SCOTUS Hears Challenge to Colo. Anti-Discrimination Act

    Photo: nbc

    The Facts

    • The US Supreme Court on Monday heard oral arguments in a case involving Denver-based web designer Lorie Smith. A conservative evangelical Christian, Smith is seeking an exemption from Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Act in relation to taking on LGBTQ customers.

    • Smith contends that the right to free speech enshrined under the US Constitution's First Amendment exempts artists – including web designers – from anti-discrimination laws, and that Colorado's law forces her to undertake work that conflicts with her religious beliefs.

    The Spin

    Left narrative

    A ruling endorsing Smith's free speech arguments, intentionally or not, could lead to widespread discrimination against the LGBTQ community and undermine the entire purpose of anti-discrimination laws. If the conservative "artists" are granted a license to discriminate, they would be free to propagate bigotry and even legally hang out signs in the future that refuse to serve Muslims, African Americans, or women.

    Right narrative

    Should Smith, who serves LGBTQ clients in other areas, be imprisoned for her refusal to work against her religious beliefs? Denying Colorado artists the right to choose their customers could affect the fabric of the US's free and diverse society. The First Amendment doesn't give the state the power to coerce its citizens to renounce their religious beliefs in favor of views they don't agree with.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 21% chance that an openly LGBTQ person will be elected President of the United States by 2041, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Political split



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