CHICAGO - On December 5, 2017, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on whether a business open to the public has a constitutional right to discriminate. David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited Masterpiece Cakeshop in July 2012 to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception. But bakery owner Jack Phillips informed them that the bakery wouldn't sell wedding cakes to same-sex couples.
In advance of these landmark arguments, the ACLU of Illinois is working with dozens of institutions and culinary professionals across the Chicagoland area to participate in a day of action on December 5th. Participating employers will place an ACLU "#OpenToAll" sign in their businesses and post their support on social media.
Businesses interested in participating in the campaign can visit this page: https://www.aclu-il.org/en/press-releases/join-opentoall-campaign-support-equality
"Nobody should be turned away from a business, denied service, fired from their job, or evicted from their home simply because of who they are. If the Supreme Court sides with the bakery, the systematic rejection of LGBTQ people from public life will gain legitimacy and anti-LGBTQ movements will grow stronger. If a baker can reject LGBTQ people, then what about the mechanic, the florist, the doctor, the teacher? Protecting people from discrimination is part of our country's promise of equal treatment under the law for everyone," said John Knight, Director, LGBTQ and HIV Project, ACLU of Illinois.
Virtually all states and the federal government have laws prohibiting discrimination by public accommodations based on race, national origin and disability. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have laws that specifically prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in places of public accommodation. This case is about whether all these laws can be enforced without sweeping exemptions.
In addition to getting the word out, Alliance Bakery is making a special cake for the day of action to show their support. "If you run a business, then you should be open to all. Every customer that walks in our door deserves to be treated the same. We are proud to stand with Charlie, Dave and the ACLU of Illinois for this campaign," said Peter Rios, owner and Executive Pastry Chef, Alliance Bakery.
For more information on the Masterpiece Cakeshop Case: https://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-rights/lgbt-nondiscrimination-protections/masterpiece-cakeshop-case-what-you-need-know
Participating Chicagoland businesses currently include:
Boka Restaurant Group:
Girl & The Goat
GT Fish & Oyster
Swift & Sons
Little Goat Diner
Izakaya at Momotaro
Duck Duck Goat
The J. Parker
Elaine's Coffee Call
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine
Appellation Wine Bar & Restaurant
Four Corners Tavern Group:
Great Lakes Tattoo
Kindred Coffee Roasters
GBD Cakes and Sweets
Happy Apple Pie Shop
Cup & Spoon
Salon Del Lago
Dirk's Fish & Gourmet Shop
Lake View Lutheran Church ( participating church )