The Column

MN Faith leaders ask U.S. Supreme Court to rule against LGBTQ discrimination

Photograph by Franz Jantzen, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Faith leaders from every corner of Minnesota sent an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court, urging the court to reject the religious right arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

In 2012, a Colorado bakery called Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to sell a wedding cake to David Mullins and Charlie Craig. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission determined in 2014 that the cake shop violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

The bakery appealed but the Colorado Supreme Court sided with Mullins and Craig. Masterpiece Cakeshop has taken its case to the U.S. Supreme Court which will hear the case in the 2017 term.

Last week, hundreds of religious leaders from across the United States filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws.

The religious leaders “unite in believing it is both morally wrong and not constitutionally required to permit blanket discrimination in the public marketplace for goods and services based on the personal religious beliefs of merchants with respect to same-sex couples’ rights and relationships,” the brief states. “[We] believe that, to the contrary, public accommodation laws should be applied on the basis of religiously neutral principles of equal protection under the law.”

Among the signers of the brief were dozens of Minnesota faith leaders hailing from Duluth, La Crescent, St. Cloud, Virginia, Brainerd, and communities in between. They include:

Rev. Donna Olsen, Senior Pastor, Hope 4 All UHM, Interfaith, Minneapolis, MN;
Rev. Miriam Samuelson Roberts, Pastor, Westwood Lutheran Church, Lutheran ELCA, Minneapolis, MN;
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel, Director of the Center For Sustainable Justice, Lyndale United Church of Christ, United Church of Christ, Minneapolis, MN;
Carol Wise, Executive Director, Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests, Minneapolis, MN;
Rev. Dan Adolphson, Moderator, Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance, Disciples of Christ, Christian Church, Minneapolis, MN
Rev. Joel Bergeland, Associate Pastor, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth, Lutheran ELCA, Minneapolis, MN;
Rev. Dr. Anita L. Bradshaw, Transitional Senior Pastor, United Church of Christ, Minneapolis, MN;
Reverend DeWayne Davis, Senior Pastor, All God’s Children MCC, Metropolitan Community Church, Minneapolis, MN;
Reverend Laurie Feille, Senior Pastor, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Minneapolis, Disciples of Christ, Christian Church, Minneapolis, MN;
Reverend Marylee Fithian, Retired, United Methodist Church, Minneapolis, MN;
Rev. Arnold Hanson, Retired, ELCA, Lutheran–ELCA, Minneapolis, MN;
The Rev. Jane Geffken Henderson, Retired, The Congregational Church, NH, United Church of Christ, Minneapolis, MN;
Rev. Dr. Carolyn Pressler, Harry C. Piper Professor of Biblical Interpretation, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, United Church of Christ, New Brighton, MN;
Rev. Ann Romanczuk, Hospital Chaplain, Unitarian Universalist Association, Roseville, MN;
Ms. Barbara Simmonds, Member, Religious Society of Friends/Quaker, Quaker, St Paul, MN;
Reverend Heather Thomason, Chaplain, Disciples of Christ, Christian Church, Saint Paul, MN;
Rev. Thomas Uphaus, Retired, United Church of Christ, La Crescent, MN;
Reverend Suzanne Wasilczuk, Minister, Mesabi Unitarian Universalist Church, Virginia, Unitarian Universalist Association, Duluth, MN;
Rev. Lindsay Louise Biddle, Minister Locum for the Church of Scotland, Teaching Elder, Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church in Glasgow, Scotland, Presbyterian Church USA, Saint Louis Park, MN;
Reverend John Fiscus, Pastor, Peace United Church of Christ, United Church of Christ, St Cloud, MN;
Rev. Corinne Freedman Ellis, Minister of Congregational Life, Macalester Plymouth United Church, United Church of Christ, St. Paul, MN:
Rev. Sue Hamly, Pastor, Faith United Church (UCC), United Church of Christ, International Falls, MN;
Reverend Kristin Maier, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northfield, Unitarian Universalist Association, Northfield, MN;
Rev. Dr. Edwin Martin, Retired, Westminster Presbyterian, Presbyterian Church USA, Burnsville, MN;
Rev. Leslie Moughty, First Congregational United Church of Christ, United Church of Christ, Brainerd, MN;

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