Would-be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) slammed Monday’s 7-2 Supreme Court ruling in the Masterpiece Bakeshop case, attacking “discriminatory practices behind the guise of religious liberty.”
The Court found in favor of a Colorado baker who was sued when he declined to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage because of his Christian beliefs. The baker asserted his religious liberty under the First Amendment.
The decision avoided ruling on the broader question of whether religious liberty trumps non-discrimination on the basis of sexuality, and held only that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had not given the baker a fair hearing.
Still, Pelosi made clear that she found any defense of religious liberty intolerable. Her full statement is as follows:
The Masterpiece Cakeshop case is about the most fundamental right of all Americans: to be free from persecution and discrimination because of who they are or whom they love. While narrowly framed to apply to the decision-making process undertaken by the state commission, today’s wrongheaded decision fails to uphold equality in this case.
Masterpiece Cakeshop is a commercial bakery open to the public, and such services clearly must be made available to the public on equal terms as determined by an independent review by the Colorado Court of Appeals which should have been upheld. No business or organization open to the public should hide their discriminatory practices behind the guise of religious liberty.
Our nation’s story is one of ever-expanding freedoms and progress toward a future of equal, full rights for all. To carry forth that progress, the Congress must immediately move to pass the Equality Act, to remove all doubt that sexual orientation and gender identity warrant fundamental civil rights protections in the workplace and in every place. Democrats will never stop fighting for every American’s right to full equality and equal justice under the law.
Pelosi, who currently serves as House Minority Leader, has made clear — despite internal objections — that she intends to reclaim the Speaker’s gavel if her party wins back the House majority in the November elections.