The United States Supreme Court is currently hearing a case involving a Colorado bakery, which has refused to serve members of the LGBT community in Colorado. The case — Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission — will decide if businesses are free to discriminate against others based on a personal or religious belief.
But Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who is arguing on behalf of the Trump administration that businesses do have the right to refuse service to some people, repeatedly referenced the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) during oral arguments before the high court, maintaining that a black sculptor shouldn’t be forced to make art for the KKK.
As Imani Gandy of Rewire notes, members of the KKK aren’t a “protected class” the way LGBT Americans are:
“The anti-discrimination law doesn’t require every business to serve every person on the planet. It merely requires that a business not refuse service based on a person’s protected characteristic.”
Colorado’s anti-discrimination law clearly states that “places of public accommodation” are prohibited from refusing service to a person based on protected characteristics such as “disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, and ancestry.”
That means, according to Gandy:
“A protected or ‘suspect’ class is made up of ‘discrete and insular minorities’: a group of people who have historically been subjected to discrimination, comprise a discrete minority (meaning there aren’t a lot of them, percentage-wise), and have immutable characteristics (meaning characteristics that cannot be changed).”
So why exactly did the solicitor general make such a ridiculous argument before the high court? Is he trying to equate LGBT people with the KKK and blur the lines between the two? If so, it seems unlikely a majority of the court will go along with such a ridiculous notion.
After Charlottesville, Donald Trump proved that he’s willing to provide cover for right-wing extremist groups, some of whom are “very fine people,” he said. But for an attorney who is supposed to be defending the Constitution to make a parallel between LGBT Americans and a violent domestic terrorist group is a new low, even for this White House.