Published: June 30, 2023

Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, a case that originated in Colorado at the intersection of free speech, religion and the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.

I understand the court’s ruling may create questions or concerns within our community—particularly among LGBTQ+ students, faculty and staff—and I worry about the broader social implications. In an already hostile climate for LGBTQ+ people, this ruling could erode nondiscrimination protections that exist to ensure all people, regardless of identity, are treated equitably.

A university committed to equity and inclusion must support the safety, rights and dignity of LGBTQ+ individuals and provide resources on campus for anyone who needs support.

As I noted in a message to campus earlier this month, our fidelity to equity and inclusion will not waver. To my LGBTQ+ colleagues, students and friends, know that I hear you, see you and support the rights to which you are entitled.

With regard to campus policies, it’s important to note this ruling does not affect how our university conducts business. At the University of Colorado Boulder, we will provide all of our services to every member of our community.

Regent law states that the university will not “discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation, or political philosophy in admission and access to, and treatment and employment in, its educational programs and activities.” This is not just our policy — it is our commitment. Anyone who has experienced discrimination or harassment can contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance for assistance.

CU Boulder also requires vendors who serve campus units to comply with all university policies, rules and regulations, including laws related to discrimination and unfair employment practices, as part of its standard purchase orders. This provision requires contractors to serve all members of our community.

I am committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive campus culture and environment where all are seen, heard and feel welcome.

Philip DiStefano