ACLU of North Carolina Legal Director Chris Brook and Cato Institute Chairman Bob Levy will debate the pending U.S. Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which asks whether a business open to the public has a constitutional right to discriminate.
Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, declined to make a wedding cake for a David Mullins and Charlie Craig because of his religious objections to same-sex marriage. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission declared that the denial of service to the couple violated the state’s nondiscrimination law.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the case on December 5 and will soon issue a ruling that could decide whether businesses can refuse service to customers by asserting the owner’s religious liberty and/or his right to be free from compelled speech.
The ACLU, which represents Mullins and Craig, has argued that this case is no different than Jim Crow-era race-based denials of service and could open the door to widespread discrimination. Others have insisted that business owners have a right to freedom of association – including the freedom not to associate.
Please join us for a spirited conversation between two attorneys on opposing sides of this important issue. This event is free and open to the public.