Masterpiece Cakeshop

Masterpiece Cakeshop is the name of an important Supreme Court case about a bakery in Colorado called Masterpiece Cakeshop. That bakery refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple, Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, in violation of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law. That law, like many others like it, requires that businesses provide service to customers on equal terms. Under these sorts of anti-discrimination laws, for example, if I sell sandwiches to white customers I can’t refuse to sell sandwiches to African American customers. The bakery challenged Colorado’s anti-discrimination law in court—arguing that it had a constitutional right to refuse to sell wedding cakes to gay couples under the First Amendment’s freedoms of speech and religion. Masterpiece Cakeshop raised important questions about whether or not all people, regardless of status, should be able to receive equal service in American commercial life. In that case, the Supreme Court declined to grant the bakery a constitutional right to discriminate.