Supreme Court rules in favor of website designer who doesn’t want to serve same-sex couples

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a website designer, Lorie Smith, who claimed the right to deny her services for same-sex weddings based on her religious beliefs. The majority opinion, authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, stated that the First Amendment protects the website designer from being forced to create expressive designs that conflict with her beliefs. The decision was made over dissent from Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson. Justice Sotomayor expressed concern in her dissent, noting that the Court was granting a business the constitutional right to refuse service to members of a protected class. She argued that this decision marked the first time in history that the Court had granted such a right. The case, 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, was similar to the 2018 Masterpiece Cakeshop case, where a baker refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple based on his Christian beliefs. Lorie Smith, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, argued that her religious beliefs as a Christian prevented her from creating wedding websites for same-sex couples. The Alliance Defending Freedom also represented the baker in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case and is involved in ongoing litigation regarding the abortion pill. During the December argument for the case, Justice Samuel Alito made remarks referencing Black shopping mall Santas and children in Ku Klux Klan outfits, which sparked discussion and debate.

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