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Supreme Court rules Colorado anti-discrimination law is unconstitutional

LGBT protesters
Posted at 7:04 AM, Jun 30, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado web designer who claimed her religious beliefs prevent her from offering wedding website designs to same-sex couples.

Lorie Smith, who owns 303 Creative, a website and graphic design company, has wanted to expand her business by creating wedding websites. However, she wants to be able to refuse service to same-sex couples.

Smith said her business venture would feature a statement on its website about her Christian faith, saying creating websites for same-sex couples is contrary to her beliefs.

That put her at odds with Colorado’s anti-discrimination law, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Smith’s legal team contended that the law violates her right to free speech.

Lower courts rejected the argument before it made its way up to the Supreme Court. Smith’s case challenged the same law that was argued in 2018 when a Colorado baker refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple.

The high court said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had acted with anti-religious bias against the baker, Jack Phillips.

However, the justices, at the time, did not rule on whether a business can refuse service to people of the LGBTQ+ community based on religious beliefs.