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Aired Jan 12, 2023

Religious Freedom and LGBTQ+ Rights

A website designer in Colorado claims that creating a website for a same-sex couple’s wedding would violate her first amendment right to free speech. As her case has made it to the Supreme Court it could “undo decades of civil rights protections” and have far reaching impact on marginalized communities throughout the US.

We hosted a conversation about this article as a part of PFLAG Connects and Something to Talk About Live on Thursday, January 12. Did you miss it? You can still watch it here!

Article: The Supreme Court’s Latest LGBTQ+ Rights Case Is a Chilling Test of “Religious Freedom”

Source: them

Author:  Matthew Rodriguez

Questions for Discussion:

  1. This week’s article mentions that the 303 Creative v. Elenis case may sound familiar to people because it seems similar to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case that the Supreme Court decided in 2018. Have you noticed this similarity? Do you feel like you understand the differences between what was argued in the two cases?
  2. According to the article, “The heart of Smith’s argument is that creating a website is a form of speech, and that Smith was not discriminating against her clients based on their sexual orientation, but rather that she didn’t want to create a website that espoused a message she disagreed with.” This makes the case about freedom of speech and not religious liberty. Do you think that this is an accurate reflection of what the case is really about? Why or why not?
  3. Legal scholars have argued that a decision in favor of the plaintiff in this case will open up “a can of worms” for other legal questions around LGBTQ+ rights and what constitutes discrimination. Do you think that this is a legitimate concern or part of a slippery slope argument?

Bonus Resources: Check out “Conservative justices show sympathy for case that could undercut LGBTQ rights” from Politico by Josh Gerstein and Kelly Hooper and “LGBTQ Rights at the Supreme Court: What to Expect in 303 Creative v. Elenis” a webinar presented by the Williams Institute on December 13 featuring Tor Tarantola, Ilan H. Meyer, Elana Redfield, and Russell Robinson.

About Our Guests:

Tobias Barrington Wolff, Jefferson Barnes Fordham Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania, Carey School of Law

Ways to Watch:

Also available on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Something to Talk About Live is a series designed by PFLAG National’s Straight for Equality program to create conversation about LGBTQ+ issues. Each week we offer an article on LGBTQ+ topics and suggest a few questions you can use to lead a discussion with your ERG, community group, or PFLAG chapter.