June 5, 2018
Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance
Statement on US Supreme Court’s “Masterpiece Cake” ruling
The Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance (“AllianceQ”) is disappointed in yesterday’s ruling, and especially dismayed at the likelihood that some will incorrectly misinterpret the Supreme Court’s decision as allowing discrimination against LGBT people because of religious beliefs.
We are grateful that the ruling very narrowly permits ONLY ONE Colorado bakery to legally turn away LGBT customers. The reasoning in the court’s ruling had to do with perceived bias on the part of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, rather than specifically on any right to discriminate under “religious freedom”. Indeed, Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion contains positive statements such as “…without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”
AllianceQ supports Christian faith and expression, but deplores the use of faith as cause to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. “We are delighted to join with ecumenical partners and the broader queer community to stand up for the legal and spiritual equality of LGBTQ+ Christians”, said Robin Knauerhase, Moderator-Elect of the Alliance. “Our interpretations of scripture and the model of Jesus Christ include love and justice for *all people* equally, and our understanding of the American social contract disallows discrimination against LGBTQ people in the same way that it prohibits unequal treatment on the basis of sex, race, age, or creed.”
The General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Rev. Teresa “Terri” Hord Owens, says, “Jesus taught us to love one another as he has loved us. “By this will all people know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35). This is the standard by which Christians must be known, and we cannot endorse any interpretation of faith that encourages discrimination. As a Christian, I do not understand how you can start with love and argue your way to any form of discrimination that diminishes the humanity of another person.”
We look forward to upcoming cases that will allow the Supreme Court, as we infer from yesterday’s decision and its dissenting opinions, to more clearly spell out that “religious freedom” is absolutely NOT a valid legal reason for discrimination in society and commerce.
For the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance Council, members, and affiliated congregations and organizations,
Rev. Dan Adolphson, Moderator Robin Knauerhase, Moderator-Elect
Rev. Mark Johnston, Director of Open & Affirming Ministries