- - Wednesday, December 6, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

If the Supreme Court were to rule in favor of the baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding, it would risk spurring copycat claims (“The Latest: Baker and gay couple at court for cake arguments,” Web, Dec. 5). Public-accommodations laws require businesses not to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion and (in almost half the states, including Colorado) sexual orientation. The First Amendment rights regarding free speech and the exercise of religion, though fundamental to our constitutional republic, do not abrogate these laws, the baker’s sincere religious faith notwithstanding.

The notion reported to be advanced by the baker’s lawyer, one which distinguishes between the baker’s highly stylized, sculpted creations and the services provided by other professions that she said were “not speech,” is spurious. What’s next? Will calligraphers, florists, photographers, chefs, musicians — whose artistic contributions to weddings are also stylized and creative — feel emboldened to follow the baker’s lead if like-minded regarding same-sex weddings? How about risks to groups, like races or religious faiths, beyond the LGBTQ community?

The Supreme Court has an opportunity to set an unequivocal anti-discrimination standard for the nation by upholding Colorado’s public- accommodations law.

KEITH TIDMAN

Bethesda

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