LOS ANGELES – In a Supreme Court brief written by the offices of Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, Santa Clara County and New York City, today 70 cities and counties and 80 mayors across the United States joined together to support the right of LGBTQ people to be free from sexual-orientation-based discrimination. The case arises from the refusal of a Colorado baker to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
“Again we’re taking a stand for LGBTQ equality and against discrimination that assaults citizens’ dignity based on sexual orientation,” said Mike Feuer, L.A. City Attorney. A business that denied service because of a customer’s race or religion would be roundly condemned. Denying service based on sexual orientation deserves the same condemnation. The Court should see this case for what it is—an attempt to subvert anti-discrimination laws that ensure equal treatment for all people.”
“Everyone deserves equal treatment under the law,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The religious freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution should never be used as a cover for bigotry — and we cannot allow anyone to undermine protections that shield Americans from discrimination.”
In 2012, the couple – David Mullins and Charlie Craig – went to Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado to order a cake for their wedding. Owner Jack Phillips told them he wouldn’t sell them a wedding cake because they were a same-sex couple.
The brief, filed in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, argues that the Supreme Court should reject this claim by Jack Phillips who says he can refuse to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples because making a cake is an act of expression protected under the First Amendment.
Colorado state law prohibits all public accommodations, including businesses like
Masterpiece Cakeshop, from refusing service to anyone based on their religion, race, sex, disability, age, national origin, marital status, creed, sexual orientation or gender identity. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled that the bakery had violated Colorado law by discriminating against Mullins and Craig. The bakery sought review of the state ruling by the Supreme Court, which will hear oral arguments on December 5, 2017.