BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Both sides finished presenting evidence in the trial of a local baker sued for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, and closing arguments are scheduled Friday afternoon.
Cathy Miller, owner of Tastries Bakery, finished testifying at about 9:45 a.m. to denying the couple because of her religious beliefs that marriage should only occur between a man and a woman. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing is suing her for not complying with the Unruh Act, which states all people, regardless of sexual orientation, should receive equal service at all businesses.
Judge Eric Bradshaw said closing arguments will begin at 1:30 p.m. Each side will have 75 minutes.
In 2017, Miller refused to make a cake for gay couple Mireya and Eileen Rodriguez Del-Rio and referred them to another baker. The couple testified they were hurt and felt discriminated against, and contacted DFEH.
The state sued the bakery, and in 2018 a Kern judge issued a ruling in favor of Tastries. The judge said Miller’s refusal to design and create the cake — a form of artistic expression — was protected by the First Amendment’s free speech clause.
An appellate court overturned the ruling and case went to trial Monday.