Response to Supreme Court Ruling
Today the Supreme Court ruled by a 7-2 margin in favor of the Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay male couple's wedding reception.
Although Justices Alito and Gorsuch signed a majority opinion upholding lesbian and gay equality and the Court has made it clear that it is responding only to the decision by the Colorado's Civil Right Commission, today's ruling chips away at a most basic American value. It is widely accepted that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 decided a core principle that is at the heart of how we treat one another: When a business open its doors to the public, it should be open to all.
Those who want to create a constitutional right to discriminate will use today's decision to undermine nondiscrimination protections in other states. In doing so, they will open the door to mistreatment and discrimination against a broad array of Americans.
It's also important to realize that, in more than half the country, our state laws do not explicitly protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in stores and restaurants, in the workplace, or in housing. In fact, 60% of our states still lack those protections. Unfortunately, today's decision might be seen by some as an invitation to tell LGBTQ customers, "We don't serve your kind here."
We join with civil rights advocates, religious leaders, health organizations, labor groups, LGBTQ people and our friends, families and allies to ask that businesses openly declare that they oppose discrimination and that they are open to all .
It is time for Congress to pass the Equality Act to create one set of rules for everyone so that our laws catch up to our nation's values and protect all Americans from discrimination, so that no one can be fired from their job, denied a place to live, or turned away from a business simply because of who they are.