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‘Anti-LGBTQ extremists did not win’: People respond to US Supreme Court bakery decision

‘Anti-LGBTQ extremists did not win’: People respond to US Supreme Court bakery decision

People rallying with rainbow flag in front of the Supreme Court

Political groups and voices are responding to the US Supreme Court’s decision today regarding a gay couple and the baker who refused to make them a wedding cake.

In a 7-2 decision handed down earlier today, the Justices found for baker Jack Phillips in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

The decision centered on the Commission’s proceedings early on in the case and giving Phillips an unfair and biased case. They did not issue opinions on the wider implications of discrimination, equal rights, and the First Amendment, which mean those matters remain unresolved.

Responses vary greatly to this narrow ruling.

Human Rights Campaign

‘In today’s narrow ruling against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Supreme Court acknowledged that LGBTQ people are equal and have a right to live free from the indignity of discrimination,’ said President Chad Griffin.

‘Anti-LGBTQ extremists did not win the sweeping “license to discriminate” they have been hoping for — and today’s ruling does not change our nation’s longstanding civil rights laws.’

However, Griffin acknowledges ‘that LGBTQ people face alarming levels of discrimination all across the country’ and the fight is ongoing.

Lambda Legal

Other LGBTQ organizations, though, are taking harder and more cautious stances.

CEO Rachel B. Tiven asserted: ‘The Court today has offered dangerous encouragement to those who would deny civil rights to LGBT people and people living with HIV.

She argues that the Court’s decision ‘should have been a firm, direct affirmance of longstanding equality law’.

‘Religious freedom under our Constitution has always meant the right to believe whatever you wish but not to act on your beliefs in ways that harm others,’ the statement continues. ‘The Court today alarmingly fails to heed that distinction.’

Democratic National Committee

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement to GSN:

‘This case was never just about a wedding cake. It was about all people– no matter who they are – having the right to celebrate their love without facing discrimination. The Democratic Party believes that no individual has a license to discriminate. We believe in the dignity of every human being. And we will continue to fight for equality for LGBTQ people in all areas of our society – from housing and health care, to bathrooms and boardrooms, to bakeries and the ballot box.’

Log Cabin Republicans

Those from the right are also weighing in.

The Log Cabin Republicans is a group representing LGBTQ conservatives.

President Gregory T. Angelo consequently called today’s decision ‘wise’.

‘There will be many on the left who will say that this ruling opens the door to rampant discrimination, and many on the right who will declare that this is a major milestone for advocates of religious liberty,’ he said. ‘But neither will be correct.’

Angelo further states that Democratic appointed Justices siding with the majority reveals there is more nuance to the decision.

‘More than anything else, the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision shines a spotlight on the glaring absence of federal LGBT non-discrimination legislation. Log Cabin Republicans remains committed to passing such protections while also honoring the religious liberty upon which our nation was founded.’

Equality Texas

Similar to Lambda Legal, Equality Texas CEO Chuck Smith recognizes the limited nature of the decision. However, he also believes they could have gone further.

‘Our nation decided more than 50 years ago that when a business decides to open its doors to the public, that business should be open to all,’ he said.

‘While the Court’s decision does not create a new license to discriminate, it also does not address the discrimination that millions of Americans and Texans still face.’

Campaign for Southern Equality

The Campaign for Southern Equality hopes the Supreme Court does decide on the issue of discrimination one day.

‘Here in the South, we see daily evidence of the growing support for LGBTQ equality, even as we continue to face discriminatory laws. We will continue to fight for full equality – and nothing less,’ said Executive Director Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara.

One Iowa

An LGBTQ group in Iowa is holding a rally tonight following the decision..

‘The Court stated that public officials should not display bias against someone’s religious beliefs. We agree with that assessment,’ said Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel.

He also warns: ‘Although the Court has limited the scope of this decision to this specific case, we know that those who want to create a constitutional right to discriminate will use today’s decision to try and undermine nondiscrimination protections in states like Iowa. They will try to open the door to mistreatment and discrimination against a broad array of Americans.’

Los Angeles LGBT Center

Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri L. Jean stressed the realities of the case, while also warning of future potential harm.

‘In its ruling today, the US Supreme Court ruled on narrow legal technicalities of the case, while reaffirming current discrimination protections for LGBT people at the state level. But at the same time, the justices opened a very dangerous door that could eventually condone legal discrimination against the LGBT community based on so-called religious grounds.’

She also explained how the case is not just about buying a wedding cake.

‘It is critical to understand that, at its heart, this case is not about buying a wedding cake any more than the sit-ins at lunch counters during the Civil Rights movement were about getting a hamburger and a Coke.’

She concluded by saying religion is ‘a smoke screen to deny rights to people without power’ in this country.

Congressman Joe Kennedy III

The politician from Massachusetts called the decision ‘a dangerous signal to those across the country who wish to use religious freedom as a sword rather than a shield’.

‘Most critically, today’s decision underscores the urgent need for nationwide non-discrimination protections to ensure no one who calls America home is denied services, opportunity or basic dignity simply because of who they are.’

Congressman Jared Polis

Polis, a Democratic Congressman from Colorado, said the decision ‘is disappointing, but thankfully narrow in scope’.

‘Now is the time for Congress to answer definitively by adopting our bipartisan Equality Act into law. We can and must provide LGBTQ people with abundantly clear protections from discrimination in law.’

Polis is an original cosponsor of the Equality Act.