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Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 7-2 Ruling Narrowly Siding With Owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop 

For Immediate Release June 4, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC – Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), issued the following statement Monday regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 7-2 ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission which narrowly sided with Jack 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 curiae or “friend of the court” brief in the case.

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About The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Lawyers' Committee, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The Lawyers' Committee celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 as it continued its quest of "Moving America Toward Justice." The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment, voting, education and environmental justice.

For more information about the Lawyers' Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

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