Washington, Dec 5 (IANS) The United States Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments in the case of a wedding web designer who refused to serve same-sex couples, relying on freedom of expression and religion.
The court, with a conservative majority, already in 2018 supported a Colorado pastry chef who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple and now, in the case of Laurie Smith, the Supreme Court is hearing the same issue. A battle of sorts is being waged. A graphic designer from the same state who defends that creating a wedding website for a same-sex couple is against their religious beliefs.
The Supreme Court in the United States must decide whether the speech violates Colorado’s civil rights law, which guarantees that same-sex couples cannot be discriminated against in businesses open to the public, or if Freedom of speech is defended by Smith’s company attorney, Kristen Wagner.
Wagner, who represents the company “303 Creative LLC Website,” on Monday advocated for his client’s right to rely on the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protects freedom of religion and expression.
Smith, a Christian evangelist, sued the state of Colorado in 2016 seeking an exception to the state’s civil rights law providing services only to same-sex couples.
His company is no longer active, so no partner in the case is affected.
“No one on either side of the debate should be forced to convey a message that violates their convictions,” Wagner told Supreme Court justices this Monday.
According to the attorney, Smith “believes that gay marriage is false and could not create a wedding website discourse for a gay couple”.
Progressive-leaning Sonia Sotomayor, one of the Supreme Court justices, raised whether the case would take on another dimension if Smith’s disapproval was about interracial marriages or among people with disabilities, to which Wagner countered if the designer didn’t want to participate in his story. is in his possession.
Sotomayor defended that such thinking opened the door to various forms of discrimination, some of which the judge cited as examples during the hearing.
The court’s three progressive members expressed concern about the damage that a potential ruling in favor of the designer could cause to anti-discrimination efforts.
On the other hand, Eric Olson, the attorney general for the state of Colorado, recalled that Smith never created a matrimonial website, so it is unlikely that any unconstitutional acts took place.
After today’s hearing, the judges will deliberate on the case and could deliver a ruling in late June, when the judicial session is over.