04 June, 2018 6:19 PM

Gender Justice League Responds to Masterpiece Bakery Case Ruling

Seattle, WA – “Gender Justice League joins our colleagues around the country in expressing our disappointment in today’s Supreme Court ruling.” Said Danni Askini, Executive Director of Gender Justice League “this ruling, however, is extremely limited in scope, affecting only one individual, and in no way represents a rollback of the rights of LGBTQI+ people nationally.”

“In today’s ruling, the Supreme Court narrowly overturned the Colorado Human Right’s commission’s ruling in the Masterpiece Bakery case.” Said Sophia Lee, Gender Justice League’s board chair, “The ruling by the Supreme Court focused on the fairness of the initial trial that Mr. Phillips   received in front of the Colorado Human Right’s Commission, not on the underlying facts at hand.”

The court’s ruling today relied on statements by the commission that expressed disregard of Mr. Phillips‘ religious beliefs, and therefore the court vacated the initial hearing was unfair.  The court, however, did not touch on the underlying question of religious refusal of service. In fact, the court noted in its opinion that,

           “Nevertheless, while those religious and philosophical objections are protected, it is a general rule that such 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 under a neutral and generally applicable public accommodations law”

“Today the court reaffirmed that state laws requiring all people to be served equally in places of public accommodations, including LGBTQI+ people must be respected and upheld regardless of a person’s religious beliefs,” said Elayne Wylie, Deputy Director of Gender Justice League., “While we are disappointed for the couple who were refused service in Colorado, this ruling will in no way impact the laws here in Washington State which clearly spell out that all people including transgender and non-binary people, bisexual, lesbian, gay, and queer people must be treated with dignity, respect, and treated equally in all places of public accommodations.”

Sophia Lee
Board Chair

Danni Askini
Executive Director

Elayne Wylie
Deputy Director

 


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