The gold standard of excellence for more than 80 years, The United States Law Week® is the most authoritative way to keep up with important cases and other legal developments nationwide, in all...
A Christian baker can refuse to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple on religious grounds, the Superior Court of California for Kern County ruled Feb. 5.
Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio requested a cake for their wedding reception, but Cathy Miller, who is a practicing Christian, refused, the court said in a decision by Judge David R. Lampe.
California sought an injunction against Miller under the state’s civil rights act, based on the couple’s administrative complaint, the court said.
Miller’s right to free speech under the First Amendment outweighed California’s “interest in ensuring a freely accessible marketplace,” the court said.
A wedding cake “is an artistic expression,” and there couldn’t “be a greater form of expressive conduct,” the court said.
The cake requested here involved such expression even though the couple didn’t “request any written words or messages,” the court said.
It would “do violence” to the right of free speech 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,” the court said.
Bakers can’t refuse to sell cakes that are already placed “in a public display case,” the court said.
“The difference here is that the cake in question is not yet baked,” the court said.
Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund represented Miller.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing represented the state.
The case is Dep’t of Fair Hous. & Emp’t v. Cathy’s Creations, Inc. , Cal. Super. Ct., No. BCV-17-102855, 2/5/18 .
To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick L. Gregory in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2018 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)