This gay couple's court win is a huge victory for LGBTQ+ rights
So, to catch us all up to speed, in 2012, engaged Colorado couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig headed over to Masterpiece Cakeshop to see if it was the right bakery to make their wedding cake. When the couple got to the shop, owner Jack Phillips told the couple that he would not make them a cake for their wedding, citing his religious beliefs as the reason behind his refusal to serve this same-sex couple.
As Refinery 29 reports, Mullins and Craig shared their story on Facebook, the post went viral, and the following year the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado filed a suit on the couple’s behalf under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, and the court ruled in favor of the couple, stating that the bakery was guilty of illegal discrimination. The cakeshop appealed the decision, and this week, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that the bakery is not allowed to discriminate against their customers, and cannot refuse to serve a couple because of their sexual orientation.
As Louis Melling, the deputy legal director of the ACLU told the New York Times, “The court squarely said that this is discrimination based on sexual orientation and it’s not to be tolerated, even if it’s motivated by faith. Religious liberty gives you the right to your beliefs but not the right to harm others.”
This is one of a few recent victories for same-sex couples who have experienced discrimination while planning their weddings. As the Wall Street Journal reports, in 2013, the highest court in New Mexico ruled against the owners of an Albuquerque wedding-photography company that was refusing services to gay couples, and earlier this summer, the Oregon Labor Commission ordered the owners of “Sweetcakes by Melissa” to pay a lesbian couple $135,000 in damages as recompense for the suffering the company caused the couple when they discriminated against the couple and refused to bake their wedding cake. In another case in Washington, a florist was fined $1,0000 for refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.
Today, we are celebrating all these wins for equality. We hope that these acts of discrimination quickly become a thing of the past, and with all these victories stacking up in favor of same-sex couples, we’re optimistic that day is coming, and coming soon.
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