While everyone who follows gay news knows that the Supreme Court will soon be ruling on the case of Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cake Shop in Colorado for denying to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. But another lesser know case has been been in the courts in Bakersfield, California. The case of Cathy Miller and Tastries Bakery which has flown under the gay news radar.
Miller refused to make a cake for the wedding of Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio because they are gay.
The newlyweds said the refusal was discrimination against homosexuals; Miller said she had a making the cake would violate her right to religious freedom.
On Monday, Kern County Superior Court Judge David Lampe, a staunch Republican appointed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said Miller could continue to refuse to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, as such confections were a form of “artistic expression” and “expressive conduct” and therefore protected by the First Amendment.
The judge stated an order from the state to compel someone to directly go against their beliefs would be “the stuff of tyranny.”
“My business is owned by God,” Miller said in August. “We work for the Lord and my convictions and my conscience don’t allow me to participate in a lot of things like I’ve turned all kinds of orders away.”
The group representing her, The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, filed a motion for attorneys’ fees last week under California’s Private Attorney General statute.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is likely to appeal the final judgment in addition to its appeal of the initial denial of its motion for preliminary injunction.