The Supreme Court of USA debated on Monday whether a Christian graphic designer can refuse to create gay wedding websites, and conservative justices appeared to be leaning in her favor.
During a lengthy and sometimes tense hearing, his three progressive colleagues voiced objections for fear of opening the door to any kind of discrimination in the business arena.
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If the high court rules in favor of this graphic designer “It would be the first time in the history of the Court that a company that serves the public is authorized to refuse to serve a client on the basis of their race, sex or religion,” highlighted Sonia Sotomayor, progressive.
But it is not the first time that the Supreme Courtwhich recognized the right to marriage between people of the same sex in 2015, must arbitrate between the protection of sexual minorities and the freedom of expression and religion of merchants.
In 2018, he agreed with a Christian pastry chef who refused to prepare a wedding cake for a gay couple. But it was based on additional grounds, without going so far as to promulgate general principles.
Since then, two new judges, appointed by the former Republican president donald trumphave consolidated the conservative majority and the Court could issue a more far-reaching sentence, which is expected before June 30.
In this case lorie smithwho describes herself as a devout Christian and highlights the artistic dimension of her work, refused to create websites for gay marriages.
Like pastry chef Jack Phillips, she works in Colorado, where a law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation since 2008 and can impose penalties of up to $500.
However, unlike him, he does not go to court because homosexuals have required his services, but rather preventively. He lost twice and appealed to the Supreme Court.
His attorney Kristen Wagoner, president of the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, explained that “Ms. Smith has LGBT clients.” But “she is against same-sex marriages” and can’t create “custom made to measure sites” to advertise them.
The law does not mention the content of the products, but it requires offering them to all customers, replied Colorado attorney Eric Olson.
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According to him, Smith could adorn his websites with biblical messages about marriage “between a man and a woman”but you can’t refuse to sell them to gay couples.
just as “A store can sell only Christmas decorations, but it cannot turn away Jewish customers,” explained.
But several conservative judges have upheld the graphic designer’s opinion.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett said she could refuse to create wedding websites for heterosexuals who are divorced or have committed adultery.
“It is the message, not the sexual orientation of the couple that matters”, said.
Validating the Colorado law would amount to forcing certain companies to “adopt speeches that despise”, added his colleague Samuel Alito.
“There are honorable people who oppose same-sex marriage,” he added, refusing to equate this with racist discrimination.
African-American Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, however, noted that “Historically, opposition to interracial marriage and integration has often been justified on religious grounds.”
Could a mall photographer, to recreate the atmosphere of the 1950s, refuse to sit black children on Santa’s lap? he wondered.
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“What if someone thinks disabled people shouldn’t get married? Where is the limit?”, Sonia Sotomayor pointed out.
Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh tried to reconcile them: “It seems that you agree on the fundamental principles: hairdressers, gardeners, plumbers (…) cannot invoke the First Amendment (right to freedom of expression and religion) to reject homosexual marriages, but it is different for artists” .
According to him, the court could therefore content itself with answering one question: whether web page designers fall under the category of publishers.
I am Jack Morton and I work in 24 News Recorder. I mostly cover world news and I have also authored 24 news recorder. I find this work highly interesting and it allows me to keep up with current events happening around the world.