Supreme court warnings are being given next week about the potentially dire consequences of a case involving a Christian graphic artist Those who object to designing marriage websites for same-sex couples.
Liberal groups say the rule by design and for justice would expose not only same-sex couples to discrimination but also black people, immigrants, Jews, Muslims and others.
Conservative groups argue that the rules and judges against her would force artists – from painters and photographers to writers and musicians – to do work that goes against their beliefs.
Both sides have described to the court what lawyers sometimes call “a parade of horrors” that could result if the ruling doesn’t go their way.
The case marks the second time in five years that the Supreme Court has taken on the issue of a business owner who says his religion prevents him from working for a gay wedding. This time, most experts expect the court, now dominated 6-3 by conservatives and especially sympathetic to the religious plaintiff in the case, will be with Denver-area designer Laurie Smith.
but in the American Civil Liberties Union, a filed with summary court, was one of those who called Smith’s argument for “carte blanche discrimination whenever a business’ product or service could be characterized as ‘expressive,'” a category of businesses that “goods to linens to landscaping”. Those businesses, he said, could declare, “We do not serve blacks, gays or Muslims.”
Smith’s attorneys at the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom say that’s not true. ADF attorney Kelly Fiedorek said, “I think it is disingenuous and false to suggest that Laurie’s victory in this case will take us back to a time where people … were denied access to essential goods and services.” was.” “A win for Lawrie here would never allow such conduct, like some of the fictions they are raising.”
Smith’s case is that of Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who objected to making a wedding cake for a gay couple. couple sued, but the case ended with a limited judgment, Phillips’ attorney, Kristen Wagner, was back before the High Court on Monday, arguing for Smith.
Smith wants to start offering wedding websites, but says her Christian faith prevents her from creating a website that celebrates gay marriage. That could get him in trouble with state law. Colorado, like most other states, has a public accommodations law that states that if Smith provides wedding websites to the public, he must provide them to all customers. Among other things, businesses that violate the law can be fined.
Smith, for her part, says Colorado’s law violates the Constitution’s First Amendment by forcing her to convey a message she disagrees with.
Smith’s other opponents are the Biden administration and 20 mostly Democratic-leaning states that include California, New York and Pennsylvania. The states told the court in one of 75 legal briefs filed by outside groups in the case that accepting Smith’s arguments would allow for widespread discrimination.
“A bakery whose owner opposed mixed-race relationships could refuse to make wedding cakes for interracial couples,” the states said. A “real estate agency whose owner opposed racial integration might refuse to represent black couples seeking to buy homes in a predominantly white neighborhood; or a portrait studio whose owner opposes interracial adoption.” , he may refuse to take pictures of white parents with their adopted black children.
In those race-based instances, a court with two black judges, Clarence Thomas and Ketanji Brown Jackson, who are married to white spouses, and another judge, Amy Coney Barrett, who has two adopted children, can be noted. who are black But the states provided an example by including a person’s national origin as well. “A tattoo studio can prescribe American flag tattoos on customers born in the United States while refusing to sell similar tattoos to immigrants,” he said.
Brian Gorod of the Center for Constitutional Accountability, which represents a group of law professors, hypothesized other examples of what might happen if Smith is successful on the high court.
“A Web designer may refuse to create a Web page celebrating the retirement of a female CEO—a violation of Colorado’s prohibition on sex discrimination—if he believes that all women have a duty to stay home and raise children.” Similarly, a furniture-maker – who considers his furniture pieces to be artistically expressive – may refuse to serve an interracial couple if he believes that interracial couples cannot live together in a home. shouldn’t share. Or an architect may refuse to design a home for an interfaith couple.” he told the court,
Smith’s supporters, however, 20 of them mostly Republican-leaning states, say ruling against him also has negative consequences. An Advocate for the CatholicVote.org Education Fund told the court that if the lower court’s decision is upheld and Smith loses, “a Jewish choreographer would be required to perform a theatrical Easter performance, a Catholic singer would be required to perform at the wedding of two divorcees, and a Muslim operating an advertising agency Would be unable to refuse to make a campaign for a liquor company.
The Jewish Coalition for Religious Freedom put it differently, telling the court A Jewish baker may have to fulfill a neo-Nazi’s request that “Happy November 9th!” – A reference to the night of Kristallnacht in 1938 when the Nazis burned down synagogues and vandalized Jewish businesses throughout Germany and Austria.
A constitutional law expert at Georgetown University, Alan B. Morrison emphasized that Smith does not currently do wedding websites, making this matter particularly speculative and, he says, problematic. Nevertheless, Morrison laughed at some of the hypothetical scenarios the two sides have come up with, suggesting they are “a bit over-blown”.
The example, he said, was “the sort of thing a law professor would think.”