CREEC joined nine other disability rights organizations in filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Court in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in support of the gay couple turned away from a Colorado bakery based on the owner’s prejudice. The Colorado Court of Appeals held in favor of the couple, recognizing that the baker violated their rights under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (“CADA”), and the Colorado Supreme Court declined to review. The case is currently before the United States Supreme Court on the baker’s argument that it violates his first amendment rights of free exercise and free expression to force him to make a cake that would be used in a gay wedding. The statute at issue — CADA — prohibits discrimination in public accommodations based on disability as well as sexual orientation and a number of other protected classes; Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act also prohibits disability discrimination in public accommodations.
CREEC and other organizations filed their amicus brief to caution the Court that recognizing personal scruples exceptions — including free exercise or free expression — to the general requirement that public accommodations serve everyone without discrimination could significantly jeopardize enforcement of Title III and the protections it affords people with disabilities to fully participate in our nation’s economic and commercial life.
CREEC strongly urges the Supreme Court to affirm the Colorado Court of Appeals and reaffirm our commitment that American businesses are #OPENTOALL.
We would also like to thank the rockstars at Rosen, Bien, Galvan and Grunfeld who wrote the brief, and our fellow amici for the terrific discussions the brief engendered.