Tuesday, July 27, 2021

VICTORY! Appeals court rules against web designer who challenged Colorado's anti-discrimination law

A Colorado appeals court just ruled that this will not be a legal reality in the state.

The religious right's attempt to exploit the concept of 'religious liberty' as a tool to strike LGBTQ non-discrimination laws failed on Tuesday afternoon.

According to The Associated Press:

A U.S. appeals court has ruled against a web designer who didn’t want to create wedding websites for same-sex couples and sued to challenge Colorado’s anti-discrimination law, another twist in a series of court rulings nationwide about whether businesses denying services to LGBTQ people amounts to bias or freedom of speech. A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Monday denied Lorie Smith's attempt to overturn a lower court ruling throwing out her legal challenge. 

 . . .  In the 2-1 ruling, the panel said Colorado had a compelling interest in protecting the “dignity interests” of members of marginalized groups through its law. The anti-discrimination law is the same one at issue in the case of Colorado baker Jack Phillips that was decided in 2018 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court decided the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had acted with anti-religious bias against Phillips after he refused to bake a cake for two men who were getting married. But it did not rule on the larger issue of whether a business can invoke religious objections to refuse service to LGBTQ people.

Smith's case was handled by anti-LGBTQ hate group the Alliance Defending Freedom, which should surprise no one. Her case is one of many in which the group has tried to make a case that LGBTQ-nondiscrimination laws are automatically an affront to the idea of "religious freedom" because they supposedly force people to promote messages which are against their religious beliefs.

Luckily, the appeals court saw through that subterfuge. Lambda Legal submitted a brief defending Colorado's law.  The organization's senior counsel, Jennifer C. Pizer, broke it down rather nicely what this case was all about:

“This really isn’t about cake or websites or flowers. It’s about protecting LGBTQ people and their families from being subjected to slammed doors, service refusals and public humiliation in countless places — from fertility clinics to funeral homes and everywhere in between.”

'Woman doesn't know if she should invited her grandmother to her gay wedding. Her grandmother is Anita Bryant' & other Tue midday news briefs

Anti-LGBTQ activist Anita Bryant's gay granddaughter doesn't know if she wants to invite her to her wedding.

The granddaughter of a notorious anti-gay rights activist is marrying a woman — and she's not sure whether to invite her grandmother to the wedding - Uh I don't think you should invite her.