Supreme Court says 1st Amendment entitles web designer to refuse same-sex wedding work

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07/01/2023

In a major decision affecting LGBTQ rights, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday carved out a significant exception to public accommodations laws–laws that in most states bar discrimination based on sexual orientation. By a 6-to-3 vote, the court sided with Lorie Smith, a Colorado web designer who is opposed to same sex marriage. She challenged the state’s public accommodations law, claiming that by requiring her to serve everyone equally, the state was unconstitutionally enlisting her in creating a message she opposes. On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed with her. Writing for the conservative majority, Justice Neil Gorsuch drew a distinction between discrimination based on a person’s status–her gender, race, and other classifications–and discrimination based on her message.

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