I saw in an article today that a judge used common sense as well as the Constitution in making a ruling. The Blaze reports that the case involves a baker in California who refused to design a wedding cake for a gay couple and that the judge was Judge David Lampe of Kern County. Judge Lampe ruled that the state does not have the authority to force Cathy Miller of Tastries Bakery to bake a cake that against her beliefs. According to Kern Golden Empire, the judge said the following: “For this court to force such compliance would do violence to the essentials of Free Speech guaranteed under the First Amendment.”
The judge obviously has common sense because he used reasoning, not emotion, in making his ruling. He looked at the facts: The couple did not choose a cake that was sold regularly by the bakery, but they requested a custom job, meaning a wedding cake made just for their wedding. If the couple had chosen a cake that was on display in the shop (one that was sold regularly to customers) and had been refused, then the bakery would have no right to refuse the service on the grounds of religious beliefs. The ruling continues as follows.
A wedding cake is not just a wedding cake in Free Speech analysis. It is an artistic expression by the person making it that is to be used traditionally as centerpiece in the celebration of marriage. There could not be greater form of expressive conduct…
Furthermore, here the State minimizes the fact that Miller has provided for an alternative means for potential customers to receive the product they desire through the services of another talent. The fact that Rodriguez-Del Rios (the couple) feel they will suffer indignity from Miller’s choice is not sufficient to deny constitutional protection.
The bakers were, of course, grateful that the judgment came in their favor. They do not feel that they were discriminatory and do not want to be discriminatory. They merely want to be able to “stand up for our religious freedom and our freedom of speech.” The attorney for the couple claimed that it was just “one battle in the war against discrimination.”
The Tastries Bakery case is no different – as least as far as I can see – from that of the Masterpiece Bakeshop case. So what made the difference? It appears that the judge made the difference. This takes us back to the “one battle” statement from the attorney. Obviously, the gay movement does not mind losing a few of their cases if they can win in the end.
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