CHICAGO — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced on Monday that she was filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court defending the constitutionality of Colorado’s public accommodations law.
The law is being challenged in the high court by a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. The owner of the bakery claims it violates his rights to freedom of speech and free exercise of religion. Madigan and the other attorneys general filed the brief in support of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the couple to whom Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to sell a wedding cake.
Madigan made the announcement on the Attorney General’s website.
In part, the brief states:
“Allowing commercial businesses to use the First Amendment as a shield for discriminatory conduct would undermine state civil rights laws and the vital benefits they provide to residents and visitors, leaving behind a society separate and unequal by law. Many Americans would face exclusion from a host of everyday businesses or, at the very least, the ever-present threat that any business owner could refuse to serve them when they walk in the door—simply because of their sexual orientation, or their race, religion, or gender.”
Joining Madigan in filing the amicus brief are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
A copy of the brief can be found here.