NYS Executive Law §296(2)

The United State Supreme Court recently held that a bakery owner did not violate a customer’s Equal Protection rights by refusing to bake him a wedding cake. The Court held that the bakery owner was exercising his First Amendment right to not support gay marriage in doing so. The court decision is here Masterpiece v. Colorado CRC.pdf Click for more options You need not read the entire decision – the Court’s reasoning gets rather muddled and confusing. The first few pages of facts are sufficient. Please note the following: Many states prohibit discrimination by businesses based upon various protected classes. Below is the relevant portion of the New York law regarding this issue: NYS Executive Law §296(2)(a) – It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any person, being the owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent or employee of any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement, because of the race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, or disability or marital status of any person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from or deny to such person any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges thereof . . . Furthermore, New York’s law does not cover other classes of people such as political affiliation, beauty, smokers, whether one engages in extra-marital sex, etc. so these classes of people (and countless others) can be discriminated against by a business open to the public. The issue in this case was whether Colorado’s law prohibiting discrimination (similar to New York State’s law) violated the First Amendment rights of the bakery owner. You must take a position – either in support of a small business owner in a state such as New York or Colorado facing a similar issue (not necessarily a gay marriage cake issue) of a customer base you do not choose to serve, OR in support of a customer’s right to be served by that business without exception. DO NOT present arguments from both sides. Examine your single perspective from both an ethical and business point of view.

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