Press Release

Cooley Files Brief in Supreme Court Highlighting Harms of Discrimination Against LGBTQ Community

November 3, 2017

Palo Alto – November 3, 2017 – This week Cooley filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States urging it to uphold the decision of the Colorado Court of Appeals that Masterpiece Cakeshop, a bakery in Lakewood, Colorado, unlawfully discriminated against same-sex couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig. The Court of Appeals had affirmed previous determinations that Masterpiece’s refusal to sell Mullins and Craig a wedding cake constituted discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in violation of Colorado law.

The amicus brief, filed on behalf of 10 national civil rights organizations from across the globe, demonstrates how countries around the globe have addressed issues similar to those presented in Masterpiece Cakeshop and Jack C. Phillips v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, and the profound damage that results when LGBTQ individuals are denied services offered to the public. The brief provides an international perspective on discrimination against individuals who are denied services because of their sexual orientation and the profound harm this discrimination inflicts, and specifically, how judiciaries in other countries have articulated this harm. The brief also emphasizes the significant social stigma and dignitary harm that individuals and communities suffer when they experience discrimination and exclusion.

“Fighting discrimination and exclusion aligns with Cooley’s core values,” said pro bono partner Maureen Alger. “We are proud to challenge harmful and unlawful discrimination against the LGBTQ community.”

Read the amicus brief

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