A California judge has handed down his final judgment in the case of a Bakersfield Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a homosexual couple, ruling that cakes celebrating events are a form of speech.
Kern County Superior Court Judge David Lampe wrote in his decision, "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," according to Bakersfield.com.
Cathy Miller, the owner of Tastries Bakery, was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing on behalf of Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio, who requested a wedding cake from her. The couple reportedly was already married for six months when the refusal unfolded last August.
Miller was accused of violating the state's Unruh Civil Rights Act, which stops businesses from denying service based on race, sexual orientation and other indicators, Bakersfield.com reported.
As CBN News reported in February, Lampe ruled in Miller's favor, writing that the state cannot force her to act against her sincerely held beliefs.
In earlier interviews, Miller said: "Everyone is God's creation and I love everyone, but there are certain things that violate my conscience, and my conscience will not allow me to participate in things that I feel are wrong. Most of what that's based on is scripture."
The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund represented her.
The debate over vendors' refusal to serve same-sex weddings could soon be resolved, with the U.S. Supreme Court poised to decide whether exemptions to non-discrimination laws are permissible. The high court's Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case could have sweeping ramifications for both religious liberty and equal protection rights.
The controversial legal battle surrounds Colorado baker Jack Phillips' 2012 refusal of a same-sex wedding cake. Phillips, much like Oregon bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein and numerous other wedding vendors across the U.S., has found himself in the crosshairs of the government as well as LGBTQ activists after declining to offer his services to a gay couple.
A decision on the Supreme Court case could come this summer.