Equality Utah Responds to Supreme Court Ruling, Masterpiece Cakeshop Vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

03 July 2018 Published in Newsroom

Salt Lake City, UT – Today, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the core principle of our civil rights laws—that businesses open to the public must be open to all, and cannot discriminate against same-sex couples. Although the Court ruled in favor of the cakeshop, the Court affirmed that “gay persons and gay couples cannot be treated . . . as inferior in dignity and worth,” and that religious objections “do not allow business owners and other actors in the economy and in society to deny protected persons equal access to goods and services.”  

The Court’s ruling in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop was based on concerns unique to the case: that the Colorado Commission on Civil Rights displayed “hostility” by calling the baker’s religious beliefs “despicable.”  In ruling for the baker, the Court reminded us that “these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”

In response to the Court’s ruling, Executive Director Troy Williams said: “For more than fifty years Americans have agreed that a person should not be fired, evicted or denied goods and services because of who they are. Today’s decision affirms these principles in that LGBTQ couples are to be afforded dignity and worth in society and in the law.” 

“Although our country is increasingly divided, we continue to believe that Utahns are people of kindness and goodwill. This decision does not turn back the clock on equality, we will continue to advocate for the equal treatment of LGBTQ people.”

“Now more than ever, we need comprehensive federal and state nondiscrimination laws that protect all Americans.  Utah has established a standard of ‘Fairness for All.’ Equality Utah looks forward to working again with the Utah Legislature to pass a comprehensive public accommodations law in 2019.”

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About Equality Utah

Formed in 2001, Equality Utah is the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy group in the state. Its mission is to secure equal rights and protections for LGBTQ Utahns and their families, and its vision is of a fair and just Utah. For more information, please visit equalityutah.org

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