News from AllianceQ: November 2017

What Does a Wedding Cake Have to do with Freedom for Everyone?

We hope you saw our call on Facebook for signatures supporting an amicus brief that has been prepared in the name of people of faith to advocate for the rights of all persons to access all public services and accommodations. This amicus brief was filed with (as best we could count) 65 Disciples signatures, including pastors, professors, deans, chaplains, regional ministers, and one General Minister and President.

This brief was filed last week on October 30 in response to US Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, No. 16-111. You can read about it and link to it here.

This winter, the US Supreme Court will hear Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case involving an engaged same-sex couple who visited Masterpiece Cakeshop, a bakery in Colorado, to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception. The owner of the bakery refused to fulfill their order, claiming his religious beliefs qualify him for an exemption to a longstanding non-discrimination law in Colorado prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

On the surface, this looks like a simple case of one Christian trying to follow the call of his faith (even if we disagree on where our faith calls us).

However, this case is about so much more. This is about returning us to the days when people could be denied housing and other public accommodations because of who they are. The days when an interracial couple could be denied a hotel room for the night, or a couple who don’t appear to be married, not to mention a same gender couple, because the hotel manager claims that his religious convictions prohibit interracial, same gender, or non-married relationships. The days when people of color could be denied service at a lunch counter because of the color of their skin because a store owner claims that her religious convictions prohibit people of different races from mixing.

Religion and claims of religious faith have been used to support discrimination as far back as history has kept records. And let’s be clear: we have become somewhat familiar and comfortable with the word discrimination. This is about the denial of each other’s basic humanity in ways that are not just oppressive, but deadly.


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