President Trump and Attorney General Sessions are calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of a baker who refused to serve a same-sex couple. SCOTUS’ ruling in the upcoming Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case could change the landscape of existing non-discrimination laws across the country.
In 2014, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission determined that Masterpiece Cakeshop unlawfully discriminated against David Mullins and Charlie Craig by refusing to sell them a wedding cake. Colorado state law prohibits public accommodations from refusing service based sexual orientation and gender identity. Masterpiece Cakeshop appealed to the Supreme Court, which has announced it will review the decision from the Colorado Court of Appeals.
As a nation, we decided a long time ago that businesses that are open to the public should be open to everyone on the same terms. That includes customers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. Nobody should be turned away from a business, denied service, fired from their job, or evicted from their home simply because of who they are.
Allowing businesses that offer custom products or creative services to break the law and turn away customers would mean that hairdressers could refuse to style hair for a bat mitzvah and printers could refuse service to people of color. It could mean a return to a time where commercial businesses engaged in blatant and rampant discrimination against people based on race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. Our constitution does not protect this kind of discrimination.
This case is not about cakes. It’s about people being turned away from a business simply because of who they are. Protecting people from discrimination is about treating others the way we want to be treated. Our constitution promises equal treatment under the law for everyone.
Equality Federation – and our members across the country – believes in that promise. We believe that SCOTUS’ ruling in this case matters beyond one couples’ wedding cake. It’s about denying service based on the identity of the customer. We look forward to signing onto an amicus brief in support of David Mullins and Charlie Craig, and all that this case represents.
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