In 2012, the owner of a Colorado bakery refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, claiming it violated his sincerely held religious beliefs. The couple sued under Colorado’s public accommodation’s law, which bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In 2017, after various appeals, the Supreme Court granted review.
The case would determine whether a business open to the public can discriminate against LGB people on the basis of alleged religious beliefs.
The brief explains that when a bakery or other public accommodation refuses to serve LGB people, the experience is a prejudice event—a type of “minority stressor” that can have tangible negative effects on the well-being of the LGB community. Stigma-related minority stress has been linked to disproportionately high levels of psychological distress, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicide attempts—many of which are two to three times greater among the LGB community than the heterosexual majority.