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The Respect for Marriage Act will soon become the law of the land, despite serious concerns that the law will not protect people who believe marriage is between one man and one woman from persecution. While our elected leaders in Washington may be oblivious to this very real threat to personal liberty, all is not lost. Americans can trust this Supreme Court.
On Monday morning, the court held oral arguments in 303 Creative v. Elenis, a case that asks whether the Constitution protects the right to speak one’s truth about the nature of marriage, even if it is for the progressive elite ” inappropriate’ though.
Kristen Waggoner, counsel for Laurie Smith, president of the Alliance Defending Freedom and owner of 303 Creative, told the justices in her opening statement that Smith is not asking the court to create a new law, just to enforce it. “No one should be forced to create a message in any discussion.”
BALANCING FREE SPEECH, JUDGES RECOGNIZE DISCRIMINATIONS DURING COMPLEX ORAL ARGUMENTS.
Some background: Smith is a Christian website designer in Colorado who is looking to expand her business to create custom wedding websites. It creates web designs for everyone, but not all posts. More importantly, Smith doesn’t want to create websites for same-sex marriage. Before offering her wedding website design services, Smith wanted to make sure she could do it without penalty. Concerned about the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA), Colorado’s broad public accommodation law, Smith filed a lawsuit in federal court.
CADA prevents businesses that are open to the public from discriminating against people on the basis of sexual orientation or announcing their intention to do so. He targeted another Coloradoan, Jack Phillips, a Christian baker and owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, a Denver suburb. After being found in violation of CADA for refusing to create a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding, Phillips challenged the constitutionality of CADA in federal court. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Phillips in 2018, citing the state’s civil rights commission’s excessive hostility toward her religious beliefs. The court did not directly address this issue.
When the Supreme Court created a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in 2015, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court’s majority, “The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and individuals are afforded adequate protection when they seek to teach the principles. Their lives and very fulfilling and important to their beliefs and their deep desire to continue the family structure they have long respected.”
A recent amendment to the Respect for Marriage Act uses similar language: “Different beliefs about the role of the sexes in marriage are held by reasonable and sincere people based on valid and honorable religious or philosophical grounds.” Congress therefore affirms that such people and their diverse beliefs deserve the respect they deserve.”
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Clearly, “proper” protections and respect for people and organizations unwilling to use their creative talents to promote things that conflict with their sincere belief in traditional marriage between a man and a woman are the First Amendment’s protections. includes the legal shield of freedom of speech. .
The Biden administration — poised to seal the “Respect of Marriage” Act — is on the side of Colorado at 303 Creative. Deputy Solicitor General Brian Fletcher argued that forcing Smith’s company to provide website services for same-sex weddings would be an “incidental” burden on Smith’s free speech rights. Justice Brett Cavanaugh seemed unconvinced.
Although Smith raised claims under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, the Court limited its review to Smith’s free speech claims. Becket Law, the nation’s leading religious freedom law firm, is urging the court not to overlook the religious nature of Smith’s challenge. His amicus brief argued that the history and tradition of the First Amendment require special protection for religious speech, like Smith’s.
“Cultural winds may change, but so can the doctrine of compelled speech,” Wagoner said in the rebuttal. If CADA is allowed to be used as a barrier against Coloradans who hold traditional religious views on marriage, there is no stopping the federal government from doing the same with the Respect for Marriage Act. A clear victory for Smith and 303 Creative would prevent the misuse of these laws to enforce ideological conformity. This guarantees the “adequate protection” promised by the Constitution.
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