The United States Supreme Court just agreed to decide a case about whether a business can refuse to sell commercial goods to a gay couple because of the business owner’s religious beliefs. A win for the business could gut the nation’s civil rights laws, licensing discrimination not just against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, but against anyone protected by our non-discrimination rules.
In July 2012, Debbie Munn accompanied her son, Charlie Craig, and his fiancé, Dave Mullins, to the Masterpiece Cakeshop just outside of Denver to pick out a cake for their wedding reception. When the bakery’s owner heard that the cake was for two men, he said he wouldn’t sell them a cake because of his religious beliefs.
Debbie was stunned and humiliated for Charlie and Dave. As she has said, “It was never about the cake.” She couldn’t believe that a business would be allowed to turn people away because of who they are or whom they love. They might as well have posted a sign in the shop saying “No cakes for gays.”
The Colorado courts agreed with Debbie and ruled that the bakery’s refusal was unlawful and rejected the bakery’s request for a religious exemption from the state’s longstanding non-discrimination law.
By granting review in Charlie and Dave’s case, the Supreme Court has placeda spotlight on supposed tensions between equality and religious liberty. Read more via ACLU