In a surprising ruling, a Christian baker has won in the state of California after being sued by the state for discrimination against a gay couple.
Cathy Miller, owner of Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, refused to make a cake for a gay couple’s wedding and a judge in California’s Superior has ruled that the Constitution protects Miller’s freedom of religion.
Here’s more via CBN News:
A Christian baker has won a legal victory in her battle for religious freedom in California. This week, attorneys from the Thomas More Society secured a First Amendment win in their defense of Cathy Miller, owner of Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, CA.
Miller was exonerated on charges that followed her religious objection to creating a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio, due to her Christian beliefs.
Judge J. Eric Bradshaw of the Superior Court of California ruled, “The evidence affirmatively showed that Miller’s only intent, her only motivation, was fidelity to her sincere Christian beliefs.”
The court also noted that Miller does not discriminate because she serves and even employs people with same-sex orientation, she simply draws the line at being forced to create products with messages that violate her beliefs.
The Department of Fair Housing and Employment had charged Miller with discrimination based upon the Unruh Civil Rights Act which stops businesses from denying service based on race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and other indicators.
The judge pointed out in the ruling that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that no law shall prohibit the free exercise of religion.
And a previous ruling delivered by Kern County Superior Court Judge David Lampe stated, “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.”
Miller also refuses to make other items such as sexually-explicit cakes for bachelorette parties and cakes that were requested to celebrate the finalization of a divorce, maintaining her Christian beliefs and principles beyond the same-sex wedding cake request.
“Cathy believes in the Bible. The fact that [the state] called Miller’s open and sincerely held beliefs into question is almost as disturbing as quibbling over her status as an artist,” said Jonna.
This is the second ruling by the Superior Court that has gone Miller’s way. The first one, however, was vacated by the 5th District Court of Appeal and sent back.
The New York Post reports that while the state hasn’t decided what it will do next, the gay couple responsible for the lawsuit expects an appeal and a different outcome.
The judge, in case you are wondering, was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger back in 2008.