10 LGBT Activists and Organizations Respond to Today’s ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop’ Decision
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Today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Masterpiece Cakeshop case merely determined the anti-gay Colorado baker didn’t receive a fair hearing from the state’s Civil Rights Commission. The Supreme Court bakery decision didn’t address the larger question of whether or not business owners can refuse services to LGBTQ customers on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs. But to help us understand the legal landscape moving forward, we’ve rounded up 10 SCOTUS gay bakery reactions from various LGBT activists, organizations and political figures.
The last three quotes in our round-up of SCOTUS gay bakery reactions are especially worthwhile as they provide some good news about the Supreme Court bakery decision. Namely, they suggest that the court may actually vote in favor of LGBTQ rights in the upcoming case of Arlene’s Flowers, a case about a Washington state floral shop that refused to provide floral arrangement for a same-sex wedding.
In short, the current Supreme Court will probably uphold LGBT rights in the future, but all that could change if Trump selects another conservative Justice.
Here are 10 SCOTUS gay bakery reactions:
Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, the gay clients discriminated against in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case
Today’s decision means our fight against discrimination and unfair treatment will continue. We have always believed that in America, you should not be turned away from a business open to the public because of who you are. We brought this case because no one should have to face the shame, embarrassment, and humiliation of being told “we don’t serve your kind here” that we faced, and we will continue fighting until no one does.
While we are disappointed the Court ruled in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop and their discrimination against Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig, the fact remains that Colorado has a civil rights division and anti-discrimination laws that equally protect the fundamental rights of all Coloradans…. Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court does not change our country’s long-standing principle that businesses open to the public must be open to all.
Tom Perez, Democratic National Committee chairperson
This case was never just about a wedding cake. It was about all people — no matter who they are — having the right to celebrate their love without facing discrimination. The Democratic Party believes that no individual has a license to discriminate. We believe in the dignity of every human being. And we will continue to fight for equality for LGBTQ people in all areas of our society — from housing and health care, to bathrooms and boardrooms, to bakeries and the ballot box.
Religious freedom under our Constitution has always meant the right to believe whatever you wish, but not to act on your beliefs in ways that harm others. The Court today alarmingly fails to heed that distinction…. Today’s decision should have been a firm, direct affirmance of longstanding equality law. Instead, the Supreme Court has become an accomplice in the right’s strategy to hollow out one of its finest achievements, the right to equal marriage, and create what Justice Ginsberg memorably termed “skim milk marriages.”
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin
Anti-LGBTQ extremists did not win the sweeping “license to discriminate” they have been hoping for — and today’s ruling does not change our nation’s longstanding civil rights laws. Yet, the fact remains that LGBTQ people face alarming levels of discrimination all across the country and HRC’s efforts to advance equality are as urgent as ever.
Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center
It is critical to understand that, at its heart, this case is not about buying a wedding cake any more than the sit-ins at lunch counters during the Civil Rights movement were about getting a hamburger and a Coke.
Moreover, our nation’s history shows us that religion has often been used as a smokescreen to deny rights to people without power, and this is just the latest example of that strategy. Religion has been used to justify arguments against nearly all movements for justice and equality, from civil and voting rights to equal rights for women, reproductive health and marriage equality.
Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
LGBTQ people deserve dignity and respect, and we deserve to have our civil rights protected by law. The Supreme Court’s decision recognized this truth. Whether it’s denying a gay couple a wedding cake or stripping away LGBTQ people’s ability to access health care free of discrimination, no person, corporation, or institution has the right to impose their religious beliefs on others.
Planned Parenthood will … stand with the advocates working to ensure that religious freedom does not become a license to discriminate.
While today’s decision may lead to additional procedural steps, it will not affect the ultimate outcome in the Arlene’s Flowers case. Same-sex couples in Washington state will continue to enjoy protections against discrimination, and I will continue to enforce our state’s law against discrimination.
[The] ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop’ ruling actually suggests a good decision on gay rights in the near future…. While some conservatives are already crowing that this was a 7-2 decision, the discussions within the opinions reveal that the justices actually fell in line politically on the actual question of whether to allow for anti-gay discrimination… As the opinions actually show, the four liberal justices were actually unified in rejecting the justifications for discrimination. They were merely divided on the question of whether the Commission may have expressed religious bias…. The indication is actually promising that the Court will not dismantle LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections.
We dodged a bullet in the Supreme Court ruling on the Colorado wedding cake case. The Court didn’t reach the core issue of whether religious beliefs exempt people from following anti-discrimination laws. That can change, however, if Trump appoints another Justice. Despite the narrowness of today’s ruling, we are at risk of a future ruling creating a broad religious exemption to civil rights laws — probably one vote away from such a disaster. We can’t let Trump appoint another anti-LGBT justice. We must take back the Senate.