Reading, PA —In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Masterpiece Cakeshop case on June 4, 2018, The LGBT Center of Greater Reading’s Executive Director, Jocelyn Young, released the following statement:
This morning the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. While the decision did reverse the original ruling by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, it did so on the grounds that were unique to the Masterpiece Cakeshop and this case, finding that the Commission had not acted impartially when originally considering the case. As such, this ruling applies only to the Masterpiece Cakeshop, but does NOT broadly allow similar businesses to discriminate. The Court DID NOT grant businesses a license to discriminate.
However, it is important to realize that today’s decision does not fully address the discrimination that millions of Americans still face. In more than half of the country, our state laws do not explicitly protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in stores and restaurants, in the workplace, or in housing. While today’s decision ensures that the 40% of our states do protect LGBT people can continue to do so, 60% of our states still lack even basic protections.
The decision by the Court today did affirm that states can protect LGBT people from discrimination in the market place. Today, I call upon the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pass Senate Bill 613, which would amend the Human Relations Act of 1955 to include sexual orientation and gender expression/ identity to be protected from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations, while providing for protection of religious exercise. This would further extend the protections to the LGBT community that many Pennsylvanians already enjoy.