Elena and Marissa Delgado walked into Tastries bakery two weeks before their July 1 wedding holding hands, they said.
They were nervous.
Another cake order had fallen through and they were worried about getting someone to make them a cake on such short notice.
But, both women said, the experience at Tastries was perfect.
Employees of the bakery took their order for a fantastic four-tier, white-and-gold wedding cake, took their deposit and sent the two women on their way talking about the exceptional service at the Rosedale Highway bakery.
On the day of the wedding, Elena said, the cake arrived and a Tastries employee put the cake topper — two women in dresses — on top of the cake.
Everything was perfect.
“I would never bash their cake. The cake was delicious. The service was amazing,” Elena Delgado said.
Which is why Elena and Marissa Delgado were stunned over the weekend to learn that Tastries owner Cathy Miller had refused to make cakes for two same-sex couples in the past week.
“It’s terrible for anyone to be discriminated against,” Elena said. “We feel very hurt by that and we feel for them.”
Miller’s daughter, Katie Miller, said Tastries looked into the contract with the Delgados and there was no evidence that the two women were intending to marry each other.
The staff member who took the order, Katie said, did not remember the pair holding hands or indicating in any way they were ordering a cake for a same-sex marriage.
A copy of the order form provided to The Californian shows the cake was ordered by Elena Davis to be delivered to First Congregational Church on Stockdale Highway.
Information about the type of event that the cake was for was not filled out.
Notes on the form indicate that the cake topper and flowers would be at the event location.
On Monday Cathy Miller explained her motivations to The Californian after two same-sex couples commented on Facebook that she had refused to make wedding cakes for them.
“As Christians we have a love for everyone. We want to embrace everyone. We are all God’s children. We are happy to make birthday cakes and cupcakes and cookies and brownies for everyone. We want to celebrate each individual regardless," she said.
But, she said, she has to follow her beliefs.
“My conscience doesn’t allow me to participate in certain activities that are contrary to my Biblical beliefs,” Miller said. “I pray that we can all come to an understanding so that we can continue to get along.”
Marissa and Elena see themselves as normal people.
They have jobs in oil sales and finance.
“We attend church ourselves on a regular basis,” Marissa said. “We’re just typical residents of Kern County.”
Marissa Delgado said that if Miller is opposed to serving gay people, she should make it clear to customers so they could take their business elsewhere.
“I wish somehow she would post her policy so people could know right away,” she said.
They can only speculate about why they were able to get a cake when others were turned away.
“We did not talk to the owner ourselves,” Elena Delgado said. “That probably made a difference.”
The pair said they worked with three or four Tastries employees and there could be no question that they were two women trying to order a cake for their wedding to each other.
“Either they don’t know her beliefs or they’re going against them,” Elena said.
Elena’s mother, Kathleen Davis, wrote in an email to The Californian that the cake was clearly for the marriage of two women.
“My husband and I were at the reception hall when the cake arrived and the gal who delivered it set the cake up and even placed the topping with two brides atop the cake. The cake was beautiful, tasted fabulous and we were very pleased at the end of the day,” Davis said.
She said she saw the Tastries cake as a blessing from God.
“It's truly ironic that according to my own Christian faith that I thought ‘what a blessing that my Elena and Marissa will have such a beautiful cake,’ she wrote. “Little did we know that Cathy Miller, for whatever reason, did not even realize what a blessing she was being to my daughter and her wife. If she had known, then she would have withheld that blessing.”
The Californian's Facebook page has seen robust debate about Miller's stand as people weighed in on both sides of the controversial issue.
Miller's critics point out that state law does not allow business owners to refuse service to customers based on their race, religion, language or sexual orientation, among a number of other classes.
Supporters question why a business owner should be forced to abandon their religious beliefs in order to be in business.
Elena and Marissa are just thankful they got their cake. But they are sad others weren’t able to enjoy Tastries’ exceptional cake and service.
“Everyone deserves a nice cake for their wedding day,” Elena Delgado said.