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BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court rules in Masterpiece case 7-2

This morning the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 7-2 in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake to celebrate the marriage of a same sex couple because of a religious objection.  

The court held that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed hostility toward the baker based on his religious beliefs. The ruling is a win for baker Jack Phillips but leaves unsettled the broader constitutional questions the case presented.

According to CNN, the “ruling is tailored to the case at hand with the justices holding that members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed animus toward Phillips specifically when they suggested his claims of religious freedom was made to justify discrimination.”

We are working with our panel of legal experts to determine the impact this ruling will have on LGBTQ Pennsylvanians, but here’s what we do know:

This case could have gone many different directions––including undermining LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination protections.  It didn’t do that.

Instead, the Supreme Court affirmed that nondiscrimination protections are valid. Period. The court had concerns with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s findings in this specific case, but affirmed the longstanding American history of protecting people––including, in some states, same-sex couples––from discrimination.

This case originated in Colorado after a retail establishment declined to sell a product to a same-sex couple. Colorado, unlike Pennsylvania, has a statewide law making discrimination against LGBTQ people illegal.

Pennsylvania does not have that law today. What this ruling means is that when the Pennsylvania General Assembly passes the PA Fairness Act, LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination protections will be enforceable. That’s important.

As we learn more, we’ll post updates here, on our Facebook Page and via our email list.

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