I am disappointed to hear of the 7-2 decision in Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission handed down on Monday by the US Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the bakery that chose not to sell a same-sex couple a wedding cake. I understand that the case centered on the hostile treatment of the bakery by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and their dismissal of that individual's sincerely held religious beliefs, but this case highlights that the pursuit of free speech can limit another individual's personal liberties.
Commercial enterprises should not be allowed to pick and choose who they will serve. Commercial entities do not have religious beliefs, even if their owners do. Just as women's access to contraceptives should not be circumscribed by an employer's personal religious beliefs, the LGBTQ community should not be discriminated against by a commercial enterprise. It is disheartening to see the hostility felt by the bakery owners validated by our highest court, and the same-sex couple who felt wronged essentially being told to suppress their own feelings of maltreatment.
While there is fear that this will result in new ways to discriminate against a historically marginalized group like the LGBTQ community, we should ensure that cannot happen by passing further protections such as the Equity Act in Congress, GENDA in the New State Legislature, and supporting groups like the ACLU which defend the basic rights of all Americans. New York State values the equal treatment of all citizens, and will continue to uphold these protections just as I will continue to work to ensure that everyone is treated equally in their daily lives.