WASHINGTON, DC – Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), issued the following statement Monday regardingthe U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 7-2 ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commissionwhich narrowly sided withJack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, CO who refused to bake a custom wedding cake ordered from a same-sex couple:
“The Supreme Court missed an opportunity to affirm a critical ruling issued by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that would have sent a strong message discouraging and dissuading discrimination by public accommodations against people based on their LGBT status,”said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “While it is incredibly disappointing that the Supreme Court rejected the position of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Court did not change the long-standing rule that businesses do not have a constitutional right to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals or any other marginalized groups. In the absence of a ruling that squarely reached the issues faced by the gay couple in this case, vigilance will be required to ensure that public accommodations across our country respect the rights marginalized communities. Discrimination by public accommodations remains rampant and continues to infect virtually every stage of our economy. The Lawyers’ Committee will continue to fight for equal treatment for all under the law.”
In 2017, the Lawyers’ Committee led a broad coalition of civil rights organizations in filing an amicus curiaeor “friend of the court” brief in the case.