In the final days of Pride month, the Supreme Court struck a blow against the rights of LGBTQ+ people to be recognized equally under the law when it ruled in favor of a Colorado business owner’s refusal to provide services for same-sex marriages. This decision, despite a state law that forbids discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, will have a devastating ripple effect that allows businesses across the country to refuse service to LGBTQ+ people.
The case, brought by a website designer who has never sold a wedding website, and ultimately appears never to have been asked to design a wedding website for a gay couple, was fueled by her zealous pursuit to deprive members of the queer/trans community with the privileges and rights of citizenship.
Justice Sotomayor’s dissent called out the decision issued by the majority as “profoundly wrong” because anti-discrimination law targets conduct, and not speech, for regulation, adding that “our Constitution contains no right to refuse service to a disfavored group.” She also aptly recognized the harm that the Court’s decision will have, effectively “mark[ing] gays and lesbians for second-class status.”
At the Free to Be Youth Project, we know that no one should face homelessness or discrimination on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Despite this profoundly dangerous decision, we will continue to work toward a world where every LGBTQ+ young person has their material needs met and their human rights and dignity respected.