By Dani Bernstein
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court’s narrow ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission reversed a case we’ve been following closely.
While the outcome is disappointing, we can take heart that the opinion protected the core principles of our non-discrimination laws, expressly recognizing that states can seek to prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against LGBTQ people.
The Court did not give businesses the broad right to discriminate that the bakery and the Trump administration sought here.
As we mark the 48thPride month, Oregonians can be incredibly proud that, for the first time, a generation of LGBTQ Oregonians has come of age knowing they were protected in Oregon law.
That’s because we worked together to elect a pro-equality legislative majority that passed workplace, housing and public accommodation protections for LGBTQ Oregonians with the Oregon Equality Act in 2007.
It was a historic victory for our community, and today our state is recognized as one of the most inclusive states in the country.
Despite our progress, opponents are not giving up.
Since we began winning the freedom to marry, an increasing number of bakers, florists, and photographers across the country are cynically denying services to LGBTQ couples as they prepare for one of the most important events of their lives—their wedding day.
Our best defense right now against further efforts to discriminate is to re-elect Governor Kate Brown and our pro-equality majority.
Since taking the reins of the Governor’s office, Kate Brown has fiercely expanded LGBTQ protections, and Bureau of Labor & Industries Commissioner Brad Avakian has been a tireless defender of our progress. We expect that to continue with Commissioner-Elect Val Hoyle in charge.
Together, we can continue to defend the Oregon Equality Act by investing in pro-equality candidates through the Basic Rights Oregon Equality PAC.
Dani Bernstein is Chair of Basic Rights Oregon’s Equality PAC