Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Historic LGBTQ Discrimination Case
Today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about a dispute involving wedding cake. But the truth is, this has nothing to do with cake. In 2012, Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, refused to make a custom wedding cake for David Mullins and Charlie Craig’s wedding. He turned them away, he claims, not because they are gay but because to provide them the same service he offers to straight couples would infringe upon his religious beliefs. While Colorado laws prohibit businesses from discriminating against consumers on the basis of sexual orientation — a law that both the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and Colorado Court of Appeals determined Phillips had violated when he turned Mullins and Craig away — Phillips maintains that he should be exempt from the law under the protection of the First Amendment.
After a series of appeals, the Supreme Court will now decide what is sure to be one of the most important LGBTQ discrimination cases to date. If the court rules in favor of the baker, it will not only allow, but also encourage discrimination extending beyond sexual orientation to race and/or religion. And if the same court who legalized gay marriage in 2015 with the historic decision of Obergefell vs. Hodges sides with Masterpiece Cakeshop, it will only open the door to deny basic civil rights to people simply because of who they are.
As it is, the wedding world is a heteronormative industry filled with language tailored mainly to straight brides. And after a quick scroll through many wedding vendors’ social media pages, picture after picture of a bride and her groom reveal how slowly the industry has adopted inclusive practices. Engaged couples often feel as though they have to come out to every vendor they meet with while planning their wedding, unsure of whether or not they’ll run into the same situation as Mullins and Craig.
Thankfully we have organizations like Freedom For All Americans that have been working tirelessly to end discrimination against LGBTQ Americans. And although the fate of equality rests in the hands of the court after today's arguments, it doesn't mean the work is finished. A decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case isn't expected for months, but in the mean time, to offer support for Freedom For All Americans and they work they do to protect the rights of Americans, you can make a donation here.