Far-Reaching Dangers of Masterpiece Cakeshop Case Highlighted by Open to All Campaign
Remember that case in 2012 where a gay couple was denied service when they attempted to purchase a cake for their wedding reception? If you don't we do and here's a reminder! In Lakewood, Colorado Charlie Craig and David Mullins entered Jack Phillips' bakery in looking for a cake for their future nuptials. This happy moment was quickly turned into a nightmare and a Supreme Court Battle all because the shop's owner doesn't do cakes for gay couples. The bakery argued that businesses with a “creative” element should be allowed to refuse service to some people in violation of laws against discrimination. Well this argument creates a slippery slope for discrimination and bias.
In the context of a nation rocked by racial discrimination at levels unseen in decades, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on December 5th in that case that could gut not only state nondiscrimination laws but also erode the Civil Rights Act—and turn back the clock to a time when businesses could tell people, “we don’t serve your kind here.”
In response, a broad coalition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), civil rights, racial justice and allied organizations have launched Open to All, a national campaign to focus attention on the far-reaching, dangerous risks of the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case.
“If the Supreme Court gives businesses a constitutional right to discriminate, it would have implications that reach far beyond bakeries,” said Ineke Mushovic, executive director of the Movement Advancement Project (MAP). “If the Court carves out a broad exemption in nondiscrimination laws for so-called ‘creative’ enterprises, we could see an explosion of discrimination by restaurants, hair salons, event venues, funeral parlors and more. And the impact of such a decision wouldn’t be limited to LGBT people; it could be used to allow discrimination against people of color, women, minority faiths, people with disabilities, and others.”
The Open to All campaign is supported by more than 75 organizations, including MAP, the ACLU, Color of Change, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Anti-Defamation League, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), the National Black Justice Coalition, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and Freedom for All Americans. A full list of supporting organizations can be found here <http://www.opentoall.com/>