City joins amicus brief on anti-discrimination case

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission goes before the U.S. Supreme Court this winter

 

Today, the Minneapolis City Council authorized the City to join an amicus brief involving a pending case before the U.S. Supreme Court on the constitutionality of enforcing anti-discrimination laws.

The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, involves a Denver-area bakery that refused to fulfil a wedding cake order made by an engaged same-sex couple. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission found that the bakery violated the State’s longstanding non-discrimination law, a finding the Colorado Court of appeals affirmed. The bakery contended that, because of its owners’ asserted religious opposition to same-sex marriage, it should be exempt from enforcement of the law based on religion or free speech grounds.

The City of Minneapolis will now join an amicus brief being drafted by the Santa Clara County Counsel’s Office and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. That brief will support the decision made by the Colorado Civil Rights commission, saying that public interest is better served when discrimination against protected classes is prevented. There is longstanding legal precedent that businesses cannot discriminate in public services or accommodations on the basis of protected class status regardless of any religious beliefs of the owners. The plaintiff in this case seeks to upend this precedent.

The Supreme Court justices will hear arguments in the case this coming winter. Their decision will likely have a significant impact on cities and counties across the country that seek to ensure that no members of their communities are subjected to discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or any other protected status.

 

Published Sep 20, 2017

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