This month, the Supreme Court will hear an important case that puts this vision of an inclusive, equal society to the test. In Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Court is being asked to decide if a business should be allowed to discriminate against customers based on the business owner’s religious beliefs. The case is about a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. If the Court decides in favor of the baker, it will open the door to wider discrimination not just against LGBT people but against anyone whom a business owner can single out because of their lifestyle, their appearance or their beliefs.
The United States has come a long way in advancing nondiscrimination protections that help ensure equal treatment for all people, and we still have a long way to go. But the Masterpiece Cakeshop case would turn back the clock to a time when businesses had a license to discriminate under the law.
Religious freedom is a bedrock American value. But the freedom to practice one’s faith doesn’t include the freedom to hurt other people or take away their rights.
Read about the outcome of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case here and the need for a federal solution to protect LGBT people.