No, this is not a typo: a judge in California ruled Wednesday that a Christian baker cannot be forced to bake a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding.
It’s probably the greatest thing to come out of California since…eh, that’s going to take a minute. I’ll get back to you.
A California judge rightfully determined that compelling someone to bake a cake for a ceremony they don’t agree with runs afoul of the First Amendment, as the cake itself is a form of speech and not just a pastry.
“It is an artistic expression by the person making it that is to be used traditionally as a centerpiece in the celebration of a marriage. There could not be a greater form of expressive conduct,” the judge wrote.
This particular ruling, which flies in the face of a previous Colorado court’s determination, came after Cathy Miller, a baker and owner of Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, Calif., refused to make a cake for a lesbian couple last year. She did, however, point the couple to another local bakery that would accommodate them.
Instead of simply going to the other bakery and avoiding the whole mess in the first place, the lesbian couple sued Miller. Piling on, the state of California even tried to issue a temporary restraining order against Miller and her bakery requiring her to either bake cakes for same-sex couples’ ceremonies, or stop selling wedding cakes altogether. The restraining order was ultimately denied.
Thankfully, at least one judge hasn’t completely thrown out the U.S. Constitution, ruling that forcing Miller to create art in direct violation of her own beliefs is a violation of her free speech.
Miller’s story echoes another landmark court case currently before the Supreme Court – this one concerning Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a gay couple. SCOTUS has yet to issue a ruling on the issue.