It was never really about any cake . . .

The Supreme Court recently issued their decision on the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Disappointingly, the Court’s 7-2 ruling in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop is a devastating blow to the Constitutional rights of LGBT individuals and allies. It sends a clear message of approval to those who seek to impose hate masquerading as so-called ‘religious freedom’ on America’s most vulnerable communities.

The 30th Annual Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair is hosting a plenary on August 8th entitled “It Was Never About The Cake: Public Accommodations and Religious Refusals in the Aftermath of Masterpiece Cakeshop” to discuss several issues that remain following the court’s ruling in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop, including the implications of the ruling, the broad applicability of the decision, and how the LGBT community can move forward. Additionally, there will be a workshop expanding upon Wednesday’s conversation on the decision on August 9th entitled “The Aftermath of Masterpiece Cakeshop: Continuing the Conversation.”

Here is the full Masterpiece Cakeshop related programming we are offering at the 30th Annual Conference and Career Fair:

Aug 8 – It Was Never About The Cake: Public Accommodations and Religious Refusals in the Aftermath of Masterpiece Cakeshop

The Supreme Court’s decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is a narrow ruling, tailored at core to remedy the wrong the majority found in the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s evaluation of whether baker Jack Phillips’ religious objections to making a wedding cake for Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins’ wedding should trump their protections under Colorado’s civil rights statute. While the Court made clear that its decision hinged on the Constitutional mandate that a State may not exhibit “hostility” in its laws, regulations, or enforcement thereof, it nonetheless opened the door to the potential for a flood of litigation seeking to resolve the tension between those who wish to have the freedom to discriminate in the name of religion, and those, such as the LGBT community, who wish to fully and freely access places of public accommodation under the protection of state and local laws. This plenary session will address a number of issues that remain after the decision, including what the decision means for governmental agencies such as the Colorado Commission assessing such claims in future; how the new claims being advanced by anti-equality forces differ doctrinally from classic religious conscience claims; how to address and advocate in partnership with other communities potentially harmed by the growing push to use private religious beliefs to discriminate in public and quasi-public spaces; what cases are in the pipeline that may shed more light and potentially reach the Court in the near future; and what the LGBT community can do to protect itself and the full promise of Obergefell.

Speakers: Louise Melling, American Civil Liberties Union; Doug NeJaime, Yale Law School; Jenny Pizer, Lambda Legal; Sirine Shebaya, Muslim Advocates; Ria Tabacco Mar, American Civil Liberties Union

Aug 9 – The Aftermath of Masterpiece Cakeshop: Continuing the Conversation

This workshop brings together some of our movement’s great minds to continue the conversation begun at the Wednesday plenary on the aftermath of the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision. Our panelists will expand upon the plenary topic, focusing particularly upon how the Supreme Court’s ruling and the growing deference in state legislatures to religious refusals is likely to impact the trajectory of the LGBTQ equality movement, as well as how they may impact other marginalized identity groups.

Speakers: James Esseks, American Civil Liberties Union; Sharita Gruberg, Center for American Progress; Elizabeth Reiner Platt, Columbia Law School; Victoria Rodriguez-Roldan, National LGBTQ Task Force; Reva Siegel, Yale Law School


30th Annual Conference & Career FAIR

We invite you to join us for our signature event held in New York on August 8-10, 2018

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