In 2017, Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, California, refused to make wedding cakes for a same-sex couple. The couple, Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio, filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, alleging that the bakery violated the state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which prohibits businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.
In 2018, an administrative law judge ruled in favor of the Rodriguez-Del Rios, finding that the bakery had violated the Unruh Act and ordering the bakery to pay the couple $135,000 in damages. The judge also ruled that the bakery must stop discriminating against same-sex couples and must post a sign in the bakery stating that it does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
An appeal court vacated that decision and sent the case down to Kern County courts to be adjudicated.
Judge Eric Bradshaw issued a verdict finding the state Department of Fair Housing and Employment failed to prove Tastries Bakery owner Catharine “Cathy” Miller intentionally discriminated against Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio in violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.
“Miller’s only motivation, at all times, was to act consistent with her sincere Christian beliefs about what the Bible teaches regarding marriage,” Bradshaw wrote. “That motivation was not unreasonable, or arbitrary, nor did it emphasize irrelevant differences or perpetuate stereotypes.”
Eileen Rodriguez-Del Rio indicated she and her wife expect an appeal.