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The Doors to Discrimination are Now Open with the Supreme Court’s Ruling of 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TAMU chapter.

Today’s Ruling

The Supreme Court’s ruling on the 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis case was released today – June 30th, 2023.  Officially, the Supreme Court has ruled in 303 Creative LLC’s favor, stating that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act infringes on Lorie Smith’s – the owner of 303 Creative LLC – First Amendment.    


The owner and graphic designer of 303 Creative LLC sought to challenge Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act – laws seek to protect people regardless of their “disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation(including transgender status), marital status, family status, religion, national origin, or ancestry” by guaranteeing “equal access to public accommodations, housing, and employment,” (One Colorado, 2019).  The graphic designer wanted to open up a new source of revenue by adding wedding designing to their portfolio but they did not want to offer this to same-sex couples. Lorie Smith is adamant that her definition of marriage is that of a man and a woman.  But Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act would theoretically conflict with her desires.  So, she took this issue to court with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom, deemed an extremist hate group by Southern Poverty Law Center (NY Daily News, 2023).  It is important to note that this case was based upon a hypothetical future outcome.  

The Ruling Explained

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of 303 Creative LLC.  The reasoning used is that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act is infringing on Lorie Smith’s First Amendment.  And “when Colorado’s public accommodations law and the Constitution collide, there can be no question which must prevail,” (Supreme Court, 2023).  And so, the Supreme Court believes that Lorie Smith’s case not only has merit, but that it supersedes Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination laws.  The main cases the Supreme Court used to justify their decision was that of Boy Scouts of America v. Dale and Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston.  The exclusion of LGBTQIA+ members were the driving causes for these cases.  But the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the other parties, allowing for the exclusion of LGBTQIA+ members.

The Effects of The Supreme Court’s Ruling

The ruling opens up the doors for discrimination.  And quite frankly, as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, this is terrifying.  I have been following the progression of this case, and when I saw the official court ruling, I cried.  I am terrified.

“In a radical decision, the Supreme Court has issued a ruling in the 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis case. This unprecedented decision will have sweeping and harmful impacts on the LGBTQ+ community and is a dangerous step backwards.”

– The Human Rights Campaign

This ruling is about more than just Lorie Smith’s desire to exclude same-sex couples from her wedding websites.  This case shows the American public that if you can find a way to argue for discrimination legally, you can.  

This Is Not An Isolated Event.  It Will Affect Texas A&M Students.

The effects of this case will not stay isolated to Colorado.  This will reach Texas.  And this will reach Texas A&M.  

Already, there have been a slew of anti-LGBTQIA+ bills proposed in Texas recently as documented by  Equalitytexas.org and Translegislation.com.  This ruling is just more fuel to the fire.  And while this ruling states that it solely focuses on allowing those that have creative speech in their works to deny their service if it goes against their beliefs, the doors to blatantly discriminate have been opened.


“2023 Anti-Trans Bills: Trans Legislation Tracker.” 2023 Anti-Trans Bills: Trans Legislation Tracker, https://translegislation.com/. Accessed 30 June 2023. 

“303 Creative V. Elenis: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Web Designer.” New York Daily News, 30 June 2023, www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-supreme-court-303-creative-v-elenis-ruling-20230630-imotx7clbzff3pdwzvjau4lt6a-story.html.  

“Discrimination.” One Colorado, 20 Nov. 2017, https://one-colorado.org/lgbtq-resources/anti-discrimination-laws-colorado/#:~:text=Colorado%27s%20anti%2Ddiscrimination%20laws%20guarantee,%2C%20national%20origin%2C%20or%20ancestry.

“Human Rights Campaign.” Human Rights Campaign, www.hrc.org/. Accessed 30 June 2023. 

“Legislative Bill Tracker 2023: Equality Texas.” Equalitytexas.Org, 13 Mar. 2023, www.equalitytexas.org/legislature/legislative-bill-tracker-2023/Supreme Court of the United States, 30 June 2023, www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/22pdf/21-476_c185.pdf

Howdy! I’m Gabriela Gomez, an avid reader who is interested in all areas of publishing and writing. And reading of course! I’m the Editor-in-Chief; I currently oversee all the publishing of articles for the Her Campus at TAMU chapter. I am overjoyed to read all the members’ articles and make any corrections that will help to elevate the article. I have been with Her Campus at TAMU since my freshman year. The first year I was a general member on the Writing and Editing committee. During that first year, I wrote a total of 23 articles and was always finding new ways to help. For my second year, I worked as the Senior Editor, publishing more than 80 articles and writing 38 articles. Now in my second semester of junior year, I have implemented a new pitch process for better organization and cleanest, I have already published more than 170 articles, and I have written 16 articles and will continue writing more! Besides working as the Editor-in-Chief, I am a dedicated student at Texas A&M studying Biomedical Sciences. I am also obtaining a minor in both English and Spanish. While not studying diligently, I work in a research lab grinding away, trying to get my name on some research papers (fingers crossed). In my free time, I read, obviously. I am also on the hunt for the best latte to ever bless this earth and love a good game of chess!