U.S. Bishops’ Religious Liberty Chairman on Supreme Court’s Ruling in 303 Creative v. Elenis
Today the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the First Amendment prohibits the government from forcing business owners to say things that contradict their beliefs.
WASHINGTON - Today the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the First Amendment prohibits the government from forcing business owners to say things that contradict their beliefs. The case, 303 Creative v. Elenis, was about a website designer named Lorie Smith whose religious beliefs preclude her from creating websites celebrating same-sex weddings. When the Colorado government told her she had to, or else be guilty of discrimination, she filed a lawsuit in defense of her right to free speech. The Supreme Court has now vindicated that right.
“This case was never about discrimination. It was about moral disagreement,” said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty. “The government must allow room for people to disagree on hot-button issues. It’s even more important when the person disagreeing has an unpopular view.”
Cardinal Dolan noted how the decision relates to the Catholic Church’s charitable ministries. “Ms. Smith is perfectly willing to design other kinds of websites for same-sex-attracted customers. In the same way, the ministries of the Church provide goods and loving care to everyone in direct need of assistance, no questions asked. Problems only arise when the government tries to force us to support, by our words or actions, behavior that we believe is wrong.”
Together with other faith groups, the USCCB filed an amicus brief in support of Lorie Smith, available here.