The New York County Lawyers Association Officers, joined by the Association’s Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in the Law today issued this statement:
The Supreme Court’s decision today in 303 Creative LLP v. Elenis is a setback, not only for LGBTQ+ rights, but also for the integrity of the First Amendment and the ability and sovereignty of the states to enact anti-discrimination protections for their citizens. 303 Creative involved a designer who decided to get into the business of creating wedding websites—but only for heterosexual couples. A Colorado law prohibited proprietors and companies doing business in the marketplace from discriminating against LGBTQ+ people. Seeking to turn away LGBTQ+ people from her business, the designer sued under the mantle of “free speech” – claiming that her customers’ websites constitute her own personal speech. Today, the Supreme Court sided with her choice to discriminate.
The New York County Lawyers Association is deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision and believes it is wrong. Antidiscrimination laws, such as Colorado’s, do not compel businesses—and certainly not the business owners—to adopt any speech. They do not compel businesses to provide any service they do not choose to provide. They do not punish business owners for any viewpoints they wish to hold or articulate. Antidiscrimination laws serve a simple purpose in a plural and diverse democracy: they prohibit those choosing to do business in the marketplace from turning away people they do not like just because of characteristics such as their religion, the color of their skin, or (as here) because they are LGBTQ+.
The consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision are far-reaching and drive a wedge in our nation’s promise of equal rights to all. NYCLA stands by its commitment to equality and justice for all people.
About the New York County Lawyers Association
The New York County Lawyers Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as one of the first major bar associations in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender, and has a long history of supporting the rights of LGBTQ+ people. Since its inception, NYCLA has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence. For more information on NYCLA please visit nycla.org.
# # # #