’s not over. Our fight against bigotry and discrimination is only beginning.”
Charles LiMandri, the Chief Counsel and Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) President, echoed Miller’s excitement in the ruling as well.
“This is a significant victory for faith and freedom because the judge indicated in his ruling that the State cannot succeed in this case as a matter of law,” he said. “No doubt the California officials will continue their persecution of Cathy, but it is clear that she has the Constitution on her side.”