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30 North Carolina Faith Leaders and Business Owners Rally to Denounce Discrimination Ahead of Oral Arguments for “Masterpiece Cakeshop” Supreme Court Case


December 4, 2017


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (443) 854-1405

Kahran Myers, kmyers@faithinpubliclife.org, (727) 742-5193

Ben Graumann, bgraumann@equalitync.org, (704) 451-4522

30 North Carolina Faith Leaders and Business Owners Rally to Denounce Discrimination Ahead of Oral Arguments for “Masterpiece Cakeshop” Supreme Court Case

Greensboro, N.C. — Today, NC Faith Forward, an LGBTQ-affirming faith coalition gathered with 30 faith leaders and business owners to denounce the use of religion to justify discrimination and express support for the plaintiffs in Masterpiece Cakes v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission prior to the Supreme Court’s oral arguments. The case will be heard by SCOTUS tomorrow, Dec. 5, 2017.

In Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission the Supreme Court will decide whether religious beliefs give businesses open to the public a right to discriminate. If the United States Supreme Court rules to allow discrimination in this case it would have implications far beyond LGBTQ people, and would put into jeopardy long-standing laws against discrimination across the country leaving many vulnerable to discrimination.

Alex McNeill, More Light Presbyterians:

“Every time I walk through the doors of a business, I worry that we could be turned away for who we are. Jesus taught us that we show our love for God by loving our neighbor even when we disagree. As a Christian, I believe in upholding this Golden Rule in life as well as in business. Granting businesses the right to discriminate is not only inconsistent with our Constitution, it’s also opposite to Jesus’ example.”

Rev. Dr. T Anthony Spearman, NC NAACP Executive Director:

“A business cannot escape the principle that it must serve and treat its customers equally. Hate based discrimination is a plague that must be eradicated, and we rely on our court system to protect the vulnerable, especially at a time when our highest leaders are advocating the opposite.”

Margarita Delgado, Owner of Manny’s Universal Cafe:

“When I open the doors as the owner [of Manny’s Universal Cafe], I should have the door open to everyone. As a business owner I cannot be selective.”

In 2012, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, plaintiffs in the case, visited Masterpiece Cakeshop to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception. The bakery owner, Jack Phillips, told them he couldn’t sell them a wedding cake because they were a same-sex couple. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled that the bakery had violated the state’s nondiscrimination law by refusing service to Dave and Craig.

Photos & Video Footage: bit.ly/Dec42017PressPacketMasterpiece


The NC Faith Forward Coalition consists of seven organizations: Believe Out Loud, Equality North Carolina, Faith in Public Life, The Freedom Center for Social Justice, Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for Gay and Transgender Justice, More Light Presbyterians, and the National LGBTQ Task Force.

NC Faith Forward works at the intersection of faith, equality and justice to combat discrimination and ensure all of North Carolina is an open, welcoming and just home for all. We are mobilizing faith leaders, clergy, business owners, and activists across the state against the use of religion to justify harm.

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