BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — One local couple's wedding bliss is turning into a legal battle.
In August, a lesbian couple was rejected by Tastries Bakery.
The owner defended her decision and said she could not make their wedding cake because it goes against her Christian beliefs.
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The same-sex couple has now filed a complaint against Tastries and the owner, which may lead to a lawsuit.
In a statement, the couple's attorney, Patricia Ziegler-Lopez, said:
I cannot comment on the Tastries Bakery issue at this time. However, on the upcoming oral argument to be heard by the United States Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this case. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the bakery the floodgates will open to every type of business to discriminate against anyone it so chooses. Discrimination affects us all; no one would be immune from differential treatment. I urge the people of Kern County and Bakersfield specifically take the time to educate themselves on this extremely important issue before making rash and judgmental comments. I think people take it out of context, we are not telling anyone they can't have their beliefs we are just saying they have to follow business practices. To quote the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative icon, 'regardless of an individual's conscientious religious scruples, he must comply with an otherwise valid law that is neutrally applied to all.'
Charles S. LiMandri is representing Tastries with the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund.
In a statement, he said:
Our clients are devout Christians with sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage. Like our nation’s Founders, they greatly value the right to Liberty of Conscience. This precious right is enshrined in the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution. The plaintiffs in this case were not deprived of a wedding cake for their reception. They do not have the right, however, to force other people to violate their religious beliefs regarding the sacred institution of marriage. Our clients are pleased to use their creative talents to serve anyone with their baking services, regardless of their sexual preferences or lifestyle choices. The designing of a wedding cake is a form of expressive speech. The plaintiffs in the case should respect the Miller’s time-honored beliefs and not try to force them to accept their own controversial beliefs about marriage. Only in this way can all Americans be free to enjoy their Constitutionally protected rights. We hope and pray that in the Masterpiece Cake Case the United States Supreme Court will uphold the the clear intent of the Founding Fathers to protect the religious beliefs of all people of conscience including the Millers.
Both lawyers are closely watching the Supreme Court case regarding Masterpiece Cakes out of Colorado.
In 2015, the Colorado Court of Appeals found that the bakery illegal discriminated against the couple.
Tuesday, the Supreme Court will start hearing arguments in that case. Their decision may determine if a business owner has the right to refuse service to someone based on religious beliefs.