MASTERPIECE CAKESHOP V. CRAIG (COLORADO COURT OF APPEALS, 2015)

The complainants in this case, a gay couple, were denied the opportunity to order a cake for their wedding reception by a Denver-area bakery with a policy and history of refusing to sell baked goods for occasions celebrating same-sex relationships. The Colorado Civil Rights Division held that this constituted sexual orientation discrimination in violation of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission upheld this finding and ordered the Cakeshop to change its policy and take various steps to communicate the change. 

The Cakeshop and its owner have appealed the Commission’s ruling to the Colorado Court of Appeals. In their opening brief, Appellants argue that enforcing the nondiscrimination law against them is unconstitutional under the Free Exercise Clause and the compelled speech doctrine. ADL submitted a brief urging the court to affirm the Commission’s decision and reject arguments that religious or moral disapproval is a legitimate basis for discrimination against minority groups.