Defending the family

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Supreme Court limits LGBTQ Power Grab with ruling in favor of Christian web designer

Supreme Court limits LGBTQ Power Grab with ruling in favor of Christian web designer


The Supreme Court Friday ruled in favor of a Christian web designer in Colorado who refuses to create websites to celebrate same-sex weddings out of religious objections.

The 6-3 decision was penned by Justice Neil Gorsuch and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas. Justice Sonia Sotomayor penned a dissent joined by her liberal colleagues Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson.

The court's decision represents a devastating blow to LGBTQ protections, which have in recent years been bolstered by landmark decisions at the nation's highest court, including one authored three years ago by Gorsuch in which the majority expanded protections for LGBTQ workers, and the 2015 case legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

Lorie Smith, who runs a company called 303 Creative, sought to expand her business into the area of weddings and wrote a webpage explaining why she won't create websites for same-sex couple. But under a Colorado public accommodations law, she said she cannot post the statement because the state considers it illegal.

The ruling - rooted in free speech grounds - will pierce state public accommodation laws for those businesses who sell so-called "expressive" goods. It is the latest victory for religious conservatives at the high court and will alarm critics who fear the current court is setting its sights on overturning the 2015 marriage case.

Gorsuch wrote that "the First Amendment envisions the United States as a rich and complex place where all persons are free to think and speak as they wish, not as the government demands." He said Colorado sought to "deny that promise."