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Statement from IDHR Director Jim Bennett on U.S. Supreme Court Decision Regarding LGBTQ+ Protections

ILLINOIS, June 30 - Chicago, IL — Today, Director Jim Bennett released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow businesses to refuse to serve customers based on their protected characteristics, such as sexual orientation.


"When a business is open to the public, it should be open to all.


Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that betrays our nation's values, undermines decades of settled case law that protects our marketplace from discrimination, and permits certain businesses to discriminate against historically marginalized groups simply because of who they are.


Our antidiscrimination laws, including the Illinois Human Rights Act, exist to protect the rights of vulnerable communities. Before these protections were codified into law, businesses like banks, hotels, restaurants, and bars, posted signs and publicly refused to serve people who were not white, straight, male, able-bodied, or neurotypical. The court had an opportunity to strengthen anti-discrimination laws, but instead, it chose to harm LGBTQ people by relegating them to second-class status. They deserve far better from our nation's highest court.


The Illinois Department of Human Rights calls on each of us to ensure freedom and inclusion for everyone in the marketplace. We must not allow this regressive ruling to be used to instill fear. The Illinois Human Rights Act provides comprehensive protections against discrimination in public accommodations, as well as employment, housing, financial credit, and sexual harassment in education. If you believe you have experienced discrimination, you can file a discrimination charge by calling 312-814-4320 or 866-740-3953 (TTY) or emailing IDHR.Intake@illinois.gov.