BAKERSFIELD, California, February 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – It would be a violation of free speech for a Christian baker to be forced to make a same-sex “wedding” cake, a California judge ruled on Monday.
Cathy Miller owns Tastries Bakery, where 40 percent of her business is wedding cakes, many of which she personally designs. Last August two lesbians asked her to design a special cake to celebrate their “marriage,” and Miller politely redirected them to an accommodating competitor.
Nevertheless, as is the well-established LGBT pattern, the lesbians sued Miller anyway. They filed a complaint with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing, accusing Miller of violating California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which criminalizes denying service based on sexual orientation. Oral arguments were heard Friday.
Judge Lampe said that to force a Christian to create a cake that celebrates something against their religion is “violence.”
“The State is not petitioning the court to order defendants to sell a cake. The State asks this court to compel Miller to use her talents to design and create a cake she has not yet conceived with the knowledge that her work will be displayed in celebration of a marital union her religion forbids,” Judge Lampe’s ruling reads. “For this court to force such compliance would do violence to the essentials of Free Speech.”
The judge issued his ruling Monday, stating it would only be discrimination if Miller refused to sell an existing product to the lesbians. He discerned that forcing a business owner to violate his/her beliefs is “the stuff of tyranny.”
“Cathy will gladly serve anyone, including same-sex couples,” Charles LiMandri of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund explained to the court. “But Cathy will not use her artistic talents to express messages that conflict with her sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage.”
“We knew the Lord was in control of this,” Miller stated. “We need to stand up for our religious freedom and for our freedom of speech … If we’re not able to follow our conscience we’re no longer able to be who God created us to be,” she reasoned.
Similar cases have risen across the nation, including one before the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) of the United States now. Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips sells his products to anyone, but refuses to design and create products celebrating Halloween, homosexuality, or anything against his sincerely held beliefs. SCOTUS heard oral arguments in December, and a decision is expected early this summer.
Also, Sweet Cakes by Melissa was forced out of business when the state of Oregon fined Aaron and Melissa Klein $135,000 for refusing to make a homosexuality-affirming “wedding” cake.
Cathy Miller's legal defense fundraising page can be found here.