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Statement from Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman Regarding U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

DENVER—Below is a statement from Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman regarding the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

“Today the Supreme Court determined that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’s sincerely held religious beliefs in this particular case. Based on the statements of some Commissioners, the Court found that the proceedings did not honor the State’s solemn responsibility of fair and neutral enforcement of Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws.

At the same time, the opinion is narrow. The Court made its decision based on a specific set of facts and left open many legal questions. Unfortunately, those questions will have to be decided in future litigation.

The Court did make clear, however, that States like Colorado may continue to protect the LGBTQ community, reaffirming principles my office has consistently defended for the past six years. The general rule was, and remains, that the First Amendment does not allow business owners to deny members of the community equal access to goods and services. As the Court said, the right of gay people and couples to “exercise ... their freedom on terms equal to others must be given great weight and respect.” The Court’s decision did nothing to undermine protections the Colorado General Assembly granted to the LGBTQ community under our Anti-Discrimination Act.”


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Annie Skinner
Colorado Attorney General’s Office
720-508-6553 or