BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Kern judge on Monday has been ruling on what testimony and other evidence will be allowed in the trial of a Bakersfield bakery sued for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing is suing Tastries Bakery under the Unruh Civil Rights Act, which says in part that all people in the state — regardless of sexual orientation — are entitled to “full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.”

Tastries owner Cathy Miller has said baking a cake for a gay couple violates her deeply-held religious beliefs. Her attorneys noted Monday a judge previously ruled the baking of a cake is artistic expression protected under the First Amendment.

“Our argument is the wedding cake is artistic in nature,” Miller attorney Paul Jonna told Judge Eric Bradshaw.

Jonna argued DFEH is trying to force Tastries to express a particular type of speech, one that flies in the face of her beliefs.

DFEH attorneys say they don’t question the sincerity of Miller’s beliefs — and they’re not calling her a bigot or claiming she hates the LGBTQ community — but her denial of service violated the Unruh Act.

The case has its origins in 2017, when same-sex couple Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio visited Tastries to sample wedding cakes. The couple met with a bakery employee, selected a cake and booked a tasting for the next week.

A week later, they arrived with family and were told by owner Cathy Miller that she would refer them to another bakery because she did not condone same-sex marriage. The couple left and filed a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Judge David Lampe in 2018 issued a ruling in favor of the bakery, finding Miller’s refusal to design and create the cake was protected by the First Amendment’s free speech clause.

An appellate court overturned that decision and DFEH filed a second suit.