Today, FreeState Justice is deeply saddened and angered by the Supreme Court’s anti-LGBTQIA+ ruling in 303 Creative v Elenis.
The Court ruled in favor of a website designer who sought an exemption under the First Amendment from Colorado’s prohibition against anti-LGBTQIA+ discrimination in public accommodations. Continuing its trend of upending decades of precedent to strip vulnerable groups’ rights away, the Court ruled that any business offering original, expressive services now has a federal constitutional right to discriminate, despite any existing state laws prohibiting a business from such discrimination.
We want to be very clear: the ruling today does NOT give all businesses a license to discriminate— only those that sell custom, original, expressive services. If you experience discrimination in other contexts, existing civil rights protections can and should still apply and protect you.
However, we are outraged by this twisted ruling that undermines decades of critical civil rights laws that protect all of us from discrimination in our daily lives. Virtually every decision from this Court confirms that its extreme majority is dedicated to making this country less safe and less free for LGBTQIA+ people, women, and people of color and return us to a time where businesses can turn people away because of who they are, even though the vast majority of people support nondiscrimination policies.
FreeState Justice will continue its work of ensuring all LGBTQIA+ Marylanders are free from discrimination in all settings— regardless of what this bigoted Court may rule. In Maryland, and in all 50 states, all people should feel safe and secure to enter a business and remain free from discrimination. Nobody should ever be turned away from a business because of who they are, and we will keep fighting as hard as we can to make sure that ideal is a reality.
Phillip Westry, Esq.
Policy Advocate & Legal Impact Coordinator
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