DeGette Affirms Support for LGBTQ Public Accommodations Protections after Masterpiece Ruling
Denver – Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), a founding member of the LGBT Equality Caucus, decried the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In a 7-2 decision, the court ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood Colorado, who refused to bake a cake celebrating the marriage of same-sex couple Charlie Craig and David Mullins in 2012. The narrow ruling claims the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s handling of the case showed hostility to the baker’s religious beliefs, but also reaffirms protections for gay rights in general.
“The Supreme Court’s decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case is a setback, but its ruling is a narrow one, pertaining to one particular set of circumstances, and won’t end our efforts to ensure equal protections for all LGBTQ people,” DeGette said. “This Pride Month, and every day, we must keep fighting to ensure public places in our society are open to all – for my constituents Charlie Craig and David Mullins, the couple at the heart of this case who endured abhorrent discrimination, and for every member of this community. One way we can achieve this aim is by passing the Equality Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Together, we can work to guarantee that no one is denied rights, services or accommodations simply because of who they are and who they love.”
In November of last year, DeGette joined more than 200 members of Congress in filing an Amicus Brief in support of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, stressing that a ruling against it could create a “license to discriminate,” allowing businesses to deny service to Americans, including LGBTQ people. She also spoke at a rally in support of the respondents, Craig and Mullins, on the day of oral arguments before the Supreme Court on December 5, 2017.