After Today’s SCOTUS Ruling, Our Community Needs LGBT Lawyers More Than Ever
The Supreme Court today ruled narrowly against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in Masterpiece Cakeshop, based on concerns that the original case was not decided “with the religious neutrality that the Constitution requires.”
In doing so, the Court also reaffirmed the core American principle that businesses open to the public must be open to all.
Unfortunately, the Court seemed far more concerned with disrespect shown toward the baker who turned away a same-sex couple than the harm caused to Dave and Charlie, who suffered the indignity of being turned away. Religious freedom is one of our most fundamental rights as Americans. But that freedom does not give any of us the right to harm other people.
The unfortunate result of this ruling is that cases like this will continue to be litigated in the courts. In the meantime, LGBT people will have to go about their day to day lives fearing they might be refused service because of who we are.
It is important to note that the Supreme Court did not change the long-standing rule that businesses open to the public must be open to all. This ruling was limited to facts specific to this case, and the court importantly did not give businesses the broad right to discriminate that the bakery and the Trump administration sought here.
As a nation, we decided more than a half-century ago that businesses that are open to the public should be open to everyone on the same terms. No business open to the public has a constitutional right to discriminate against a customer based on their religion, gender, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Discrimination is real and painful, no matter where it occurs. It’s the harm of being told you aren’t worthy of being treated like everyone else. That’s why LeGaL will never stop fighting for for equality and justice for all LGBTQ people.
The LGBT legal community here in New York, and across the country must step up!
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