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California Christian Baker Who Refused to Bake Same-Sex Wedding Cake Wins Legal Victory

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for | Monday, October 24, 2022
California Christian Baker Who Refused to Bake Same-Sex Wedding Cake Wins Legal Victory

California Christian Baker Who Refused to Bake Same-Sex Wedding Cake Wins Legal Victory

A California court ruled in favor of a local Christian baker after she was accused of discrimination for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

According to The Bakersfield Californian, Kern County Judge Eric Bradshaw stated that Catharine "Cathy" Miller, who owns Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, was only acting in accordance with "her sincere Christian beliefs about what the Bible teaches regarding marriage."

"That motivation was not unreasonable or arbitrary, nor did it emphasize irrelevant differences or perpetuate stereotypes," the judge continued.

Per The Christian Post, Bradshaw also concluded that the state's Department of Fair Housing and Employment could not prove that Miller violated California's Unruh Civil Rights Act by intentionally discriminating against lesbian couple Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio in 2017.

"It's been a long five years," Miller said on Friday. "I'm hoping that in our community we can grow together … and we should understand that we shouldn't push any agenda against anyone else."

"We appreciate your prayers and support as we joyfully continue to do business with you in the future," Tastries Bakery wrote on Facebook.

The conservative Thomas More Society, who represented Miller, called the verdict "a First Amendment victory."

"There's a certain irony there, that a law intended to protect individuals from religious discrimination was used to discriminate against Cathy for her religious beliefs," Paul Jonna, Thomas More Society Special Counsel and partner at LiMandri & Jonna LLP, said in a statement.

"Cathy believes in the Bible," Jonna continued, noting that Miller was "harassed by opposing attorneys for her adherence to its teachings."

In February, CA state attorney Gregory Mann asked Miller if she follows "everything that the Bible says?"

"I do my best, but I'm a sinner, but I do my best," Miller answered.

Mann then asked whether she follows certain Old Testament eating practices, such as not eating pigs, shellfish and other creatures.

"The state was actually questioning the sincerity of Cathy's faith," Jonna explained.

"The fact that they called Miller's open and sincerely held beliefs into question is almost as disturbing as quibbling over her status as an artist," he argued.

Meanwhile, Eileen and her wife plan to appeal the decision.

"Of course we're disappointed, but not surprised," she said. "We anticipate that our appeal will have a different result."

After the same-sex couple sued Miller in 2017, the state's Department of Fair Employment and Housing asked the court to file a restraining order against Miller and her bakery, forcing the company to either bake same-sex wedding cakes or stop baking cakes altogether.

"My conscience doesn't allow me to participate in certain activities that are contrary to my biblical beliefs. I pray that we can all come to an understanding so that we can continue to get along," Miller said at the time.

The Superior Court of California rejected the state's petition in 2018 after Judge David Lampe concluded that Miller's decision was protected under the First Amendment.

Photo courtesy: ©Nathaniel Yeo/Unsplash

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.

California Christian Baker Who Refused to Bake Same-Sex Wedding Cake Wins Legal Victory