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CA judge rules in favor of Christian baker who refused service to lesbian couple

CA judge rules in favor of discriminatory baker.
Photo credit:
Wikimedia Commons

California Superior Court Judge David Lampe ruled in favor of a Christian baker in Kern County who refused to bake a cake for a lesbian couple. The ruling, on a motion for a preliminary injunction, will head to trial in June, but the defendant’s attorney says he will push for a dismissal based on Lampe’s  decision.

Cathy Miller was charged with violating the state’s civil rights act by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing when she would not prepare a cake for Mireya and Eileen Rodriguez-Del Rio.

Judge Lampe said Miller’s “freedom of speech” took precedence of the state’s stance on same-sex discrimination in the marketplace. He said cakes are “artistic expressions,” according to The Advocate.

"A wedding cake is not just a cake in a Free Speech analysis," Lampe wrote. "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... The state asks this court to compel Miller against her will and religion to allow her artistic expression in celebration of marriage to be co-opted to promote the message desired by same-sex marital partners, and with which Miller disagrees."

He said refusing to sell practical use items to a same-sex couple would be illegal, but baked goods are a creative item.

"A retail tire shop may not refuse to sell a tire because the owner does not want to sell tires to same-sex couples," Lampe wrote. "There is nothing scared or expressive about a tire."

Miller expressed her joy soon after the ruling was given.

"We started screaming and praising God because we felt we had been heard," she said. "I am very happy to serve everything from my cases to anybody. But I cannot be a part of a celebration that goes against my lord and savior."

No word yet on if the Rodriguez-Del Rios will appeal.

The Supreme Court of the United States is currently faced with a similar case in Masterpiece Bakery Vs.Colorado Civil Rights Commision. They are expected to make their ruling this summer.