Santa Clara County on Monday joined a federal lawsuit with 70 other jurisdictions asking the United States Supreme Court to uphold landmark protections for LGBTQ people.
The county’s friend-of-the-court brief was filed in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case of the Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
The high court is reviewing the decision of the Colorado Court of Appeals, which ruled that the bakery owner, Jake Phillips, violated the state’s non-discrimination law in 2012 by denying business to Charlie Craig and David Mullins. Phillips argues that serving a gay couple would violate his Christian beliefs.
Santa Clara County’s brief holds that the First Amendment doesn’t give businesses the right to skirt public accommodation laws.
“Equal treatment under the law is a bedrock principle of this country,” county Supervisor Ken Yeager, Silicon Valley’s first openly gay elected official, said in announcing the brief. “Business owners have a legal obligation to treat each of their customers the same. When they open their doors to the public, they cannot pick and choose whom to serve.”
Click here to read the brief.