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In sweeping ruling, SCOTUS rules for Christian web designer’s free speech over LGBTQ+ protections

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(WASHINGTON) — Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in a dissent read from the bench, said this is the first time in history the court has granted a business open to the public a right to refuse service to members of a protected class.

Sotomayor warned the effect of the decision is not limited to the LGBTQ+ community, writing “the decision’s logic cannot be limited to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“The decision threatens to balkanize the market and to allow the exclusion of other groups from many services,” she said. “A website designer could equally refuse to create a wedding website for an interracial couple, for example.”

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser criticized the court’s decision and said Colorado, within the confines of the ruling, will continue to “hold accountable those who engage in unlawful discrimination.”

“This deeply concerning opinion is far out of step with the will of the American people and American values,” Weiser said. “The opinion represents a radical departure from decades of Court precedent and fails to uphold the principle of ‘Equal Justice for All’ inscribed on the U.S. Supreme Court building.

President Joe Biden slammed the court’s ruling as “disappointing” and expressed concern about the potential fallout from the broad ruling.

“While the Court’s decision only addresses expressive original designs, I’m deeply concerned that the decision could invite more discrimination against LGBTQI+ Americans,” he said. “More broadly, today’s decision weakens long-standing laws that protect all Americans against discrimination in public accommodations – including people of color, people with disabilities, people of faith, and women.”

“My administration remains committed to working with our federal enforcement agencies to rigorously enforce federal laws that protect Americans from discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation,” Biden continued. “We will also work with states across the country to fight back against attempts to roll back civil rights protections that could follow this ruling. And we will accelerate our march towards full equality for every American.”

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