'The cake is not yet baked:' Kern judge rules in favor of 'Tastries' in same-sex wedding cake fight

Waiting for next steps in Tastries case

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Since 17 News first posted a Kern judge's initial ruling in favor of a local baker who refuses to bake cakes for a same-sex wedding, intense reaction from viewers has not slowed down.

But since this a preliminary injunction ruling, the lawyer for the same sex couple insists this is just the beginning. 

Tastries owner Cathy Miller was all smiles Tuesday morning, thanking God after Kern County Judge David Lampe issued a ruling allowing Miller to continue to refuse to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples.

Miller displayed a cake for the occasion saying "thank you" to supporters.

"We can actually say that God won and that we are able to move forward with our baking industry here," said Miller Tuesday.

But freedom of religion had little to do with Lampe's ruling, which came just three days after hearing oral arguments in court.

For Lampe, it was a free speech issue.

"The cake is not yet baked, and the speech involved is...you're asking the court to compel the defendant to design and create something," Lampe said to attorneys representing the same-sex couple on Friday.

"A wedding cake is not just a cake in a Free Speech analysis," Lampe wrote in his ruling, "It is an artistic expression by the person making it."

Lampe argued if Miller refused to sell a cake to a same-sex couple, that would be discriminatory.

But Lampe asserts the State should not force a baker to create or design a cake or "publish any opinion with which he disagrees in the name of equal access."

The case came before a judge after same-sex couple Mireya and Eileen Rodriguez-Del Rio asked were denied a wedding cake from Tastries last August.

The couple referred us to a statement from their attorney Patricia Ziegler-Lopez:

"This is only the beginning, it is just one battle in the war against discrimination."

While this ruling is a blow for the Rodriguez-Del Rios, this is still an ongoing legal battle. 

We now wait to see what the Department of Fair Employment and Housing -- who argued on behalf of the same-sex couple in court -- will do next.

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