Colorado’s Republican Attorney General Defends LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Brief to Supreme Court

By Adam Polaski • October 25, 2017 • 4:02 pm

Note: This blog post is adapted from a piece first published by our partners at One Colorado. Read the original post here.

This week Colorado Republican Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman’s office filed a brief on behalf of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, one of the parties in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which concerns a Denver-based baker who refused to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple, citing his religious beliefs.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission enforces Colorado’s non-discrimination law, which prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

The United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the case on December 5, 2017.

The Republican Attorney General’s brief forcefully and passionately defends the importance of non-discrimination laws: “A public accommodations law does not compel speech when it requires business to serve customers on equal terms. If a retail bakery will offer a white, three-tiered cake to one customer, it has no constitutional right to refuse to sell the same cake to the next customer because he happens to be African-American, Jewish, or gay. … This case has nothing to do with the artistic merits of wedding cakes. It is instead about the integrity of a 150-year-old principle: when a business opens its doors to the general public, it may not reject customers because of who they are.”

Read the full brief here.

Freedom for All Americans’ partners at One Colorado praised Attorney General Coffman’s office in a statement today. Daniel Ramos, Executive Director of One Colorado, said:

“Attorney General Coffman is doing the right thing by standing alongside Coloradans,  enforcing Colorado’s nondiscrimination law, and filing this brief that sets the record straight about our values of equal treatment. It is the role of our elected officials to ensure that no one faces discrimination of any kind – and that includes not legally permitting any business to refuse service to a Coloradan because of who they are. Nondiscrimination is not a Democratic or Republican value — it’s about freedom and opportunity for all and the right of all families to work hard and care for themselves. We thank her for championing a basic belief shared by a bipartisan majority of Americans: When a business opens its doors to the public, it must be open to all.”

Learn more from One Colorado.

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