Secular Coalition Expresses Frustration With Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision

Washington, DC -- The Secular Coalition for America released a statement today condemning the Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case centered around Jack Phillips, the owner of a commercial bakery, who violated Colorado's anti-discrimination law when he refused service to a same-sex couple looking to purchase a wedding cake from his store. In its decision, the court ruled 7-2 in favor of Phillips, finding that the actions taken by Colorado's Civil Rights Commission violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

Statement from Larry T. Decker, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America

"Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, the owner of a commercial bakery, and against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission's determination to protect the civil rights of a same-sex couple. It is deeply disappointing that the Supreme Court chose to focus on a side comment made by one member of Colorado's Civil Rights Commission than take this opportunity to clarify and strengthen the civil rights of all Americans. While we are grateful that yesterday's ruling did not fundamentally redefine ‘religious freedom,' we are disturbed that a majority of the Court was persuaded by the religious persecution narrative manufactured by Phillips and his attorneys. Any reasonable observer can see that Phillip's actions constitute discrimination and a refusal to recognize the dignity of his LGBT neighbors. Despite this clear injustice, the Court chose instead to strain their eyes and torture logic looking for animus against Phillip's religion.

When someone opens their business to the public, those doors must be open to all. The Supreme Court's ruling today chips away at this common-sense principle and, in doing so, erodes the separation of church and state. As the highest court in the United States, the Supreme Court has a duty to draw clear lines that clarify the law. In this case, the Court abandoned that responsibility and issued a decision that leaves millions of Americans vulnerable to the same discrimination suffered by the couple who walked into Masterpiece Cakeshop. This was never about a wedding cake, nor was it about an imagined slight against Phillip's religion - it was about whether religious belief gives business owners a license to discriminate. This case should have been as easy as cake for the Court to decide. Unfortunately, seven Justices chose to kick this constitutional can further down the road."

Contact: Casey Brescia
Senior Communications Associate and Spokesman
[email protected], (845) 380-6201


The Secular Coalition for America is the nation's premier advocacy organization representing atheists, humanists, agnostics, and other nontheists. Its mission is to increase the visibility of and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United States, and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all. The Secular Coalition represents 19 voting member organizations.

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