Today's SCOTUS ruling marks a decision that many in the LGBTQ+ community have foreseen since Obergefell, but hoped would not come to pass.
“It’s not so much the fact that certain business professionals are now able to openly discriminate, protected by what has been very strongly worded as 'First Amendment' rights… it’s the precedent this sets. To write discrimination into law is a dangerous thing, and the LGBTQ+ minority is wise to what kind of backlash such politics might create. So they are continuing to find substantive ways to take action, and claim a place in this nation," says RainbowWeddingNetwork.com co-founder Marianne Puechl.
In September 2000, nearly a quarter of a century ago, Puechl and her partner Cindy Sproul founded an online wedding resource committed to the LGBTQ+ community, serving as a bridge between those couples and businesses that uphold a policy of non-discrimination. Since that time, their company has continued to grow the services of their website and also has produced over 300 signature LGBTQ+ Wedding Expos in 37 states all across the United States. Their event calendar for this year features 24 events.
"We've met hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ+ people who are planning weddings, and we've met with an even higher number of small business professionals who are allies of the community, simply wishing to serve ALL couples with respectfulness and civility. Treat all couples the same. It has been heartening this past 23 years to see the enthusiasm of heterosexual allies with regard to this very important issue, and I believe rulings like the SCOTUS decision today will only serve to motivate these advocates to come forward with even more rigorous support."
Couples too are continuing to take action. From RainbowWeddingNetwork.com's vantage point, the company's team can point to an uptick in RSVPs for all their LGBTQ+ Wedding Expos since the recent swell regarding anti-LGBTQ+ policies and proposed legislation, such as the 'Don't Say Gay' laws in Florida, attempts to ban drag performances, and unrelenting anti-trans rulings. "The Respect for Marriage Act late last year was a positive and bipartisan moment," Puechl goes on to say, "but couples knew even then that it was simply a placeholder. They are more committed than we've ever before seen this past quarter century to move ahead with their wedding plans and their married lives together, and to do it with pride and fearlessness.
"As a collective of LGBTQ+ individuals, and advocates of equality," Puechl continues, "we must use decisions like 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis to energize our resolve. Our community’s rights for fair treatment under the law also matter: I don't think there's any doubt anymore that it's our own responsibility to stand up for those rights and make sure they too are counted."
For Further Information: Marianne Puechl or Cindy Sproul, co-founders