Mayors of Carrboro and Chapel Hill have both signed amicus briefs in support of an upcoming anti-discrimination Supreme court case involving religious belief, free speech and gay rights.
Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is a potential landmark case that could set a judicial precedent concerning first-amendment rights. In July 2012 a gay couple in Colorado was denied a wedding cake as the owner claimed doing so would violate his religious beliefs. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission is arguing that the bakery illegally discriminated against the couple when they were refused service.
An amicus brief is submitted by a group or individual who is not directly involved with a case but who believes the case will have an impact on their own interests. Over 150 mayors across the nation have signed this brief as part of the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination coalition.
Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle said while this might be a national case, it’s still important for local governments to get involved.
“(The case) has broad implications whether our businesses that we allow to operate within our town are allowed to serve just people they chose to want to serve,” Lavelle said. “Businesses who serve the public should serve all members of the public. There’s really no question about that.”