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Tastries Bakery wins in local court, avoids state order to stop selling wedding cakes

FILE -- Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, Calif., is seen Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. A same-sex couple says the owner refused to take their business for a wedding cake. The owner defended her decision to refer the business elsewhere on the grounds of her religious beliefs. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Tastries Bakery scored a short-term legal victory in court Thursday morning when a judge denied the state’s request for a temporary restraining order that would have compelled the bakery to sell custom wedding cakes to gay couples or stop selling wedding cakes altogether.

The state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which enforces California's civil rights laws, received a complaint about the baker’s refusal to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple and opened an administrative investigation.

RELATED STORY | Lesbian couple takes legal action against Tastries Bakery

The bakery owner said she made the decision based on sincerely held religious beliefs about homosexuality.

The judge is considering allowing a preliminary injunction, which would have a similar effect. But, the judge wants to give Tastries a chance to present its side. That hearing is scheduled for Jan. 19.

The outcome of the state's administrative investigation, as well as the legal feud between Tastries and a lesbian couple to whom they denied a cake, will be largely influenced by a similar case on the Supreme Court docket that weighs whether there are religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws. The high court is expected to issue a ruling in that case in June.

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