How Supreme Court's ruling in favor of Christian designer could impact more than just LGBTQ+ rights

BySuzanne Phan KGO logo
Saturday, July 1, 2023
How Supreme Court's ruling could impact more than just LGBTQ+ rights
Experts explain how the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of 303 Creative LLC could impact more than just LGBTQ+ rights.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The U.S. Supreme Court determined Friday that the state of Colorado cannot force a website designer to express messages with which she disagrees. Critics say the ruling sets a dangerous precedent and makes it easier for businesses to discriminate.

At Hyegraph Invitations and Calligraphy in the Financial District, they create all sorts of invitations for special occasions.

Jacques Oskanian's business has done a lot of work for LGBTQ+ weddings.

RELATED: Supreme Court rules for Christian designer who objected to making gay couples' wedding websites

So when news spread about the Supreme Court's decision Friday about 303 Creative, he and many others were shocked.

"I'm surprised. I hope they will change it, change their decision. It's very strange hearing that, coming from Supreme Court," said business owner Jacques Oskanian.

U.C. Law San Francisco Professor Matthew Coles explains what this latest Supreme Court decision means.

"If your business involves speech and you object to someone who wants to use it, the first amendment lets you do that," said Professor Coles. "I mean I think people who don't approve of same-sex marriage, don't approve of trans marriage or don't approve of interracial marriage, or don't approve of Latino people or Asian people, and are involved in a business that somehow involves speech, the courts say you have a constitutional right to refuse service."

"This decision is an extremely dangerous one," said Paul Ellis in the Castro District. He worries about the impact of this decision.

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"First of all, it's going to affect the LGBTQ+ community. Of course, it is. But, it has larger implications than just that. It could be, 'Oh it's perfectly ok to discriminate against Black people,'" said Ellis. "This makes it legally precedent that it is OK to discriminate against somebody. That is a door that should have been shut and stayed shut."

"For me, it's a little bit of discrimination. If I have a business. I prefer everyone feel welcome. We are in America and we are free speech," said Juan Davila in the Castro.

Friday, State Senator Scott Wiener shared this tweet:

"...This ruling is dangerous and horrifying. The court is taking us down a road where discrimination against LGBTQ people is constitutionally protected."

San Francisco's City Attorney David Chu released the following statement in response to the Supreme Courts ruling:

"The city will of course fight to ensure our LGBTQ+ communities as well as every member of a protected class are supported and welcome in public accommodations."

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