June 4, 2018 — This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case where an LGBTQ couple was denied service by a cake baker. In a very narrow ruling limited to this specific case, the Court voted 7-2 in favor of the anti-LGBTQ baker.
The good news is that this ruling is very limited and applies narrowly to the unique facts of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. It did NOT create a license to discriminate or overturn existing LGBTQ non-discrimination protections. Instead, the court reaffirmed the need to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in the market place through nondiscrimination laws. Places like California, which have strong non-discrimination laws, will continue to protect its LGBTQ people.
But this case also presents new challenges. As we’ve always said, this case was never about cake. Fundamentally, this was an attempt by our opponents to attack marriage equality and carve away LGBTQ civil rights protections, which we’ve fought so hard to obtain. This decision will embolden our opponents to continue to attack the civil rights of LGBTQ people through the courts, the legislatures and ballot boxes across the country. This case demonstrates that the right-wing will accelerate their attacks on the LGBTQ community across the country and that we have much more work to do.
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More than half a century ago, our nation decided that when a business is open to the public, it must be open to all. Not just a policy, this is a fundamental principle at the heart of who we are — and how we treat one another — as Americans.
Ultimately, the overwhelming majority of Americans do not support discrimination, and will continue to use our wallets to support businesses who value fairness and inclusion — and our ballots to support candidates who will fight to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination, including passing the Equality Act in Congress.
Equality California and our partners will do everything in our power—in state legislatures, in Congress, at the ballot box and in the courts—to fight these attempts to roll back our civil rights—and we will continue our work to shape hearts and minds. We will not stop until we achieve our ultimate goal of creating a world that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. And we need your continued support to do so.
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