Masterpiece Cakeshop LTD, et al v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is about much more than a wedding cake. It is about the rightful place of LGBT people and their families in the commercial and public sphere. In fact, children are already bearing the brunt of exclusionary practices in the public marketplace because of their relationship to or association with their LGBT parents. In Michigan, a pediatrician refused to treat an infant based solely on the fact that the child had lesbian mothers. In Kentucky, a judge refused to hear adoption cases of children involving LGBT adoptive-parents-to-be. In Tennessee, a nondenominational private school rejected enrollment for a pre-kindergartener and his 8-month-old sister after discovering that the children had two dads. In this brief, we argue that an expressive or religious exemption to sexual orientation discrimination prohibitions will deny children of LGBT parents equal access to the public sphere, inflict upon them psychological harm, and interfere with the “integrity and closeness” of their families — contrary to the aims of public accommodation and anti-discrimination law, and LGBT equality principles advanced in United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges.
Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Catherine E. Smith, Laura Fontana, Tanya Washington & Barbara Bennett Woodhouse,
Brief of Amici Curiae Scholars of The Constitutional Rights and Interests Of Children in Support of Respondents in Masterpiece Cakeshop LTD, et al v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission,
Available at: https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/faculty_scholarship/329