Judge Sonia Sotomayor said Friday that the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of a Christian web designer who refused to work on same-sex weddings is «profoundly wrong» and condemns the LGBTQ community to «second-class status.» class».
“The Supreme Court of the United States declares that a particular type of business, even if open to the public, has a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class,” Sotomayor wrote. «The court does it for the first time in its history.»
The judgment, divided 6-3 Along ideological lines, he said Lorie Smith, a Colorado website designer, has a right of free speech under the Constitution’s First Amendment to refuse to endorse messages she disagrees with. As a result, Colorado’s anti-discrimination law cannot punish her for refusing to design wedding websites for LGBTQ couples, the majority wrote.
Smith, an evangelical Christian who opposes same-sex marriage, sued the state in 2016 and said she would like to accept clients planning opposite-sex weddings, but decline requests from same-sex couples who want marriage. same service. She was never penalized for turning down a same-sex partner, and it’s unclear if she ever did, but she sued on hypothetical grounds.
The ruling could allow other business owners to evade punishment under laws in 29 states that protect LGBTQ rights in public places in some way. The remaining 21 states do not have laws explicitly protecting LGBTQ rights in public places, although some local municipalities do.
“Today is a sad day in American constitutional law and in the lives of LGBT people,” he added. «The immediate symbolic effect of the decision is to mark gays and lesbians for second-class status.»
Sotomayor, the court’s third woman and first Latina member, said the ruling erroneously defines discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity as a type of protected expression, rather than conduct prohibited by non-discrimination law. Colorado Discrimination.
“The act of discrimination has never constituted protected speech under the First Amendment,” Sotomayor wrote in her dissent, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson.
The government is tasked with preventing the «unique evils» of discrimination, he wrote, and can require companies that sell goods or services to the general public to comply with anti-discrimination laws.
The public accommodation law, he said, «embodies a simple but powerful social contract: A business that chooses to sell to the public assumes a duty to serve the public without unfair discrimination.»
Public acceptance of some principles of LGBTQ rights has coincided with the birth of «reactionary exclusion,» the judge wrote, calling the current reaction to LGBTQ rights «familiar.»
“When the civil rights and women’s rights movements sought equality in public life, some public establishments refused. Some even claimed, based on sincerely held religious beliefs, constitutional rights to discriminate,” Sotomayor wrote.
The court rejected those claims, and Friday’s case raised a similar question, saying: «A business open to the public seeks to deny gay and lesbian customers full and equal enjoyment of its services based on the owner’s religious belief that same-sex marriages are ‘fake’.»
“The LGBT rights movement, and the resulting expansion of state and local laws to ensure the full and equal enjoyment of publicly available goods and services by sexual and gender minorities, is the latest chapter in this great story. American,” Sotomayor wrote.
“LGBT people have been around for all of human history,” he continued. «And as sure as they have existed, others have tried to deny their existence and exclude them from public life.»
In conclusion, he said, «Our Constitution contains no right to deny service to a disadvantaged group. I disagree.»
Lawrence Hurley contributed.