US Christian baker vindicated by court ruling

A Christian baker in California has been vindicated after she was taken to court for declining to create a cake for a same-sex wedding celebration.

Catharine Miller refused to bake and decorate the cake, citing her Christian beliefs.

She won the initial case in 2018, but the local Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) then brought a civil lawsuit against her which she has now also won.

‘Religious principles’

The case began in August 2017 when Miller told Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio that she could not provide them with a cake for the vow exchange and reception. She referred them to another bakery.

They filed a complaint with the California DFEH, which said the law on free speech did not apply because the couple had not asked for any words on the cake.

In the ensuing legal case at the Kern County Superior Court, Judge Lampe acknowledged Miller will not “design or create any custom cake that expresses or celebrates matters that she finds offend her heartfelt religious principles”.


In the recent ruling, Judge Eric Bradshaw said Miller had acted lawfully while upholding her beliefs about what the Bible teaches regarding marriage.

He ruled that the DFEH failed to prove that Miller intentionally discriminated in violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.

He said: “Miller’s only motivation, at all relevant times, was to act in a manner consistent with her sincere Christian beliefs about what the Bible teaches regarding marriage.

“That motivation was not unreasonable, or arbitrary, nor did it emphasize irrelevant differences or perpetuate stereotypes.”

‘Long five years’

Miller and her legal team welcomed the decision as a First Amendment victory.

Special Counsel for Miller, Charles LiMandri, said: “The freedom to practice one’s religion is enshrined in the First Amendment, and the United States Supreme Court has long upheld the freedom of artistic expression.”

Miller said it had been “a long five years” and that people should learn not to “push any agenda against anyone else”.

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