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Humanists Disheartened by Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision

For Immediate Release

Contact: Roy Speckhardt, 202-238-9088, Isabelle Oldfield, 202-238-9088 ext. 112,

(Washington, D.C., June 4, 2018)—The American Humanist Association expresses disappointment at today’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd., et al. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission et al., arises from Phillips’s refusal, on religious grounds, to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. It was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in December 2017.

While the Court majority decided in favor of the shop owner, Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor dissented, asserting that: “Phillips would not sell to Craig and Mullins, for no reason other than their sexual orientation, a cake of the kind he regularly sold to others.” The dissent continued, “Colorado, the Court does not gainsay, prohibits precisely the discrimination Craig and Mullins encountered.”

The AHA, which filed an amicus brief in the case last fall supporting the rights of same-sex couples to equal treatment in the marketplace, is disheartened by the Court’s ruling. "By not outright dismissing the religious objections as offensive to equality," said Roy Speckhardt, AHA executive director, "today's ruling is an example of the court giving too much weight to religion in our pluralistic society."

AHA stands in solidarity with all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, wishing to have access to the same goods and services. Today’s ruling is an example of religious objections taking priority over equal application of the law.


Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

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