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SPLC Denounces U.S. Supreme Court Decision Abandoning Anti-Discrimination Law

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 303 Creative v. Elenis that a Colorado anti-discrimination law violates the First Amendment’s free speech clause.

“As states continue passing harmful laws that seek to dehumanize and erase the existence of LGBTQ+ people, we are disappointed to see the Supreme Court deliver yet another blow by allowing business owners’ personal prejudice to overcome decades of legal precedent,” said Beth Littrell, senior supervising attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“This misguided decision fails to recognize that personal, including religious, beliefs about LGBTQ+ people do not form a constitutional basis to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in public accommodations. Equal access to public goods and services is a cornerstone of civil rights and a free and open society.  Although most Americans reject allowing businesses to use religion as an excuse to deny service, six Supreme Court justices have granted businesses a license to discriminate.

“Nondiscrimination laws were not created in a vacuum; they exist to respect the rights of every American because exclusion and segregation in the public market hurt us all. This rollback of civil rights — first by states and now by the Supreme Court — threatens all of us. The LGBTQ+ community deserves to enjoy the same rights and privileges as all Americans.”