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California baker wins same-sex wedding cake lawsuit

(The Hill) – A California decide on Friday offered a victory to a bakery proprietor who, citing non secular objections, refused to bake a marriage cake for a same-sex couple.

Kern County Superior Court docket Choose J. Eric Bradshaw dominated that California’s Division of Truthful Housing and Employment had failed to point out Tastries Bakery’s proprietor, Cathy Miller, that they violated the state’s Unruh civil rights statute by deliberately discriminating in opposition to the couple.

In 2017, Miller refused to bake a customized cake for Mireya and Eileen Rodriguez-Del Rio for his or her wedding ceremony and referred them to a different bakery, courtroom data present.

The decide dominated that baking the home made cake falls beneath “inventive expression,” so Miller’s First Modification defending freedom of speech overrides the state’s pursuits.

“[The department] couldn’t show that the defendants deliberately discriminated in opposition to Eileen and Mireya due to their sexual orientation,” the decide dominated.

“The proof clearly confirmed that Miller’s sole goal, her sole motivation, was loyalty to her honest Christian religion,” Bradshaw continued. “Miller’s solely motivation in creating and following the design requirements and refusing to contain herself or her firm in designing a marriage cake for a wedding opposite to her religion was to look at and follow her personal Christian religion .”

One other Kern County Superior Court docket decide dominated in Miller’s favor in 2018, however an appeals courtroom later overturned the choice and despatched it again to the decrease courtroom.

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Charles LiMandri and others of the Thomas Extra Society, a conservative, public-interest legislation agency that represented Miller and often takes circumstances in opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion, hailed the decide’s ruling as a victory for First Modification faith’s freedom of speech and expression .

“We congratulate the courtroom on this choice,” mentioned LiMandri, particular counsel for the Thomas Extra Society. “Freedom to follow one’s faith is enshrined within the First Modification, and the US Supreme Court docket has lengthy affirmed freedom of inventive expression.”

The group had argued that Miller was following Bible teachings in refusing to bake the cake.

“It’s considerably ironic {that a} legislation designed to guard people from non secular discrimination was used to discriminate in opposition to Cathy due to her non secular beliefs,” mentioned Paul Jonna, the society’s particular adviser.

The pair are awaiting attraction, in line with The Related Press.

The Hill has reached out to the California Division of Truthful Housing and Employment for remark.

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