Last week SCOTUS wrapped things up and in doing so dropped a few bombshells. Amongst all this noise was the publication of their utterly bizarre decision on 303 Creative.
Link to SCOCUS Doc – 303 CREATIVE LLC ET AL. v. ELENIS ET AL.
It concerned a graphic design business called 303 Creative LLC that is run by a bigoted Christian lady named Lorie Smith.
Several years back she had filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to prevent the state from forcing her to create websites celebrating gay marriages. The district court said “Nope, you can’t have that injunction“. The Tenth Circuit affirmed that decision.
This is because there are laws that forbid businesses from engaging in discrimination when they sell good and services.
Was this all just abstract?
If it was, then there is no actual case to argue.
“No no“, argued Alliance Defending Freedom who leapt in to help her, “Its a real request“. The claim underlying it all is that a real gay couple named Stewart and Mike had indeed asked 303 Creative LLC to create a website celebrating their wedding in 2016.
The SCOTUS ruling was a 6-3 decision.
The argument is that this was a free speech issue and so … “a businessperson cannot be compelled to create a work of art which goes against their values“
- See here for the documentation.
In a dissent, Justices Kagan, Jackson and Sotomayor disagreed and pointed out that this decision …”grants a business open to the public a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class“. They deem this decision to be “wrong. Profoundly wrong.” Consider a company that does school photos, they write: “It may not deny those services to multiracial children because the owner does not want to create any speech indicating that interracial couples are acceptable.”
Now comes the bit that is making a bit of a splash.
A reporter named Melissa Gira Grant at The New Republic decided to write about the case so she reached out to the gay couple to interview them about it. It only took her a few minutes to find Stewart because the original request filed had his email and phone number. What she discovered when she called was this …
Yes, that was his name, phone number, email address, and website on the inquiry form. But he never sent this form, he said, and at the time it was sent, he was married to a woman. “If somebody’s pulled my information, as some kind of supporting information or documentation, somebody’s falsified that,” Stewart explained. (Stewart’s last name is not included in the filing, so we will be referring to him by his first name throughout this story.)
“I wouldn’t want anybody to … make me a wedding website?” he continued, sounding a bit puzzled but good-natured about the whole thing. “I’m married, I have a child—I’m not really sure where that came from? But somebody’s using false information in a Supreme Court filing document.”
In other words, the gay couple “Stewart” and “Mike” did not make this request … ever. Not only that, but “Stewart” was not gay, the claim cited as an example to support the case was totally bogus.
It get’s worse.
Well yes it can …for Ms Smith.
When Ms Smith initially filed her claim back in 2016, she had never designed any wedding websites ever and did not operate in that industry, yet she had filed a sworn statement that she had received a request from what is clearly a fictitious gay couple to supposedly design a wedding website.
The bizarreness of it all truly strains credibility. Why would “Stewart”, a guy who lived in CA and who himself was a website designer, engage the services of some completely unknown person in a completely different state, CO, who had never created a wedding website ever?
It is indeed also weird that nobody thought to check by simply picking up the phone and asking.
Obviously both Ms Smith and also ADF were asked about to comment on this by the journalist, but they refused to respond.
The above revelation, the insight that the entire case revolves around a totally bogus claim, went public before SCOTUS issued their judgement. That should have stopped the case so that it could then be bounced back to the lower courts, but no, they went ahead anyway.
The entire case was manufactured to get a SCOTUS anti-gay decision from what is basically a corrupt SCOTUS.
The revelation of all this now does two things …
- It adds even more disrepute to SCOTUS … I would not have thought that possible, but apparently I was wrong about that.
- It also verifies that fanatical religious rightwing lunatics and their legal representatives, Alliance Defending Freedom, are either utterly inept, or have acted in a totally fraudulent manner – neither interpretation makes them look good in anybody’s eyes.
Perhaps there should indeed be discrimination, but not against the gay community. Instead it should be deployed against, not a protected class, but an unprotected class, the homophobic bigots.
“Hey, that’s persecution” some might quip.
Actually no, it’s not. Intolerance of intolerance is not “persecution”, but rather is common sense.
There is also no need to actually pass any laws at all. Instead all that is required is for every decent business that refuses to discriminate to just pop up a small rainbow pride flag on the door as a way of saying “All are welcome”.
The beauty of this is that homophobic bigots will react to this in exactly the same way Dracula reacts to the glimpse of a crucifix. They will be instantly repelled and be rendered incapable of crossing the threshold, thus they become victims of their very own bigotry.
Can this happen, should this happen?
It just might happen over time as the older bigots are replaced over time by younger non-religious and far more decent individuals. You would think that the homophobic bigots would in fact realise this was inevitable because the bible tells them that this is exactly what will be the consequence of their actions …
for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reapGalatians 6:7
- The case has its own Wikipedia page now.
- The SCOTUS Documentation – June 30
- SCOTUS Blog: 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis
- The New Republic (June 29): The Mysterious Case of the Fake Gay Marriage Website, the Real Straight Man, and the Supreme Court
- Washington Post: I’m not a lawyer. But I see what the same-sex wedding website case will mean.
If you skipped the Book, you can still watch the Movie
The following MSNBC report is 8 minutes long …