U.S. Supreme Court could side with web designer's anti-gay marriage stance

NOW: U.S. Supreme Court could side with web designer’s anti-gay marriage stance


WISCONSIN (CBS 58) --The U.S. Supreme Court heard yet another case relating to the LGBTQ+ community Monday, this time a clash between LGBTQ+ rights and religious liberty.

The case, first presented back in 2016, concerned a Colorado website designer, Lorie Smith, who said she refused to work with same-sex couples to design their wedding websites because it conflicts with her religious views.

A Colorado law says one cannot discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, but Smith argued that the law violates her First Amendment rights since the state is forcing her to express a message she disagrees with.

"Colorado is trying to force me to create custom artwork to promote ideas inconsistent with my faith and the core of who I am," Smith said Monday at a press conference by the Supreme Court. "No government official should be able to do that to any of us."

Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor prompted the question, "where do you draw the line?"

"There is no line on race, there is no line on disability, ethnicity, none of the protected categories," she said.

Civil rights groups claim Smith is asking the conservative-majority court for a “license to discriminate” that would gut public accommodation laws that require businesses to serve all customers.

Meaning this would be the first time in the court's history that it would accept a business open to the public to refuse to serve a customer based on race, sex, religion, or sexual orientation.

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin signed an amicus brief in the 303 Creative case, arguing that if the court were to agree with the petitioner in this case, 303 Creative, it would establish a precedent inviting discrimination against historically marginalized communities, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community.

Sen. Baldwin issued a statement to CBS 58 News, saying:

“I support religious freedom and the freedom of full equality for every American. Our religious beliefs don’t entitle any of us to discriminate against others and I don’t believe that any American should face discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual orientation. It is simply wrong to discriminate against any American based on who they are or who they love. If an individual has the ability to pay for a service and is not in violation of the law, they should not be turned away.”

The Supreme Court considered a similar case four years ago, involving a Colorado baker who didn't want to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples. The ruling favored the baker but was tied to specific circumstances in that case and did not apply broadly to similar disputes nationwide.

After nearly three hours of back-and-forth arguments on Monday, it remained unclear how exactly the court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, would rule on this matter.

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