Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of LGBTQ Discrimination

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of LGBTQ discrimination in 303 Creative v. Elenis.
U.S. Supreme Court – Fall 2022 (public domain)

The Supreme Court has ruled that a woman who has never designed a wedding website – but doesn’t want to design one for a same-sex couple in the future – won’t have to.

In its ruling, 303 Creative v. Elenis, the high court  decided the designer has a First Amendment right to refuse services for same-sex marriages even though the state of Colorado, where the woman lives and works, has laws prohibiting such discrimination against gay people.

The woman, Lorie Smith, was represented by the anti-LGBTQ Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) who has worked against civil rights for queer people for years calling such protections a form of religious discrimination against Christians.

The Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes ADF as an anti-LGBTQ+ hate group.

From the New York Times:

In a 6 to 3 vote, split along ideological lines, the court held that the First Amendment prohibits Colorado from forcing a website designer to create expressive designs speaking messages with which the designer disagrees. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion.

The decision also appeared to suggest that the rights of L.G.B.T.Q. people, including to same-sex marriage, are on more vulnerable legal footing, particularly when they are at odds with claims of religious freedom. At the same time, the ruling limited the ability of the governments to enforce anti-discrimination laws.

The designer, Lorie Smith, said her Christian faith requires her to turn away customers seeking wedding-related services to celebrate same-sex unions. She added that she intends to post a message saying the company’s policy is a product of her religious convictions.

In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor underscored her view that prohibiting businesses from discriminating against gay people is a regulation of conduct, not speech.

“Today is a sad day in American constitutional law and in the lives of LGBT people,” Sotomayor wrote. “The immediate, symbolic effect of the decision is to mark gays and lesbians for second-class status.”

You can totally expect today’s ruling to be used to erode state non-discrimination laws across the country.

Also, from The New Republic:

There is no client Smith has told she is rejecting due to her stated religious beliefs that marriage is only allowed between one man and one woman.

In the absence of all that, ADF has, instead, fashioned Smith as the victim of an injury that has never occurred.

The group has a $76 million annual budget and thousands of attorneys in its network.