Public Statement: 303 CREATIVE v. ELENIS Decision and Justice Sotomayor’s Dissent
Public Statement: 303 CREATIVE v. ELENIS Decision and Justice Sotomayor’s Dissent

Public Statement: 303 CREATIVE v. ELENIS Decision and Justice Sotomayor’s Dissent

United States, Supreme Court. 303 Creative LLC et al. v. Elenis et al. 30 June 2023.

Dear Central Oregon Community:

 In light of the Supreme Court’s regrettable decision to limit LGBTQ+ protections, OUT Central Oregon expresses our profound disappointment and concern. This ruling represents a disheartening step backward for the principles of equality, inclusivity, and justice that we have diligently strived to uphold as a society. The progress achieved in recognizing and safeguarding the rights of all LGBTQ+ individuals has been a testament to the strength of collective efforts to build a more compassionate and accepting world. However, with this decision from the Court, we risk eroding hard-won advancements and leaving LGBTQ+ individuals vulnerable to discrimination and prejudice.

United States Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor, along with Justices Kagan and Jackson, provided a dissent to the 6-3 decision in the 303 Creative case related to LGBT rights as a protected class. An excerpt of the dissent is provided below, as well as a link to the opinion.

 “A business open to the public seeks to deny gay and lesbian customers the full and equal enjoyment of its services based on the owner’s religious belief that same-sex marriages are “false.” The business argues, and a majority of the Court agrees, that because the business offers services that are customized and expressive, the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment shields the business from a generally applicable law that prohibits discrimination in the sale of publicly available goods and services. That is wrong. Profoundly wrong. As I will explain, the law in question targets conduct, not speech, for regulation, and the act of discrimination has never constituted protected expression under the First Amendment. Our Constitution contains no right to refuse service to a disfavored group. I dissent.”

 “Today is a sad day in American constitutional law and in the lives of LGBT people. The Supreme Court of the United States declares that a particular kind of business, though open to the public, has a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class. The Court does so for the first time in its history. By issuing this new license to discriminate in a case brought by a company that seeks to deny same-sex couples the full and equal enjoyment of its services, the immediate, symbolic effect of the decision is to mark gays and lesbians for second-class status. In this way, the decision itself inflicts a kind of stigmatic harm, on top of any harm caused by denials of service. The opinion of the Court is, quite literally, a notice that reads: ‘Some services may be denied to same-sex couples.’”


In the face of this setback, OUT Central Oregon remains steadfast in our commitment to fight for equal rights of our LGBTQ+ community. We firmly believe that every individual, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, should be entitled to the same respect, dignity, and legal protections as any other citizen. Our resolve is unwavering, and we will continue to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ+ community, striving for a more inclusive and equitable future.

Together, we shall confront the challenges that lie ahead, united in the conviction that the path toward progress and justice must never waver.

-OUT Central Oregon Board of Directors

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.