Dejusticia and other organizations support the case brought before the United States Supreme Court to protect the right to non-discrimination of same-sex couples
The United States Supreme Court will hear the case of a same-sex couple in Colorado who was denied a cake for their wedding by a pastry chef claiming religious (specifically Christian) objections. In an intervention presented before this Court, Dejusticia and other organizations of the INCLO network supported the couple’s right not to be discriminated against.
The case began in 2012 when Charlie Craig and David Mullins went to Masterpiece Cakeshop to order a cake to celebrate their marriage. Jack Philips, the establishment’s owner, informed them that because of his religious beliefs he only made cakes for heterosexual couples.
The couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which found that the bakery had violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation among other forms of identity.
Philips appealed this decision in several instances until the case reached the Supreme Court of Colorado (all lower courts had corroborated the decision of the first court). The Supreme Court of Colorado denied the request for review, and Philips appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court.
The Intervention of INCLO
On October 30th, Dejusticia and nine organizations of INCLO—a network of organizations defending fundamental rights and freedoms in various countries—presented an amicus curiae on this case before the United States Supreme Court.
In the amicus curiae, INCLO supported the position of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that both defended the couple’s right to be free from discrimination and participate in civic life, and obligated businesses open to the public to provide equal treatment to minority groups.
The amicus curiae included a series of international examples in several jurisdictions where various courts recognized the damage suffered by someone who had been discriminated against and excluded from services or places open to the public because of their sexual orientation.
Courts and tribunals in the United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, and Colombia have taken into account opposing interests, including religious beliefs, and have concluded that the duty to protect historically marginalized groups from the grave harm and humiliation of exclusion due to their identity prevails over other interests or justifications.