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What the Supreme Court’s gay wedding website ruling means for LGBTQ rights

Legal experts have mixed opinions, but most of them say that the answer, at least for the majority of businesses, is no – at least for now.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, who wrote the majority opinion, noted repeatedly that the case, 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, centered on a very specific type of speech. The website designer’s business provided “expressive,” individualized services and involved “pure speech,” meaning literal written words. However, many businesses provide expressive services, legal experts said.

And even though Friday’s decision was narrow, some experts said it could be expanded in coming years to slowly chip away at nondiscrimination laws that prevent businesses from discriminating against people based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or any other protected class they might fall into.

The Supreme Court’s ruling Friday in favor of a Christian website designer who doesn’t want to make wedding websites for same-sex couples has raised a long list of legal questions

“A hairstylist is expressive, an architect provides an expressive service, a college application essay assistance service is expressive, a photography studio provides expressive services,” said David Cole, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, who argued a case before the Supreme Court involving a Christian baker in Colorado who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

“So does this mean that a corporate photography studio could refuse to take portraits of women because of the belief that women should not work outside the home? Read more…