Headline RoundupDecember 5th, 2022

Supreme Court Hears Religious Challenge to Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Law

AllSides Summary

The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a Christian business owner's challenge to a Colorado anti-discrimination law.

The Debate: The Colorado law mandates that people enjoy the "full and equal" service of all public business regardless of "disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, national origin, or ancestry." The business owner argues that her website design business shouldn't be required to serve gay couples because it goes against her faith-based opposition to same-sex marriage.

For Context: The Supreme Court heard similar arguments over the same law in 2016 after Colorado’s civil rights commission penalized a baker for declining to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

Key Quotes: Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked, "How about people who don’t believe in interracial marriage? Or about people who don’t believe that disabled people should get married? Where’s the line?" Conservative Justice Samuel Alito then asked whether it’s "fair to equate opposition to same-sex marriage to opposition to interracial marriage?" He also asked if businesses can be "forced to write vows or speeches that espouse things they loath?"

How the Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum said the court's conservative majority seemed likely to side with the business owner, who a headline from LGBTQ Nation described as "anti-LGBTQ." Left-rated outlets tended to focus more on arguments in favor of the law. Right-rated outlets more often highlighted the business owner's faith and concerns about encroachments on religious freedom.

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