Supreme Court To Hear Case On Freedom Of Speech

The Supreme Court already ruled back in 2018 that there is religious freedom in the People’s Republic Of Colorado, when they ruled in favor of a religious baker who did not agree with gay marriage. Colorado apparently did not listen

Supreme Court to Hear Case of Web Designer Opposed to Same-Sex Marriage

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Monday over whether a graphic designer in Colorado has a First Amendment right to refuse to create websites celebrating same-sex weddings based on her Christian faith despite a state law that forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The case, a sequel to one from 2018 involving a Colorado baker that failed to yield a definitive ruling, is likely to settle the question of whether businesses open to the public and engaged in expression can refuse to provide services to potential customers based on their religious or other convictions.

The case concerns Lorie Smith, who owns a design company that says it serves gay customers but intends to limit a proposed wedding-related service to celebrations of heterosexual unions. She argued that requiring her to provide those services to gay and lesbian couples violates her right to free speech.

“If a client who identifies as gay asked her to design graphics for his animal rescue shelter or to promote an organization serving children with disabilities, Smith would happily do so,” Ms. Smith’s lawyers told the justices in a brief. “But Smith will decline any request — no matter who makes it — to create content that contradicts the truths of the Bible, demeans or disparages someone, promotes atheism or gambling, endorses the taking of unborn life, incites violence, or promotes a concept of marriage that is not solely the union of one man and one woman.”

A Colorado law forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation by businesses open to the public as well as statements announcing such discrimination. Ms. Smith, who has not begun the wedding business or posted such a statement for fear of running afoul of the law, sued to challenge it.

Interestingly, the Court only accepted this on a free speech basis, not religious. Also

(CNN) On one side of the dispute is the designer, Lorie Smith, whose business is called 303 Creative. She says she has not yet moved forward with an expansion into wedding websites because she is worried about violating a Colorado public accommodations law. She says the law compels her to express messages that are inconsistent with her beliefs. The state and supporters of LGBTQ rights respond that Smith is simply seeking a license to discriminate in the marketplace. (snip)

When the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case in February, the justices sidestepped whether the law violated Smith’s free exercise of religion. Instead, the court said it would look at the dispute through the lens of free speech and decide whether applying the public accommodations law “to compel an artist to speak or stay silent” violates the free speech clause of the First Amendment.

The suit is pre-emptively going after the state, which might not be a bad idea, since you know that the Usual Subjects will attempt to ask her to make designs for gay weddings, and the state would most likely go after her.

In court papers, Smith’s lawyer, Kristen K. Waggoner, said that the law works to “compel speech the government favors and silence speech the government dislikes” in violation of the First Amendment. She said the state could interpret its law to allow speakers “who serve all people to decline specific projects based on their message” such a move, she contended, would stop status discrimination “without coercing or suppressing speech.”

It looks like the suit is coming after the law itself, since it allows no public accommodation. And Free Speech is Free Speech.

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5 Responses to “Supreme Court To Hear Case On Freedom Of Speech”

  1. L.G.Brandon!, L.G.Brandon! says:

    Every time The Bee does a sarcastic quote like that and attributes it to Schemer or Nazi Pelousy I can hear dowd saying the same thing in my mind. They are attached at the bias and they’re all liars.

    De Santis ’24

  2. JimS says:

    I wouldn’t eat a cake that the law forced a baker to produce. Similarly, I wouldn’t want my website message presented by someone forced to do it. That’s only common sense.

  3. Jl says:

    So let me get this straight-it was Twitter interfering in our elections and not Russia? I’m shocked…

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