WATCH: Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans, Speaks Out for #OpenToAll Supreme Court RallyBy Shane Stahl • December 5, 2017 • 5:04 pm
While oral arguments in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission were proceeding inside the U.S. Supreme Court, outside, a rally of hundreds showed their support of nondiscrimination protections and listened to a variety of speakers, from Senators and Representatives to clergy members and national activists. Among these speakers was newly-appointed CEO of Freedom For All Americans, Masen Davis.
Davis joined FFAA as CEO in early November, having previously served on the group’s Board of Directors for two years; he has also served as the Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center. His remarks came today at a crucial moment in the nondiscrimination movement – the Masterpiece case could have a wide-ranging impact on LGBTQ people nationwide and their ability to procure goods and services if so-called “religious exemptions” exist.
Around 9:30 this morning, Masen Davis offered these remarks. Watch a video, and read the full speech, as prepared, below:
“It’s humbling and inspiring to be part of today’s gathering at the Supreme Court during a watershed moment for LGBTQ equality.
As CEO of Freedom for All Americans, it’s my organization’s mission to secure full comprehensive protections for all LGBTQ people – and we’re proud to support the plaintiffs in this case.
As the son, grandson, and great-grandson of ministers, I grew up believing strongly in the freedom of religion as a shield, not a weapon.
Yet as a gay and transgender man – twenty years ago this year, I began my own gender transition to live as the man I am today – I’ve encountered countless instances of discrimination and I’ve seen so many LGBTQ people struggle simply to live their lives.
The fundamental values at risk in the Masterpiece case cannot be understated: this is about full dignity and respect for all Americans, and the freedom to live our most fulfilling lives without fear of discrimination.
A loss in Masterpiece would be devastating, paving the way for businesses and individuals to pick and choose which laws they want to follow, and what types of people they want to serve or turn away.
I’m so proud to be here today not just with leaders of the movement, but with so many LGBTQ Americans and their families who are directly impacted by what’s at stake in this case.
As we approach the holidays, I urge you to talk to your friends and families about what’s at stake here. Our work and our fights are not over.
This is not about one case. This is not about one cake. This is about our freedom to work, to make a living, to access basic public services, and to live our lives.”