Trial in Tastries lawsuit set for July

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A trial in a lawsuit filed against a local bakery which refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple has been postponed to July.

A Kern County Superior Court judge on Thursday moved the trial from February to July 25, according to a court filing.

The case has its origins in 2017, when same-sex couple Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio visited Tastries Bakery 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 at Tastries 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.

A judge in 2018 issued a ruling in favor of the bakery, but an appellate court overturned the decision.

Superior Court Judge David Lampe found that Miller’s refusal to design and create the cake was protected by the First Amendment’s free speech clause. The judge later entered judgment in favor of Tastries and in part granted a motion by the bakery limiting the scope of the department’s investigation.

The appellate court said no judgment should have been entered until the DFEH had completed its investigation and had an opportunity to present every legal argument it wished.

DFEH filed a second lawsuit 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.”

The department found Tastries has refused to provide full service to same-sex couples since at least 2015, according to appellate court documents.

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