Supreme Court Did Not Give Anti-LGBT Businesses a License to Discriminate with Arlene’s Flowers Remand

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“The US Supreme Court did not give anti-LGBT bigots in Washington a right to discriminate. States can absolutely enforce their non-discrimination laws. The unfortunate result of this Court action is that there will be some irresponsible reporting and misleading headlines, which will only create more confusion about what the Court did and didn’t do in Masterpiece Cakeshop.”

June 25, 2018 — Today, the US Supreme Court vacated and remanded the Washington State Supreme Court’s decision in Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington, a case involving a same-sex couple that was refused service by a flower shop because they were gay.

“Today, the Supreme Court simply sent Arlene’s Flowers back to the Washington Supreme Court to take another look for any sign of hostility towards religion in the adjudication process,” said Eric Lesh, executive director of LeGaL, the LGBT Bar of New York. “There is absolutely zero evidence of hostility in this case. The Washington Supreme Court is very likely to reach exactly the same conclusion here: that this refusal to serve a same-sex couple was discrimination in violation of non-discrimination laws.”

“The US Supreme Court did not give anti-LGBT bigots in Washington a right to discriminate. States can absolutely enforce their non-discrimination laws. The unfortunate result of this Court action is that there will be some irresponsible reporting and misleading headlines, which will only create more confusion about what the Court did and didn’t do in Masterpiece Cakeshop. This will encourage discrimination, and it is up to lawyers to correct the record and spread the word. There is no constitutional right to discriminate and states can absolutely enforce LGBT nondiscrimination laws.”

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