Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that businesses have a First Amendment right to refuse certain services to same-sex couples. The court sided with a Colorado website design company owner who refused to design websites for same-sex marriages, saying it violated her free speech rights. In response, Ben Olinsky, senior vice president of Structural Reform and Governance at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
The Supreme Court just gave businesses a license to discriminate. A claim of free speech cannot be used as an excuse to undermine laws that prevent discrimination in public accommodations. This ruling opens the door for businesses to use artistic freedom as an excuse to discriminate against other historically disadvantaged groups. Businesses must operate under the framework of anti-discrimination laws and serve all customers equally, regardless of race, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Members of the LGBTQI+ community should be free to access goods and services with the same dignity and respect afforded to us all. Access to services should never be denied based on who a person is or who they love.
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