Amicus Brief

303 Creative v. Elenis: Amicus Brief

August 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court addresses whether the First Amendment allows a website designer to refuse to serve same-sex couples in violation of Colorado’s nondiscrimination law.

Issue

This case concerns a graphic design firm in Colorado, 303 Creative, which objects to creating wedding websites for same-sex couples due to the owner’s religious beliefs. The Colorado Public Accommodations Act, which prohibits discrimination in public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, would prohibit the firm from refusing to serve same-sex couples on the same terms it serves different-sex couples.  In 2016, the owner filed a preemptive lawsuit seeking an exemption from the nondiscrimination law.

Impact

The case would determine whether the business has a First Amendment right to refuse to serve same-sex couples.

Summary

The brief provides information about the long history and present-day impacts of discrimination experienced by same-sex couples and LGB people. Scholars explain that when a place of public accommodation refuses to serve LGB people because of their sexual orientation or their desire to marry a same-sex partner, that refusal causes minority stress. Minority stress is experienced as additive stress to the general stress all people experience. Research shows that the added stress leads to excess adverse mental and physical health outcomes for LGB people, including depression, substance use, and suicide attempts.

Download the amicus brief

303 Creative v. Elenis: Amicus Brief