US Supreme Court rules that LGBT discrimination is “free speech”


In a blow to human rights, the US Supreme Court handed down a ruling on Friday allowing service providers to discriminate against LGBT people.

Six out of the nine justices, asserting the constitutional First Amendment right to free speech, declared that service providers with an “expressive” nature can refuse their services to LGBT individuals.

The case revolves around Lorie Smith, a website designer from Colorado, who cited her Christian opposition to same-sex marriage as the reason for her unwillingness to create wedding websites for same-sex couples.

Although Smith had not received any specific requests to design websites for same-sex couples, she felt aggrieved by Colorado’s Public Accommodations Act, which prohibits businesses providing services from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Smith took her plea for an exemption from the law to the courts, arguing that her websites constitute protected free speech, and her case ultimately made its way to the Supreme Court.

The court concluded that the Colorado law violates Smith’s right to refuse creating speech that contradicts her values by compelling her to design a hypothetical website for a same-sex couple.

The immediate, symbolic effect of the decision is to mark gays and lesbians for second-class status.”

Justice Neil Gorsuch, in the ruling, wrote, “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. Colorado cannot deny that promise consistent with the First Amendment.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in opposition, contended that “By issuing this new license to discriminate in a case brought by a company that seeks to deny same-sex couples the full and equal enjoyment of its services, the immediate, symbolic effect of the decision is to mark gays and lesbians for second-class status.”

Kelley Robinson, President of America’s leading LGBTQ+ rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, denounced the ruling as “a dangerous step backward,” granting certain businesses “the power to discriminate against people simply because of who we are.”

Robinson added, “The LGBTQ+ community is in a state of emergency where all levels of government are trying to erase us, but we will not let them erase us—we will fight back.”

President Joe Biden expressed disappointment in the decision, stating that it not only “invite[s] more discrimination against LGBTQI+ Americans” but also “weakens long-standing laws that protect all Americans against discrimination in public accommodations – including people of color, people with disabilities, people of faith, and women.”

The US Supreme Court is currently dominated by conservative justices who have recently issued several controversial rulings, viewed as regressive, including overturning federal abortion rights and affirmative action in university admission policies.

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