May 21, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Los Angeles LGBT Center Responds to Supreme Court Ruling On 303 Creative and Affirmative Action Decision

CEO of LA LGBTQ Center Decries Ruling On Last Day Of Pride Month 

By Dolores Quintana

On the final day of Pride Month, the Supreme Court ruled on 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, a case that raised concerns regarding private businesses’ ability to discriminate against protected classes. In response to this decision, the Los Angeles LGBT Center issued a statement expressing their dismay.

Joe Hollendoner, Chief Executive Officer at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, remarked, “In the case of 303 Creative, we witness the nation’s highest court legalizing discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals while imposing a narrow interpretation of Christianity upon the American public. Rather than upholding secularism, which is fundamental to our nation and our freedoms, the Court is now permitting private businesses to openly discriminate against marginalized communities, including individuals of various faiths, such as Muslims and Jews, as well as BIPOC communities.”

This ruling echoes the 2018 Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case, in which the court delivered a limited decision in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to serve same-sex couples. However, the court did not clearly delineate when businesses are entitled to exemptions under the First Amendment. The decision in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis addresses this very question.

“What is deeply troubling, and what the public needs to be aware of, is that no same-sex couple sought the services of 303 Creative for a website design. This situation is a contrived tactic stemming from the political agendas of far-right, white Christian extremists actively shaping over 500 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation currently affecting the nation. Their objective is to undermine secularism and curtail our freedoms, and unfortunately, they are succeeding. 

Secularism has been undermined within the Supreme Court. With the ruling in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, public-serving businesses are now legally permitted to discriminate against our community based on a weak interpretation of religious freedom,” added Hollendoner.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court, significantly transformed by the conservative movement and the Donald Trump presidency, also made a decision to end race-conscious affirmative action programs at colleges and universities across the United States. Hollendoner commented on these cases, saying, “Each of these cases reaffirms a disturbing trend of coordinated far-right bias and hostility aimed at reshaping the public consciousness in their own image. The attack on Affirmative Action mirrors the assault on LGBTQ+ curriculum in schools and the undermining of civil rights education that honors the contributions of Black Americans, among other concerning developments. This far-right movement is gaining ground, but the Los Angeles LGBT Center refuses to allow them to prevail. Now more than ever, we need a coalition to demonstrate to our elected officials and our courts that we will not regress. Our movements have always resisted oppressive structures, including the Supreme Court. It is time to return to the roots of our movements, organize, and fight back. The Center remains committed to ensuring the safety of our community and will continue to fight on the front lines every day until we achieve victory once again.”

in NEWS
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