Supreme Court Limits LGBTQ Protections

Advocates for Youth condemns the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision ruling in 303 Creative v. Elenis that businesses discriminating against LGBTQ+ people are protected through the free speech clause of the First Amendment. Plainly, the Court ruled in favor of a Christian web designer who refuses to create websites that celebrate same-sex weddings.

This case was brought forward by a Colorado-based business owner who cited she was ‘fearful’ of a hypothetical situation that had actually not yet presented itself in her professional services. Yet, her purported ‘fear’ pales in comparison to the danger and harm this decision puts on the LGBTQ community as their rights continue to be systematically stripped away, not only from the Supreme Court, but in state legislatures across the country. 

This decision by the Supreme Court, once again, flies in the face of long-standing civil rights law, and wrongly uses the First Amendment’s freedom of expression to justify outright discrimination against LGBTQ customers. 

As Pride Month wraps up, this decision is a devastating blow to the LGBTQ community, especially for queer youth, who have been the center of so many recent political attacks. Already, in the last year, we have states banning gender-affirming care for minors, LGBTQ books in school libraries, transgender girls in sports, and the ability to even discuss gender identity or sexual orientation at school. These laws are dehumanizing and further a dangerous rhetoric that harms LGBTQ folks, especially young people. 

LGBTQ youth have the right to live with dignity and without fear from stigma and discrimination, and they will not back down in their pursuit for justice. Advocates for Youth will continue to fight alongside LGBTQ youth to ensure their right to safe and accepting environments.