While watching how the Masterpiece Cake case begins to unravel, we got to thinking. If the president can announce that he is fine with blatant discrimination by saying businesses should be able to put signs up saying they do not serve the LGBTQ+ population, we ought to allow businesses that DO support our community to also say so.
This is why we are rolling out the Erase Hate in Business campaign.
If the court decides that a religious exemption from civil-rights protections exists for creating a cake due to “artistic expression,” then what about sandwich artists? Architects? People who paint houses? Could someone make up a religion where their personal belief system states they should not serve people of color? Jews? Folks with only one leg? Could the baker turn around and say he doesn’t support interfaith weddings and refuse to serve them, as well? We believe that if this effort to gut civil rights laws succeeds, it will harm every minority community i the country. It is one more Jenga piece pulled from the stack that is “the constellation of benefits” guaranteed by marriage.
Initially, we were going to go through certification for participants in this campaign, but time is not on our side and we want as many people as possible to show their support of the plaintiffs, Charlie Craig and David Mullins. It’s worth noting that this is a landmark case for another reason: had Senate Republicans not unjustly blocked President Obama’s attempted appointment of Merrick Garland to fill the seat vacated by the late Antonin Scalia, things would be looking very different right now. Very different.
We have joined a coalition of other civil rights organizations supporting public businesses being #OpenToAll. Read more about the campaign and join the fight here. As we watch what happens over the coming weeks, know that the Matthew Shepard Foundation will continue to do everything in our power to fight for what is right and just. It’s our mission to Erase Hate, and replace it with understanding, compassion and acceptance.
If you or your business wants to stand up to hatred and join the Erase Hate in Business campaign, simply click here, download the poster, print it out, and display it on your storefront. If you can make a donation so we can continue to present to employee resource groups on why equality in business is so important, we will also gratefully accept your help.
One step further: if after signing up and displaying your Erase Hate in Business poster, you want to share it with us, please email a photo and we’ll make sure your business is seen!
As always, thank you for your support. Your commitment to erase hate and replace it with understanding, compassion and acceptance is paramount to this fight.