LGBT Groups Call Today’s Supreme Court Ruling A Win

From the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

“Properly understood, today’s decision is a significant victory for LGBTQ people,” said Shannon Minter, NCLR Legal Director.

“The Court ruled in favor of Catholic Social Services, but on the narrowest possible ground, based on language in the City of Philadelphia’s contract that authorized individualized exemptions for any provider.

“The Court did not change the current constitutional framework, which permits governments to enforce antidiscrimination laws that prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people even when doing so may have a disparate burden on those who hold certain religious beliefs.

“As a result of today’s decision, those who feared the Court might create a sweeping new religious exemption to such laws can breathe a sigh of relief.”

From the ACLU:

“We are relieved that the court did not recognize a license to discriminate based on religious beliefs,” said Leslie Cooper, deputy director of the ACLU LGBTQ & HIV Project.

“Opponents of LGBTQ equality have been seeking to undo hard-won non-discrimination protections by asking the court to establish a constitutional right to opt out of such laws when discrimination is motivated by religious beliefs.

“This is the second time in four years that the court has declined to do so. This is good news for LGBTQ people and for everyone who depends on the protections of non-discrimination laws.”

From Justice Alito’s ruling:

“This decision might as well be written on the dissolving paper sold in magic shops. The City has been adamant about pressuring CSS to give in, and if the City wants to get around today’s decision, it can simply eliminate the never-used exemption power. If it does that, then, voilà, today’s decision will vanish — and the parties will be back where they started.”