On December 5, 2022, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in 330 Creative LLC v. Elenis, Docket No. 21-476, which involves a web designer’s refusal to create wedding websites for same-sex couples. Pursuant to Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act, companies are prohibited from refusing to provide service to an individual based on sexual orientation and are similarly prohibited from publishing communication that suggests that services will be refused because of an individual’s sexual orientation. The web designer challenged the legality of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, arguing that it violated her free speech and free exercise rights under the First Amendment. The Tenth Circuit upheld the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, finding Colorado had a compelling interest in protecting “dignity interests” of vulnerable populations. The Supreme Court will now hear the and the ruling on this case will impact how courts conduct a balancing test between religious liberties and LGBTQ rights, including in an employment context.
At Gilbert Employment Law, we are committed to zealously advocating equal rights for the LGBTQ community, as highlighted by our recent victory in Maryland District Court, in which the Maryland District Court ruled that religious organizations cannot deny health coverage to same-sex spouses. In that case, GEL attorneys successfully argued that Catholic Relief Services (CRS) discriminated against GEL’s client based on sexual orientation when CRS terminated his husband’s health benefits because of his sexual orientation. CRS informed GEL’s client that it did not provide dependent benefits for same-sex couples due to its religious beliefs. Judge Catherine Blake ruled in favor of GEL’s client, explaining that the Constitution does not view religious institutions as “beyond the reach of any neutral and generally applicable law.” If you have been discriminated against in the workplace, please consider contacting GEL to request an initial consultation