Kern County Superior Court Judge Eric Bradshaw ruled in Cathy Miller's favor last week, saying she did not have to design a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. Miller, owner of Tastries in Bakersfield, California, declined to make the cake based on her biblically-based conviction that marriage is between one man and one woman.
California's Department of Fair Housing and Employment accused Miller of violating an anti-discrimination law, although her attorneys at Thomas More Society said Miller's free speech and free exercise of religion trumped that argument.
"They will certainly probably appeal, but we are quite confident the appeal will go in our favor," Thomas More Society attorney Paul Jonna tells AFN. "There is a case pending at the Supreme Court right now called 303 Creative, which deals with the same issue but in the context of a web designer, not a cake artist, and we're actually pretty confident that that case will resolve in the designer's favor, too."
The conservative law firm thinks this issue is close to being settled across the board.
Jonna notes that in 2018, Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips got a ruling in his favor at the Supreme Court, but the justices did not decide on the issue of whether an artist like Phillips was legally required to ignore his religious objections. Instead, the court ruled the Colorado Civil Rights Commission treated Phillips unfairly.
"The problem with the Jack Phillips case, the Masterpiece case, is that the court really did not deal with the core issue," the attorney continues.
Cathy Miller's case, however, does deal with the core issue "head on."
"We think this case offers broader protection," Jonna concludes.