ACLU Backs Oregon Court for Protecting Lesbian Couple who were Refused Wedding Cake

Affiliate: ACLU of Oregon
September 20, 2019 12:00 pm

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PORTLAND, Ore.—The ACLU of Oregon today filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Oregon Court of Appeals in Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). The United States Supreme Court sent the case back to the state court after the ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Supreme Court overturned a Colorado ruling against a baker who refused to serve a gay couple because the government exhibited anti-religious bias in reaching its conclusion that the baker violated Colorado’s non-discrimination law.

The ACLU of Oregon brief argues that BOLI’s actions in the Oregon case did not exhibit hostility to religion, that state anti-discrimination laws protect Oregonians who are refused service based on their sexual orientation, and that the Oregon court should reaffirm its original decision.

P.K. Runkles-Pearson, a partner at Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP, represented the ACLU of Oregon pro bono and had the following comment:

“Religion is not a license to discriminate. Longstanding Oregon law protects people from discrimination in accessing publicly available services. The Oregon court made the right decision the first time around. The ACLU will continue to fight to ensure that all people are treated fairly in Oregon.”

The brief is online at

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