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Will Supreme Court allow businesses to not serve the LGBTQ community?

Will Supreme Court allow businesses to not serve the LGBTQ community?

fill with Antonin Scalia-like justices I can exhale knowing that Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court legalized same- sex marriage in the 2004 “Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health” landmark case, and it’s sticking.

However, that may not be the case for many LGBTQ married couples outside of Massachusetts. For example, in a Trumped-up Supreme Court there is talk among Christian evangelicals of walking “Obergefell v. Hodges” back without disrupting other precedent on marriage,” Rebecca Buckwaler-Poza wrote in the article “The End of Gay Rights” in the June issue of Pacific Standard Magazine.

“The Supreme Court can significantly undermine LGBT rights even without reversing a single case. Right now, the federal prohibition against sex discrimination doesn't bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity; the Equal Protection Clause affords no specific protections for LGBT people, as it does for members of groups defined by race or nationality. The Court can strip the rights to intimacy and marriage of their meaning, carving away gradually and masking the magnitude of changes by phrasing them in arcane legal terms.”

A movement for some time now has been afoot in state legislatures across the country to disenfranchise LGBTQ Americans. These bills are called “Religious Freedom Restoration Acts” (RFRA), and are a backlash to the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage and the growing fear of when the Supreme Court legalize it nationwide. Lawmakers used them to codify LGBTQ discrimination to justify denying us services.

For example, in 2013 a family-owned bakery in Gresham, Oregon called “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” wanted to “practice their Constitutional right to religious freedom.” However, instead of servicing an LGBTQ clientele Sweet Cakes closed the family shop and moved the business to their home making it clear LGBTQ dollars are not wanted.

Colorado state law prohibits public accommodations, like Masterpiece Cakeshop, from refusing service based on race, gender, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity. “No one should ever have to walk into a store and wonder if they will be turned away just because of who they are,” Mullins told ACLU Colorado.

With Justice Neil Gorsuch newly appointed to the Supreme Court and recent rumors of Justice Anthony Kennedy retiring and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg failing to retire during the Obama administration the ideological balance of the Court is at stake in this uber-conservative Trump administration.

Let’s hope in the fall the Supreme Court does the right thing and not codify LGBTQ discrimination, because democracy can only begin when those at the margin can experience what others take for granted.