SCOTUS Distorts Religious Freedom and Eviscerates LGBTQ+ Rights in 303 Creative Ruling

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2023 

CONTACT
Manisha Sunil, West End Strategy Team
msunil@westendstrategy.com; (202) 417-0171

Interfaith Alliance: SCOTUS Distorts Religious Freedom and Eviscerates LGBTQ+ Rights in 303 Creative Ruling
Religious freedom is not a license to discriminate, says the civil rights organization

 WASHINGTON—Interfaith advocates are condemning today’s Supreme Court decision in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, which allows businesses to claim a free speech exemption from anti-discrimination law and enables them to refuse service to customers on the basis of sexual orientation, as a major blow to religious freedom, LGBTQ+ rights, and civil rights protections for minority communities writ large.

“Today’s ruling from the far-right Supreme Court majority is a radical reinterpretation of settled civil rights law, giving businesses a blue light to discriminate against any person who looks, believes, or lives differently than they do under the guise of religious freedom,” said Darcy Hirsh, senior director of policy and advocacy at Interfaith Alliance. “Discrimination under the guise of religious freedom is not just unconstitutional, but antithetical to our values. Public accommodation laws already support true religious freedom. Just as people are free to explore matters of faith and personal conscience, people should also be free to express their sexual orientation and gender identity without fear of discrimination or harm.”

“This decision will have a devastating ripple effect across the country by creating a permission structure, backed by the force of law, to discriminate and endanger LGBTQ+ people and trans youth who are already so at risk,” said Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, president and CEO of Interfaith Alliance. “Thousands of LGBTQ+ families like mine are caught in the crossfires of a culture war that we never asked to be a part of in the first place. I wonder if the people who have won in court today have considered how this will affect my two young kids’ when I have to explain to them why a business closed its doors to us just because of who we are. Christian nationalists and their allies in public office are waging a war against the LGBTQ+ community – as a proud gay man and a person of faith, I will not stop fighting to ensure equality and inclusion for all.”

Earlier this year, Interfaith Alliance joined 30 faith-based and civil rights partners in an amicus brief emphasizing the risk such an exemption would pose to religious minorities and nonreligious communities, as well as LGBTQ+ people.

If you are interested in speaking further with Interfaith Alliance, please contact Manisha Sunil at (202) 417-0171 or msunil@westendstrategy.com.

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