‘Rapidly moving backward’: SA’s LGBTQ+ community weighs in on latest Supreme Court ruling

Ruling allowing businesses to deny some services to LGBTQ+ customers because of free speech rights is a victory for some and a loss for others

SAN ANTONIO – In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Friday morning that businesses could deny some services to LGBTQ+ customers because of free speech rights under the First Amendment.

This decision comes on the last day of Pride Month. To some, it’s a victory; to others, it’s a loss.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz applauded the decision. On Twitter, Cruz posted that this decision was a “victory for the constitution and religious liberty.”

Cruz was one of two U.S. Senators who led an amicus brief for this case a year ago to support free speech.

Dozens of lawmakers supported the legal opinion, with 20 senators and 38 members of the U.S. House of Representatives signing in favor of the statement.

Cruz’s Twitter post on Friday said this ruling would “ensure” Americans can continue their work without it “compromising” their religious beliefs.

But many Texans are split on this decision. Randy Cunniff, the owner of four of the five bars along Main Street’s gay district, said this decision was disappointing.

“It’s senseless,” Cunniff said. “We’re just rapidly moving backward.”

Cunniff said Pride Month always comes as a celebration, but this year, it also comes with a fight for freedom.

“I don’t think that anybody is gonna stop. I know we’re not,” Cunniff said. “It won’t be as tough to get back to where we were when the right people get in the right places. I think it’ll happen again.”

Robert Salcido Jr., executive director of Pride Center San Antonio, said this decision will give him the power to push forward.

“We’ve had a pretty horrible year, especially with the Texas legislature,” Salcido said. “There’s still a lot of work that’s gotta be done and as a community, knowing that in the past we’ve come together to unite and be one with one another, and we’re going to continue to do that.”

In this past year alone, the ACLU reported that more than 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been brought up across the country. Some of those bills take effect on Sept. 1 in Texas, including Senate Bill 14, which would ban puberty blockers and hormone treatments for transgender youth under the age of 18.


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About the Author:

Avery Everett is a news reporter and multimedia journalist at KSAT 12 News. Avery is a Philadelphia native. If she’s not at the station, she’s either on a hiking or biking trail. A lover of charcuterie boards and chocolate chip cookies, Avery’s also looking forward to eating her way through San Antonio, one taco shop at a time!