Metro Weekly

WATCH: Two ads and “Open to All” website launch ahead of SCOTUS cake shop case

Campaign warns of the negative implications of allowing religious exemptions to public accommodations laws

A still from the “We Don’t Serve Your Kind” ad – Photo: Open to All Campaign.

The Movement Advancement Project, an independent think tank that works to educate the public about LGBTQ issues, has launched “Open to All,” a new campaign whose website features two online ads informing people about the Masterpiece Cakeshop case currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Launched just a week prior to oral arguments on Tuesday, Dec. 5, the campaign aims to provide background information on the case, the legal arguments in the case, and the impact that allowing religious exemptions for business owners could have on other civil rights laws.

The Masterpiece case centers around an incident in which Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., refused to bake a cake for the wedding of Charlie Craig and David Mullins. Phillips and his lawyers have argued that cake decoration is a form of artistic expression, and forcing him to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding violates his First Amendment rights. Phillips’ legal team is asking that businesses with a “creative” element to their work be exempted from having to abide by public accommodation nondiscrimination laws like Colorado’s.

But Ineke Mushovic, the executive director of the Movement Advancement Project, says that exempting businesses from having to abide by nondiscrimination laws that protect LGBTQ people could lead the erosion of laws protecting other minority groups.

“If the Court carves out a broad exemption in nondiscrimination laws for so-called ‘creative enterprises,’ we could see an explosion of discrimination by restaurants, hair salons, event venues, funeral parlors and more,” Mushovic said in a statement. “And the impact of such a decision wouldn’t be limited to LGBT people; it could be used to allow discrimination against people of color, women, minority faiths, people with disabilities, and others.”

The two ads on the website try to drive home that point. The first, titled “We Don’t Serve Your Kind Here” shows a gay couple being refused service by a baker, and shows what the type of exemption being asked for in Masterpiece would look like when a heterosexual couple is told to leave a restaurant after the man proposes to the woman, and when an ice cream parlor owner refuses to serve an African-American family.

The second ad, titled “License to Discriminate,” features actors pretending to be bigoted business owners with an inner monologue explaining how they will be allowed to refuse service if they are granted such exemptions.

In addition to the ads, the “Open to All” site also includes a social media graphics sharing section where visitors can share information via Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. The website also includes a comprehensive list of amicus briefs filed in support of Craig and Mullins. Thus far, the couple has received support from civil rights advocates, LGBTQ groups, faith organizations, and members of the business community.

Watch the Open to All campsgin’s two ads below:

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