Court and Congress Hammer Out Truce on Gay Rights
Colorado authorities' attitude toward the religious is still "let them eat cake." Their approach smacks of intolerance.
Smith's attorneys object to the coercion and "harassing litigation" that LGBTQ advocates are using to target religious believers not just in Colorado but all across the country: A pro-life photographer is sued for refusing to make promotional photos for Planned Parenthood; a family farm is ousted from a farmers market for posting Catholic beliefs about marriage on Facebook.
LGBTQ advocates have been strong-arming devout business owners and bringing a torrent of lawsuits against them. Smith's lawyers are urging the Court to end this "toxic legal climate."
Some lawsuits look like setups, suggests Wall Street Journal's William McGurn. The same day Phillips won his narrow victory in the Supreme Court, a transgender woman ordered a custom cake from Phillips' store to celebrate transitioning from male to female. When Phillips refused, she sued him. What are the chances she went to Masterpiece Cakeshop randomly?
What she really wants "is not a cake," wrote McGurn. "She wants to force Jack Phillips to express speech he objects to -- or force him out of business if he doesn't do it."
Weighing in on Smith's case, the American Civil Liberties Union asks whether architecture, photography and other creative businesses can post signs saying "We Do Not Serve Blacks, Gays or Muslims."
It's obvious signs like that would be abhorrent and unconstitutional. Smith's sign does not exclude any group, only a type of product that is inconsistent with her faith.
Smith's lawyers are urging the Court to "harmonize" the rights in conflict here -- Americans' long-standing right to free speech and the LGBTQ community's right to equal treatment. Harmonize is the right approach.
In our pluralistic society, neither side can win entirely, leaving the other side with no rights and no voice.
Judge Tymkovich said our only choice is to take a "live and let live" approach. Expect a majority of the justices to agree.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Follow her on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.Copyright 2022 Creators Syndicate, Inc.