Headline RoundupJune 30th, 2023

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Designer Opposed to Making Same-Sex Wedding Websites

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of Christian designer Lorie Smith from Colorado, who did not want to design websites for same-sex marriages. 

The Details: The courts ruled Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act, which prohibits businesses from denying services to someone based on their identity, infringed on Smith’s First Amendment rights. The verdict diminishes states’ abilities to apply public accommodation laws to artists.

For Context: In 2018, the Supreme Court heard a similar challenge from Coloradan cake maker Jack Phillips, who refused to make a custom wedding cake for a gay couple. The justices narrowly sided with Phillips but left whether the law violated First Amendment rights unresolved until today. Twenty Republican state attorneys generals, approximately 60 Republican Congress members, and various religious groups submitted briefs supporting Smith before the high court. The Biden administration backed a lower court ruling that sided with Colorado.

Key Quotes: Justice Neil Gorsuch, who authored the majority opinion, said, “In this case, Colorado seeks to force an individual to speak in ways that align with its views but defy her conscience about a matter of major significance.” Justice Sonia Sotomayer, who dissented, said, “Today, the Court, for the first time in its history, grants a business open to the public a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class.”

How The Media Covered It: Sources across the spectrum covered the verdict similarly. Most included comments from Gorsuch, Sotomayer, and Biden, and highlighted the Phillips case from 2018.

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