November 3, 2017 | Sex & Society

Celebrity chefs come out in support of gay rights

Gay wedding cakeSeveral chefs have come out in support of gay rights by adding their names to an amicus brief for the upcoming US Supreme Court case concerning a baker's obligation to work with a queer client.

In December, the Court will hear arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In 2012, Masterpiece owner Jack Phillips refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. He claimed Jesus would have a heart attack if he did.
 
Phillips and his lawyers are arguing that this is an issue of free speech and religious freedom. However, several LGBT and allied groups say this is a basic issue of discrimination.
 
Groups are welcome to submit their own arguments as friends of the court in support of one side or the other. A group of bakers, chefs and restaurateurs have decided to come out strongly on the side of gay rights.
 
According to the brief: "When a chef offers something to the public, he must offer it to all."
 
Several big names in the cooking world have added their names to the brief.
 
"My business is unique, there’s no doubt about it, and that’s exactly why customers of all different types come to my shop," explained Food Network star Duff Goldman. "I don’t choose who walks through my door, I just know that when they’re there, I’m doing business with them."
 
He added: "Based on logic, if he could refuse service to someone who goes against his beliefs, could a restaurant refuse service to an interracial couple because the owner objects to interracial marriage? What about other businesses? Could a Subway employee – which the brand calls their sandwich artists – refuse to sell me a six-inch cold cut trio because he does not agree with my facial hair, claiming his freedom of speech allows him to refuse me? This is the type of slippery slope we’re getting into."
 
Other celebrity chefs who signed the brief include José Andrés, Anthony Bourdain, Padma Lakshmi, and Carla Hall.
 
Although we agree that discrimination has no place in society, we would never eat a cake someone was forced to make for us. What's really in that icing?

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