Cathy Miller is a devout Christian and owner of Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, California. In August 2017, two women came into her shop purportedly to order a wedding cake, even though the couple had gotten married the previous December. Cathy let the couple know that designing a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage violated her religious beliefs about marriage. She then recommended a local baker who could create their cake.

The women promptly left and took to social media to broadcast what had happened. Cathy and her employees soon began receiving hate messages and death threats.

Two months later, the women filed a complaint with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which enforces the state’s civil rights law that makes it illegal to refuse service to people based on their sexual orientation. On October 26, the DFEH placed Miller under formal investigation, which includes mandatory responses to 41 personal and business-related questions.

Cathy Miller is a devout Christian with sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage. To be clear, she would have gladly sold the same-sex couple anything from her bakery or create a cake for them for another occasion. There is little doubt, however, that the lesbian couple’s purpose for ordering a cake was to destroy Cathy and her business. And now the state of California is all too willing to join in on the warpath. Fortunately, the First Amendment forbids the government from forcing creative professionals like Cathy to express messages that violate their conscience and religious convictions.

The DFEH refused FCDF’s request to pause the investigation until the Supreme Court’s decision in Masterpiece. Miller has 30 days to respond to the interrogatories.

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