SHoWLE Disappointed By 303 Creative Court Decision

Toledo, July 1, 2023 — The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie are very dis­ap­point­ed in the rul­ing on June 30 by the US Supreme Court in the 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis case. It is wrong that reli­gious beliefs now trump all oth­er rights to full pub­lic busi­ness accom­mo­da­tions and allow dis­crim­i­na­tion of peo­ple in a pro­tect­ed class.

The court said that requir­ing the graph­ic design­er to make wed­ding web­sites for same-sex cou­ples was an uncon­sti­tu­tion­al vio­la­tion of her first amend­ment rights because the cre­ation would be seen as an endorse­ment of some­thing her reli­gious beliefs pro­hib­it.

We don’t believe requir­ing busi­ness own­ers not to dis­crim­i­nate against cus­tomers in pro­tect­ed class­es makes the per­son or busi­ness endorse some­thing against their reli­gious beliefs. At the end of the day they can still not approve of same-sex mar­riages. If a busi­ness can’t bring itself to serve cus­tomers from the pro­tect­ed class­es then they need not be a pub­lic busi­ness.

We are also con­cerned about the unprece­dent­ed pro­tec­tion the court grant­ed to a reli­gious per­son. They ruled on a case that did­n’t include any actu­al harm. The plain­tiff was­n’t cre­at­ing wed­ding web­sites when she filed the law­suit and there is some ques­tion that the LGBT cus­tomer writ­ten about in her case was made up. Secular peo­ple who claim their reli­gious free­dom was vio­lat­ed, like for exam­ple chal­leng­ing 10 Commandment stat­ues on court house lawns, are dis­missed because the mere pres­ence of the reli­gious item or text isn’t an actu­al harm accord­ing to fed­er­al courts.

The plain­tiff agreed in court that she would sell her ser­vices to LGBTQ peo­ple, just not wed­ding web­site designs. So her reli­gious beliefs are not absolute. How does mak­ing a sign for a gay man not also seem to endorse his sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion?

The deci­sion was capri­cious and arbi­trary and gave spe­cial rights to reli­gious peo­ple that are not allowed by any­one else. The Christian Nationalists have been bent on sub­vert­ing decades of church and state legal deci­sions.

The US Supreme Court set back reli­gious free­dom for many years.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion on this deci­sion see: Supreme Court rules web­site design­er can decline to cre­ate same-sex wed­ding web­sites

About Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie

The mis­sion of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie is to pro­vide a sup­port­ive local com­mu­ni­ty for human­ists and oth­er non­the­ists, while pro­mot­ing an eth­i­cal, rea­son­able, and sec­u­lar approach to life through edu­ca­tion, com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice, out­reach, activism, and social events.

We envi­sion a Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan where sec­u­lar peo­ple are respect­ed and inte­grat­ed in broad­er soci­ety, live val­ues of rea­son and com­pas­sion, and enjoy a friend­ly human­ist com­mu­ni­ty.


PDF of Statement Available Here