"When a chef offers something to the public, he must offer it to all."
Celebrity chefs and bakers have teamed up with members of Congress to rally for equality ahead of an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case involving an anti-gay bakery.
The court will hear arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights on December 5, stemming from a 2012 incident in which Masterpiece owner Jack Phillips refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
While the Trump administration has already sided with Phillips, some of the biggest names in the culinary world, including Anthony Bourdain and Duff Goldman, filed an amicus brief in support of LGBT rights.
The brief argues that food, despite being a form of self-expression for those who make it, is still a commercial good and should not be protected.
“When a chef offers something to the public, he must offer it to all,” the brief reads.
Goldman, who is the owner of Baltimore’s Charm City Cakes and the star of Food Network‘s Ace of Cakes, also wrote an essay for People that argues on the side of the same-sex couple.
“My business is unique, there’s no doubt about it, and that’s exactly why customers of all different types come to my shop,” Goldman wrote. “I don’t choose who walks through my door, I just know that when they’re there, I’m doing business with them.”
“And that’s the whole point of starting a business open to the public,” he added. “We get to choose what we sell, but we don’t get to choose who decides to stop in and purchase our goods.”
A second amicus brief was filed by the HRC along with 37 businesses speaking out against discrimination, including Ben & Jerry’s and Amazon.
A third was then filed by Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin, the first U.S. senator to be openly gay. She wrote that she supports religious freedom, but that beliefs “don’t entitle any of us to discriminate against others.”
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case starting next month, but will likely not make a final decision until next year.