Anti-Discrimination Law Inconveniences Bigot, Hate Group Demands Justice
Since the very dawn of anti-discrimination laws (which, unfortunately, was not all that long ago), bigots have been trying to figure out ways to skirt the law so they can continue to discriminate. In some cases — private clubs, colleges willing to forego any federal funding, etc. — they were able to do this. In other cases — chicken restaurants, florists, bakers — it hasn't gone so well. And yet, they don't give up.
The anti-LGBTQ+ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom is petitioning SCOTUS to hear the case of Colorado web designer Lorie Smith who has been repeatedly told by the court system that she, like all of the other bigots, does not get a special dispensation to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people because of how very holy she is.
Via The ADF:
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a website designer have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a 2-1 decision by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit which concluded that the state of Colorado can force her to design and publish websites promoting messages that violate her religious beliefs. The panel majority also said that Colorado can prohibit the designer, Lorie Smith of 303 Creative, from even explaining on her company's website which websites she can create consistent with her religious beliefs.
Yes, and she probably can't put up an "Irish Need Not Apply" sign either. Imagine that!
The 10th Circuit issued an unprecedented decision in the case, 303 Creative v. Elenis, holding that Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Act both forced Lorie "to create websites—and thus, speech—that [she] would otherwise refuse," and also created a "substantial risk" of removing "certain ideas or viewpoints from the public dialogue," including Lorie's beliefs about marriage. Despite that, the 10th Circuit said it's fine for the law to compel Lorie to speak messages with which she disagrees because she created "custom and unique" expression.
Unlike Masterpiece Cakeshop, Arlene's Flowers and other companies that have fought for (and lost) the right to discriminate against customers due to their very special religious beliefs, no one has actually asked Lorie Smith to make a website for them. And if you look at her own site, it is not hard to see why — it's really quite janky. and I am actually not just saying that to be mean. Every time I did a Google image search on one of the pictures in her "portfolio," I'd go back to the site and it would be frozen and I'd have to refresh to get it to scroll again.
Still, the ADF filed a lawsuit because Smith says she wants to add wedding sites to her repertoire but can't do that because then godforbid a gay couple might ask her to design their wedding site for them and doing that would violate her religion. And if she refused, she could be sued.
It is, of course, not possible for there to be a religious exemption for anti-discrimination laws, for the very simple reason that anyone can say that literally anything is against their religion, which would then render all anti-discrimination laws meaningless.
When arguing the case before the 10th Circuit, Smith said "I will not be able to create websites for same-sex marriages or any other marriage that is not between one man and one woman [...] Doing that would compromise my Christian witness and tell a story about marriage that contradicts God's true story of marriage."
There is a very simple solution to that problem, and that is for Smith to keep doing what she is doing now and making all kinds of other sites (allegedly) but not doing wedding websites. Yes, that is an inconvenience for her, but being a bigot is inconvenient at times and she will simply have to live with that should she decide to continue on living this way. It would also be inconvenient for LGBTQ+ people or any other group of people to have to check every time they want to do something to see if they can't use a particular service because the owner is a bigot who won't serve them. It is only fair that the person who wants to discriminate is the one who gets inconvenienced.
Wonkette is independent and fully funded by readers like you. Click below to tip us!
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse