In 2012, a same-sex couple asked Masterpiece Cakeshop to bake a cake for their wedding. The bakery's owner refused, citing his religious belief that homosexuality is a sin. The couple then filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission under the state’s public accommodations law, which forbids discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulates employee-benefit plans to protect the interests of employees who participate in these plans. To avoid undue governmental intrusion in church affairs, the Act provides an exemption for plans established by churches. Some non-church entities have begun to claim this exemption.