In a decision being celebrated as a win for religious freedom advocates, a California judge ruled late Monday that a Christian baker who faced losing her business because she refuses to bake cakes for same-sex weddings cannot be compelled by the state to do so.
The decision comes as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in December in another Christian baker case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in an ongoing wrestling match between religious freedom advocates and LGBT activists who insist that Christian bakers should be compelled to bake cakes for all marriages, not just heterosexual unions.
In the California case, Christian baker Cathy Miller, who owns Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, was facing discrimination charges filed by the state after she refused to make a wedding cake for Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio last August, citing her religious beliefs.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing petitioned the court to issue a restraining order against Miller and her bakery to force the company to make cakes for same-sex weddings or stop making wedding cakes altogether if she refused.
“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 explained at the time.
In rejecting the state’s petition against Miller, Superior Court Judge David Lampe said in his opinion that her decision to refuse to bake cakes for same-sex weddings is protected by the First Amendment.
“The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered,” Lampe wrote.
“Furthermore, here the State minimizes the fact that Miller has provided for an alternative means for potential customers to receive the product they desire through the services of another talented baker who does not share Miller’s belief. Miller is not the only wedding cake creator in Bakersfield. The fact that Rodriguez-Del Rios feel they will suffer indignity from Miller’s choice is not sufficient to deny constitutional protection,” he said.
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Source: Christian Post