NWLC Reacts to Supreme Court’s Decision in 303 Creative That Undermines Equality for LGBTQ+ People

(Washington, D.C.) — Today’s Supreme Court decision in 303 Creative opens a new loophole in Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act, which protects individuals, including LGBTQ+ people, from discrimination in various spheres including public accommodations.  

The case involved a business that wished to provide custom-designed wedding websites, but did not want to provide wedding websites for LGBTQ+ couples. The Supreme Court has decided that because the business in question would be creating custom, expressive content, it has a free speech right to refuse to provide wedding websites to LGBTQ+ couples. The majority emphasized that this business did not refuse to provide its other services to LGBTQ+ individuals.  

As noted powerfully by the dissenting Justices, Sotomayor, Kagan and Jackson, “Today is a sad day in American constitutional law and in the lives of LGBT people.” The dissenting Justices continued: “The opinion of the Court is, quite literally, a notice that reads: ‘Some services may be denied to same-sex couples.'” At the same time, the dissenting Justices remind us: “But that does not mean that we are powerless in the face of the decision. The meaning of our Constitution is found not in any law volume, but in the spirit of the people who live under it. Every business owner in America has a choice whether to live out the values in the Constitution.” 

The following is a statement by Sunu P. Chandy, Legal Director of the National Women’s Law Center:   

“Properly read, the Supreme Court’s decision is a narrow one, but it will embolden some businesses who seek to turn LGBTQ+ people and others away based on who they are. The Court should have taken this opportunity to ensure that all companies are fully open for business for all. This decision is especially disheartening in this moment given the continued attacks on the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals across the country. The National Women’s Law Center is committed to fighting for the rights of all LGBTQ+ individuals, and we urge Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would provide explicit and comprehensive federal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals.”

“We are in solidarity with LGBTQ+ communities, advocates, and allies in Colorado and across the country—and we’ll continue to fight for a world where everyone lives with dignity and respect, and free from discrimination.”