This week, a California judge ruled that Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, California, can violate the state’s nondiscrimination law and refuse to serve same-sex couples. The bakery had used religion as an excuse to turn away Mireya and Eileen Rodriguez-Del Rio when they tried to buy a cake for their upcoming wedding reception—the judge ruled the bakery had a constitutional right to do so. This is a bad decision and stands in contrast to how every other case like it has been decided. Courts across the country have ruled that religion is no excuse to deny service to LGBTQ people.
And now, all eyes are on the US Supreme Court, which is preparing to decide Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Charlie Craig and David Mullins were planning their wedding reception and went to Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver, Colorado, to order their wedding cake. Just like the couple in California, they were turned away.
Religious freedom is about fairness. It is not fair for businesses to treat customers as second-class citizens and that’s true regardless of who they love. And that’s what we said in our amicus brief in the Masterpiece case.
We will continue to monitor Mireya and Eileen’s case. If a business has used religion as an excuse to deny you service, please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.