“Secularism Is Dead”: Los Angeles LGBT Center Decries SCOTUS Ruling that Permits Anti-LGBTQ+ Discrimination
LOS ANGELES, June 30—In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis—a decision that comes on the last day of Pride Month that allows a private business to discriminate against members of a protected class—the Los Angeles LGBT Center issued the following statement:
“In the case of 303 Creative, we see the nation’s highest court legalize discrimination towards LGBTQ+ people and continue to impose a narrow definition of Christianity onto the American public. Rather than reinforce secularism, which is foundational to our nation and our liberties, the Court is now allowing private businesses to openly discriminate against marginalized communities, which could include members of the Muslim faith, the Jewish faith, BIPOC communities, and beyond,” said Joe Hollendoner, Chief Executive Officer at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
The case echoes 2018’s Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, where the court made a narrow ruling in favor of a Colorado baker who didn’t want to serve same-sex couples. The court’s decision in that case did not outline when businesses were entitled to an exemption from that law under the First Amendment. The 303 Creative decision effectively targets this question.
“What’s so disturbing—and what I think the public should know—is that no gay couple even went to 303 Creative for a website design. This is a manufactured tactic from the political playbooks of the same far-right, white Christian extremists who are helping to craft the 500+ pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation ravaging the country right now. They are aiming to defeat secularism to limit our freedoms, and they are winning. Secularism is dead at the Supreme Court. In 303 Creative LLC v Elenis, the ruling now allows public-serving businesses to openly and legally discriminate against our community based on a flimsy definition of religious freedom,” added Hollendoner. Yesterday, the Court—which has been dramatically reshaped by a conservative movement and the Donald Trump presidency—also ruled to end race-conscious affirmative action programs at American colleges and universities. “Each of these cases reaffirm a growing trend of coordinated, far-right bias and vitriol to reshape the American public’s consciousness in their image,” said Hollendoner. “The coordinated attack on Affirmative Action mirrors the attacks on LGBTQ+ curriculum in schools, civil rights education that honors the contributions of Black Americans, and more. This far-right movement is winning—and we at the Center refuse to let them cross the finish line. Now more than ever, we need a coalition to show our elected officials and our courts that we aren’t going backwards. Our movements have always resisted against the structures that cannot contain us, including the Supreme Court. It’s time to go back to the roots of our movements, organize, and fight back. The Center is committed to providing safety for our community, and fighting on the front lines every day until, once again, we all win.”
About the Los Angeles LGBT Center
Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center’s nearly 800 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. We are an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; a world in which LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society. Learn more at lalgbtcenter.org.