WASHINGTON, D.C., June 30, 2023. The Supreme Court issued a decision today that grants a free pass for discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and could harken a return to Jim Crow.
The opinion in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis weaponizes the First Amendment to allow businesses to refuse service on the basis of identity, denying Americans’ fundamental dignity — the heart of decades of precedent recognizing individuals’ innate value as people, right to live free of interference, and entitlement to protection from discrimination.
The decision gives a free license to businesses across this country not only to discriminate against protected groups, but to publicly announce their intentions to do so. This is a threat not only to the LGBTQ+ people, but to all protected classes. Nothing in the decision, for example, distinguishes between refusing to provide services for a same-sex wedding versus an interracial wedding.
Alliance for Justice President Rakim H.D. Brooks issued the following statement:
“It’s hard to read this decision and not wonder what’s to stop businesses from hanging ‘No Blacks allowed’ signs in the window. It’s not ‘expression’ to offer a service to some and not others based solely on their identity. This perversion of the First Amendment follows state legislatures filing more than 400 bills this year targeting the LGBTQ+ community with discrimination, many of which have unfortunately passed and created literal refugees within our nation’s borders.
“Presented with a hate group’s lawsuit, the conservative justices just extended a nationwide license to discriminate. As Justice Sotomayor wrote in her fiery dissent, this is ‘profoundly wrong.’ It’s time to scrub ‘equal justice under law’ from the front of the building and stop pretending these extremists have any interest in the concept. How can any member of a protected class trust this Court?”