By: Emmanuel J. Roy
TRUENEWSBLOG – In 2018, the Supreme Court narrowly ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for same-sex couples on religious grounds. But the decision largely focused on Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission’s actions and ruled that the Commission had not acted with religious neutrality.
The court dodged the central question of the case: whether state anti-discrimination laws that compel a baker to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples violate the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
A similar question faces the Supreme Court this term, once again arising out of Colorado. Lorie Smith, a graphic designer, wants to expand her graphic design business to include creating wedding websites.
But she does not want to design wedding websites for same-sex couples on religious grounds, and wants to note this on her website for prospective clients. Colorado law bans businesses that are open to the public from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or announcing intention to do so.
The court will once again evaluate whether applying Colorado’s anti-discrimination law to compel an artist to speak or stay silent contrary to their religious beliefs violates the First Amendment’s right to free speech.
But the question is coming before a more conservative court than it did four years ago—one that has repeatedly ruled in favor of requests for religious exemptions—and the justices may not skirt the central constitutional question this time.