SCOTUS hears case arguing LGBTQ rights, freedom of speech violations
WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – The U.S. Supreme Court is tasked with deciding whether a wedding website designer is allowed to refuse to make websites for same-sex couples.
A crowd gathered outside the Supreme Court on Monday as the justices considered whether anti-discrimination laws violate the First Amendment.
“Colorado is trying to force me to create custom, unique artwork to promote ideas inconsistent with my faith and the core of who I am ,” website designer Lori Smith said.
Smith says Colorado would be violating her freedom of speech if it forces her to create websites for same-sex weddings and she’s asking the Supreme Court to step-in.
“It will decide whether the government can respect everyone’s freedom to say what we believe,” Smith explained.
Colorado and the US government argue that the exemption the website designer seeks would result in legalized widespread discrimination.
“And if there were to be a loophole of the kind discussed, people with disabilities, African Americans, Jews, Muslims, others could find themselves without access to the marketplace,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said.
Weiser adds that Colorado’s civil rights laws don’t violate freedom of speech.
“They can say on the website ‘we believe in marriage as celebrated in The Bible,’” Weiser said before noting business can’t reject serving certain customers.
“The court has never recognized that exemption and to do so would threaten to core of our Civil Rights laws,” Weiser said.
The US Supreme Court will decide the outcome of the case before the end of the term next summer.
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