Sunday, December 4, 2022
To Lorie Smith, her lawsuit is a free speech crusade. To her opponents, it's an effort to weaken laws aimed at combating LGBTQ discrimination.
A conservative evangelical Christian who opposes same-sex marriage and runs a business in Colorado designing websites, including for nuptials, Smith sued the state because she would like to accept customers planning opposite-sex weddings but reject requests made by same-sex couples wanting the same service.
Smith has not been sanctioned for refusing to design such a website but filed the lawsuit on the premise that she could be.
Her case has reached the U.S. Supreme Court, where she is asking the justices to decide in a case being argued on Monday that she cannot be punished under Colorado's anti-discrimination law for refusing to design websites for same-sex weddings. Smith argues that, as a creative professional, she has a free speech right under the Constitution's First Amendment to refuse to undertake work that conflicts with her own views.
Civil rights groups say Smith is asking the conservative-majority court for a “license to discriminate” that would seriously undermine public accommodation laws that require businesses to serve all customePreviewrs.
The case is the latest example of the enduring conflict over the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, which conservative Christians continue to loudly oppose even as Congress has moved to enact a law with bipartisan support that bolsters protections for married same-sex couples.
Read more here.