One Iowa Statement on Masterpiece Case Arguments

Oral arguments for Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission begin in the U.S. Supreme Court today. The case involves a Colorado bakery owner that refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. In doing so, the owner violated Colorado’s anti-discrimination law by refusing to provide a public accommodation to the couple based on their sexual orientation. The bakery claims that it should be exempt from the state’s anti-discrimination law due to the owner’s religious beliefs about marriage.

One Iowa Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel issued a statement supporting the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in this case:

“LGBTQ people have no federal anti-discrimination protections, instead relying on a patchwork of state laws to protect their rights. Colorado and Iowa are two of only nineteen states with laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in public accommodations. This case could undermine our state’s protections for LGBTQ Iowans.

“Masterpiece Cakeshop is seeking a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people. No one should be turned away from a business because of who they are, and anti-discrimination laws like Colorado’s and Iowa’s ensure that everyone’s right to access goods and services available to the public are protected. The Supreme Court should rule in favor of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

“This case hits particularly close to our organization’s heart. One Iowa was founded in 2005 to advocate for marriage equality in Iowa. We fought for, and eventually won, the right for LGBTQ Iowans to marry the person they love and have their marriage treated equally under the law. This case could allow business owners to treat same-sex couples like second-class citizens as they seek that equal treatment. We’ve fought hard against this type of discrimination for years, and we will continue fighting regardless of how this case is ruled.”