Supremes hear arguments on state's demand to control Christians' speech

U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. (Image by Mark Thomas from Pixabay)
U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. (Image by Mark Thomas from Pixabay)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday “signaled support” for a Colorado web designer who is fighting that state’s biased “nondiscrimination” law that penalizes her for not violating her Christian faith, according to a report from the Hill.

At issue is the leftist state’s demand that if she does any wedding websites, she must do websites promoting same-sex “marriages.”

A related issue was decided by the court only a few years ago, but the ruling was limited in that it found Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop could not be forced into an indoctrination program by the state for refusing to promote same-sex weddings with his cake artistry.

That decision was based on the evidence that showed Colorado officials acted with hostility to Christianity.

That case also revealed the bias in the state’s law, because it imposes penalties on Christians who choose not to promote a particular customer message. But at the same time, evidence confirmed that gay bakers could refuse to create a cake that requested a quote of the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality because they disagreed with the message.

The current case involves web designer Lorie Smith, who is fighting Colorado’s demands she create promotions of same-sex unions.

She explains that violates the constitutional protections for her religious faith.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett at one point noted, during the court’s arguments, “Let’s just say that [The New York Times] for Gay Pride Month decides that it’s going to run — to promote and recognize same sex marriage — only same sex marriage announcements, turns away heterosexual announcements, not because it disparages or disagrees with opposite-sex unions but because it’s trying to promote something else.”

She asked Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson, who was advocating for the discrimination by the state, “Can it do that? That’s a protected characteristic under the law.”

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A report at USA today opined that it was a “majority” of the court who appeared “sympathetic” to the web designer.

The report said, “The two-and-a-half-hour debate centered on whether same-sex couples would be denied wedding websites because of their status as LGBTQ individuals – a result that might favor the state – or whether the designer was refusing to endorse a message of approval of same-sex marriage that she says conflicts with her religious beliefs.”

Leftists on the high court speculated that if Smith wins the case, businesses could refused to serve interracial couples, or black people, or Muslims, or Jews, or a long list of others.

The report said, “Associate Justice Samuel Alito appeared to reject that argument, drawing a distinction based on who is being discriminated against. Alito repeatedly referenced a line from the Supreme Court’s landmark 2015 decision to legalize same-sex marriage in which the court said ‘many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises.'”

Liberals on the court openly promoted the state’s agenda that includes demanding Christians violate their faith or face punishment. In Philips’ case, the state had ordered not only Philips, but his staff, to go through an indoctrination program to correct their beliefs.

At the lower court level, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that Smith’s websites are a form of speech, which should be protected by the Constitution. But then the judges said the state has a right to “compel” Smith to express the statements it wants expressed.

That, in itself, contradicts previous Supreme Court rulings against such “compelled” speech.

A ruling for Colorado’s leftist government would force artists, from painters and photographers to writers and musicians, “to do work that is against their faith,” a report explained.

Justice Neil Gorsuch pointed out that Smith sells products to any customer. But she won’t create messages, speech, that violates her faith.

While dozens of states have supported Smith, Joe Biden and other leftists including the ACLU and NAACP have claimed the state can dictate what messages Smith is allowed to deliver.

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