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Brief of Amici Curiae Scholars of The Constitutional Rights and Interests Of Children in Support of Respondents in Masterpiece Cakeshop LTD, et al v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

27 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2017  

Catherine E. Smith

University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Lauren Fontana

University of Colorado at Denver - School of Public Affairs

Angela Onwuachi-Willig

University of Iowa College of Law

Tanya Washington

Georgia State University - College of Law

Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

Emory University School of Law; University of Florida - Levin College of Law

Date Written: November 2, 2017

Abstract

Masterpiece Cakeshop LTD, et al v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is about much more than a wedding cake. It is about the rightful place of LGBT people and their families in the commercial and public sphere. In fact, children are already bearing the brunt of exclusionary practices in the public marketplace because of their relationship to or association with their LGBT parents. In Michigan, a pediatrician refused to treat an infant based solely on the fact that the child had lesbian mothers. In Kentucky, a judge refused to hear adoption cases of children involving LGBT adoptive-parents-to-be. In Tennessee, a nondenominational private school rejected enrollment for a pre-kindergartener and his 8-month-old sister after discovering that the children had two dads. In this brief, we argue that an expressive or religious exemption to sexual orientation discrimination prohibitions will deny children of LGBT parents equal access to the public sphere, inflict upon them psychological harm, and interfere with the “integrity and closeness” of their families — contrary to the aims of public accommodation and anti-discrimination law, and LGBT equality principles advanced in United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges.

Suggested Citation

Smith, Catherine E. and Fontana, Lauren and Onwuachi-Willig, Angela and Washington, Tanya and Woodhouse, Barbara Bennett, Brief of Amici Curiae Scholars of The Constitutional Rights and Interests Of Children in Support of Respondents in Masterpiece Cakeshop LTD, et al v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (November 2, 2017). U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper, Working Paper No. 17-39. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3064242

Catherine Smith (Contact Author)

University of Denver Sturm College of Law ( email )

2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
United States

Lauren Fontana

University of Colorado at Denver - School of Public Affairs ( email )

1380 Lawrence Street
Suite 500
Denver, CO 80204
United States

Angela Onwuachi-Willig

University of Iowa College of Law ( email )

290 Boyd Law Building
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

Tanya Washington

Georgia State University - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

Barbara Woodhouse

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-4934 (Phone)
404-727-6820 (Fax)

University of Florida - Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States

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