Equality Federation Reacts to Supreme Court Decision in 303 Creative v. Elenis

June 30, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Jenn Curtin, Equality Federation, media@equalityfederation.org

Today, Equality Federation responded to the Supreme Court’s decision in 303 Creative v. Elenis, a case about whether a business that is open to the public can be granted an unprecedented free speech exemption from state nondiscrimination law in order to turn away customers they would rather not serve. In a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled for 303 Creative in a highly fact-specific decision authorizing a narrow exception to state nondiscrimination laws for a website developer.

Fran Hutchins, Executive Director of Equality Federation, expressed deep concern over the Court's decision, stating, “Our nation decided more than 50 years ago that when a business decides to open its doors to the public, that business should be open to all — a core principle that is at the heart of how we treat one another. While today’s decision is narrow and only will apply to a few specific kinds of businesses, this decision by 6 justices on the Supreme Court is nothing short of reckless, contradicting decades of settled case law and flouting core American principles about treating everyone fairly. 

“After a devastating state legislative session in which we saw 559 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced nationwide, this decision further turns the clock back on equality in this country. In recent years, the Supreme Court has issued a series of decisions that make this country less safe and less free for LGBTQ+ people, women, and people of color. It is discouraging to see the Court continue this pattern this week with its latest opinions.

“This case was engineered to create a false controversy. But the overwhelming majority of Americans — plus businesses across the country — stand against the desire to discriminate. Today’s decision does not change that.

“We must all do our part to ensure this ruling is not used to open the door to further discrimination in the marketplace. Otherwise, we risk turning back to a time when businesses regularly denied goods and services to people because of not just their LGBTQ+ status but also their religion, race, national origin, sex, and more. We refuse to go back.”

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Equality Federation is an advocacy accelerator rooted in social justice, building power in our network of state-based lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) advocacy organizations.

For more information, please visit www.equalityfederation.org.

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