Jun 04, 2018

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today expressed disappointment over a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of a Colorado bakery that sought to discriminate against LGBTQ people on the basis of religious beliefs. But the organization said it was relieved that the narrow ruling does not create sweeping new rights to discriminate.

“While today’s decision isn’t what we had hoped for, the good news is that it’s very limited in its scope,” said Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United. “It does not change the long-standing rule that businesses open to the public must be open to all.

“As we have long said, religious freedom should act as a shield to protect religious exercise, not as a sword to harm and discriminate against others,” Laser continued. “The court itself recognized today that disputes such as this one must be resolved ‘without subjecting [LGBTQ] persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.’”

Concluded Laser, “Our country is strongest when we are all free to practice our religion, or no religion, as we choose – without hurting others.”

Americans United, joined by seven religious and civil rights organizations, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission in support of the couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig.

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

Banner photo credit: Ian Hartsoe