September 7, 2017

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department filed a brief today with the Supreme Court arguing that businesses that are open to the public have a constitutional right to discriminate against LGBT people.

The brief was filed in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case in which a Colorado bakery refused to serve a same-sex couple seeking a cake for their wedding reception. Lower courts have previously found that Masterpiece Cakeshop violated Colorado’s non-discrimination law when it refused service to David Mullins and Charlie Craig.

Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, had the following reaction:

“This Justice Department has already made its hostility to the rights of LGBT people and so many others crystal clear. But this brief was shocking, even for this administration. What the Trump Administration is advocating for is nothing short of a constitutional right to discriminate.

“We are confident that the Supreme Court will rule on the side of equal rights just as the lower courts have.”

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