(PST) — On Friday, The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado web designer, Lorie Smith, who runs a business called 303 Creative in Colorado. She claims that her religious beliefs prevent her from creating websites for same-sex weddings, and that the state’s anti-discrimination law violates her freedom of speech and religion.
Smith, who is backed by the conservative legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, says that she views her work as a form of artistic expression that conveys her religious message. She argues that the state cannot force her to communicate a message that contradicts her faith.
The decision was handed down 6-3 with conservative Judges Neil Gorsuch, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas siding with Lorie Smith while the more liberal judges Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson dissenting.
Neil Gorsuch wrote in the ruling, “The First Amendment envisions the United States as a rich and complex place where all persons are free to think and speak as they wish, not as the government demands.”
Justice Sonia Sotomayor penned the opposing side writing, “Today, the Court, for the first time in its history, grants a business open to the public a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class.” She added, “By issuing this new license to discriminate in a case brought by a company that seeks to deny same-sex couples the full and equal enjoyment of its services, the immediate, symbolic effect of the decision is to mark gays and lesbians for second-class status. In this way, the decision itself inflicts a kind of stigmatic harm, on top of any harm caused by denials of service.”
President Joe Biden weighed in on the decision blasting the Supreme Court saying, “In America, no person should face discrimination simply because of who they are or who they love. The Supreme Court’s disappointing decision in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis undermines that basic truth, and painfully it comes during Pride month when millions of Americans across the country join together to celebrate the contributions, resilience, and strength of the LGBTQI+ community.”