WASHINGTON — As the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in 303 Creative v. Elenis, a case that could allow business owners to claim religious-based exemptions from civil rights and antidiscrimination laws, National Council of Jewish Women Chief Policy Officer Jody Rabhan released the following statement:
“As Jews in America, we know intimately that the separation of religion and state is essential to our ability to live and thrive. Carving out a broad First Amendment exemption to Colorado’s antidiscrimination law would harm the very people this law was designed to protect. An exception for a business denying services to LGBTQ+ couples opens the door for businesses to refuse services to anyone with whom they disagree. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of discrimination, a videographer could refuse to film a Jewish marriage, a baker could refuse to make a cake for a Black customer, and a florist could refuse to create a bouquet for a single mother — all in the name of religion.
“We believe that religious freedom is a shield to protect our communities, not a sword to harm others. The few voices claiming a religious need to discriminate do not reflect the beliefs of the majority of people of faith in this country — those inspired to love their neighbor, not cast them aside.
“National Council of Jewish Women will continue to work in coalition with diverse religious and nonreligious advocates to advocate on behalf of our democratic principles, upon which this country was founded.”
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