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Christian Bakery wins Freedom of Religion case in California

Cathy Miller, Tastries Bakery, Bakersfield, CA
Credit: Thomas More Society

A California court has just ruled in favor of a Christian bakeshop owner in Bakersfield who refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in 2017.

After Cathy Miller, the owner of Tastries Bakery, turned down their request, the couple took their case to California’s Department of Fair Housing. The agency in turn sued Cathy arguing she had discriminated against the lesbian couple under the Unruh Civil Rights Act.

The Thomas More Society, which represented Tastries Bakery, ironically noted that the Unruh Act intended to prevent discrimination based on religion, race or ethnicity was being used to enforce religious discrimination.

However, the judge ruled that under the protection offered by America’s first amendment, Cathy could not be forced to perform an activity that violated her Christian beliefs.

During the initial conversations with the lesbian couple, the bakery had no problems providing a cake or previously decorated cake, but would not custom decorate a cake to specifically promote their Lesbian wedding, since it violated their religious beliefs.

The case itself took many unusual turns.

In 2017, the Department of Fair Housing and Employment had unsuccessfully tried to have the court force the bakery to make the cake for the Lesbian couple and if it refused ban the company from making any further cakes.

Then during the trial, the California State Attorney, Greg Morgan, question the sincerity of Cathy’s beliefs asking if she followed the Old Testament law that prohibits eating pork and shellfish.

“The fact that they [the DA] called Miller’s open and sincerely held beliefs into question is almost as disturbing as quibbling over her status as an artist,” said Paul Jonna, who represented Cathy on behalf of the Thomas More Society.

The Lesbian couple stated that they plan on appealing the decision.  

READ: California Court Delivers Victory for Cake Artist Targeted for Religious Discrimination AND California Christian Baker Who Refused to Bake Same-Sex Wedding Cake Wins Legal Victory

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