Issues: ,

Supreme Court Deals Critical Blow to Civil Rights Laws

Sweeping Ruling Makes it Easier to Discriminate Against LGBTQ+ People, All Marginalized Communities

Washington, DC — On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a sweeping ruling in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis that will make it harder for states to enforce anti-discrimination laws and easier for businesses to discriminate against protected classes of people. 

Last year, a coalition of 30 faith and civil rights groups submitted a brief warning that a decision like this risks invalidating civil rights laws across the nation—imperiling the rights of all marginalized people who rely on the protection of anti-discrimination laws, including LGBTQ+ people of faith. The coalition was convened by Muslim Advocates; the Columbia Law School Law, Rights, and Religion Project and Hogan Lovells.

“According to the Supreme Court, the Constitution now says that states are not allowed to enforce bedrock civil rights laws that have protected marginalized communities for decades,” said Muslim Advocates Staff Attorney Christopher Godshall-Bennett. “LGBTQ+ people, including queer Muslims and people of color, will be among the first to feel the impact, but all marginalized groups could now face newly legalized discrimination. The Supreme Court continues to signal its sympathy with forces seeking to undo decades of hard-fought and settled law protecting all marginalized communities.”

“The Supreme Court today sets us back to a time when disfavored groups could find themselves shut out of the public marketplace. This decision deals a severe blow to a thriving, egalitarian, pluralistic society,” stated Elizabeth Reiner Platt, Director of the Columbia Law School Law, Rights, and Religion Project.

“We strongly oppose today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, as it perpetuates the false notion that the LGBTQIA+ community and religious communities are fundamentally separate and in conflict, disregarding the existence of hundreds of millions of LGBTQIA+ individuals who embrace and practice their religious faith. As an organization that exists at the intersection of religious and LGBTQIA+ identities, we firmly reject attempts to erase our existence,” said said Mx. Yaffa AS, Executive Director at The Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD).


Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization that uses litigation, policy engagement and communications strategies to promote justice and equity while protecting the diverse spectrum of Muslim communities from anti-Muslim discrimination in all of its forms.

The Law, Rights, and Religion Project is a law and policy think tank based at Columbia Law School that promotes social justice, freedom of religion, and religious pluralism. We analyze and develop strategies to address the complex ways in which religious liberty rights interact with other fundamental rights.

Global law firm Hogan Lovells has a long tradition of supporting ground-breaking social developments, focusing on access to justice and the rule of law. As lawyers, we recognize this commitment is part of our professional practice and collectively we spend more than 150,000+ pro bono hours per year on work to achieve lasting impact for others.

The Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD) works to support, empower, and connect LGBTQ+ Muslims.* In our work, we challenge root causes of oppression, including misogyny, racism, capitalism, and xenophobia. We celebrate gender and sexual diversity within Muslim communities and promote an understanding of Islam that is centered on inclusion, justice, and equity.