Town hall discusses LGBT discrimination after SCOTUS ruling

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Advocates held a town hall in Waco to discuss the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling in Colorado.

In June, the court ruled in favor of the bakery, which refused to provide a wedding cake to a gay couple based on the owner’s religious beliefs.

The group is going across the state this week to answer any questions about the ruling. They say the LGBT community is worried the outcome could lead to more discrimination in the future.

“We’re doing this town hall around the state to hear from people, what is happening in their communities and to talk to them about what the case means,” Equality Texas Chief Program Officer Rebecca Robertson said.

Three Texas advocacy groups promoting a town hall series this week. On Tuesday, packing a room at the Lake Shore Baptist Church for the controversial conversation. 

“We had a great turnout tonight with a lot of folks from the community willing to share their stories and wanting to know more about what’s going on,” Robertson said.

In a 7 to 2 decision, the Supreme Court sided with a Colorado baker that refused to create a wedding cake because of religious beliefs. The decision has left many wondering if the door’s been opened for businesses to discriminate against LGBT communities long-term.

“It seems like Waco is the perfect place to talk about how there doesn’t need to be this tension between religious liberty and equality. That our constitution is big enough for both,” Robertson said.

Speakers discussed if the court decision creates what some call “a license to discriminate”. What to do if customers are turned away and how activists can fight religious refusal laws.

“Our main goal is to share information with people who are uncertain right now and to reassure people that the supreme court did not create a license to discriminate.”

Robertson says its up to LGBT groups to reach out to their elected officials and demand change.

“People should expect to be treated fairly in public places,” Robertson said.

After this stop in Waco, the  groups will continue their town halls in San Antonio on Wednesday and Houston on Thursday.

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