Briefs filed in Supreme Court case describe rejection and harm experienced by LGBTQ community

SALT LAKE CITY — The stories begin with an unremarkable interaction.

“I was checking into my hotel.”

“I was at the doctor’s office.”

“I was ordering flowers.”

Matt Adler’s story starts with a Lyft ride. It was about a year ago in suburban Maryland, and his driver wanted to chat.

“He told me I was a bad Jew for using a car on (the Sabbath) and then noticed the pride rainbow on my yarmulke,” Adler said.

Within minutes, Adler stood alone on the side of the road, his driver’s homophobic slurs ringing in his ears.

“He (had) swerved to the side of the road and kicked me out,” he said. “I had to walk the rest of the way.”

Amicus briefs in support of Colorado and the gay couple
(Joseph Tolman)

Rejection. Isolation. Anger. Those are the endings to stories scattered throughout the 45 amicus, or friend-of-the-court, briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the gay couple in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. The submissions come after 46 briefs were filed in support of the rights of Christian baker Jack Phillips.

The case to be heard Dec. 5 asks a straightforward legal question: Does compliance with Colorado’s anti-discrimination law violate a Christian baker’s free speech or religious exercise rights? But the answer to be delivered by the court sometime before June 30, 2018, will have major ramifications for people of faith and the LGBT community, as the more than 90 briefs filed in the case illustrate.

The briefs filed on Oct. 30 in support of Colorado and the gay couple grapple with the constitutional issues involved, analyzing the legal precedent for non-discrimination protections. But many also…

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