National Council of Jewish Women
1707 L Street NW, Suite 950
Washington, DC 20036-4206
Contact: Amanda Lang
Director of Marketing and Communications
Supreme Court Backtracks on Anti-Discrimination Case, Hands Limited, Confusing Victory to Cake Baker
June 4, 2018 Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today expressed deep disappointment at the Supreme Court’s decision allowing the discriminatory behavior of a bakery shop. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:
“Where the Supreme Court should have struck a clear and forthright blow upholding the nation’s civil rights protections against discrimination based on gender identity, the court instead muddied the waters by issuing a ruling that leaves the court’s ultimate intentions unclear. The court, while recognizing the harm and stigma of discrimination, nevertheless alleged that the apparent hostility to the baker’s claim voiced by some members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was enough to throw the process into doubt, despite the decision of state courts to the contrary.
“The ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission means LGBTQ individuals may have to litigate every iteration of the theme that discrimination may be justified if it is alleged to impinge on the free expression of the service vendor. It is, however, important and heartening to note that the Supreme Court did not decide this case on First Amendment grounds, rather that ‘[t]he neutral and respectful consideration to which Phillips was entitled was compromised’ in this particular case.
“We agree with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor who held that ‘What matters is that Phillips would not provide a good or service to a same-sex couple that he would provide to a heterosexual couple.’ The court has instead created a tangle of criteria that ill serves its role as arbiter to the meaning of the Constitution.
“Sixty percent of states lack the protections that Colorado had. This case reminds us of the need for a federal Equality Act that would ensure comprehensive protections against discrimination. NCJW and our sections across the country will continue to work towards this goal.”
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.
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