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Attorney General Jason R. Ravnsborg

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South Dakota Joins Challenge Supporting Religious Freedom for Business Owners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Monday, September 18, 2017     
CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215   

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today he has joined a 20 state coalition of Attorneys General in filing an amicus brief, in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a Colorado cake artist’s constitutionally protected right to religious liberty.

“This case is about the freedom of religion that should be protected by government rather than threatened by it,” said Jackley. “There is no need to for the heavy hand of government to force a private business owner to bake a cake.” 
Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, is appealing a state court decision he lost after he declined to create a cake because of his deeply-held religious belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. In the past, the Supreme Court held that businesses run on religious principles may be exempted from generally applicable laws.
Supreme Court amicus brief was joined by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin, and the Governor of Maine.
There is no cost to the State of South Dakota to join this challenge.