Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

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Status: Open
Supreme Court of the United States
Issues: Anti-LGBT Rulings, Laws and Amendments, Marriage, Relationships and Family Protections

Lambda Legal filed an amicus brief in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the appeal of a 2012 case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against a Denver-based bakery that refused a same-sex couple a wedding cake, citing religious beliefs.

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Lambda Legal, joined by Family Equality Council and 11 other organizations, today submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission detailing the multiple everyday experiences of hundreds of LGBT individuals, same-sex couples and their families who have faced discrimination.

At stake in Masterpiece Cakeshop is the claim by a Colorado baker that requiring him to serve LGBT customers violates his religious freedom and free speech rights. The brief marshals a broad range of examples drawn from Lambda Legal cases and calls to the Lambda Legal Help Desk and Family Equality Council that demonstrate the breadth of the harm already being experienced daily by LGBT people.

Further, these examples serve as a warning of how much worse that second-class status LGBT people already experience could become if such discrimination were immunized from remedy through religious or free speech exemptions like the ones sought in in this case.