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Champine: The Supreme Court Has Abandoned the Queer Community

SCOTUS’ ruling puts the community in inordinate amounts of danger.
(Courtesy of Wikemedia)


In the last days of Pride month, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a web designer who refused to make a wedding website for a gay couple. This decision is a monumental blow to the queer community. Businesses can now discriminate against LGBTQ+ couples on the basis of religious reasons. Justices are citing the First Amendment and freedom of speech as the basis for their decision. The First Amendment continues to matter more than discrimination in the United States. People’s right to freedom of speech cannot come at the cost of others. In their recent ruling, the Supreme Court has abandoned the queer community. Allowing businesses to discriminate has made discrimination constitutional.

The Issues with the Case 

One of the major issues with this ruling is the recent news that the case may not be based on fact. The New Republic recently released information that the man who supposedly asked for a gay wedding website from Lorie Smith, the designer, is married to a woman. In addition, he never asked for the website in the first place. This information is incredibly concerning. This milestone decision could be based on a fabrication. It is even more concerning to consider the implications behind such a fabrication. It could mean conservatives are going to incredible lengths to justify discrimination and anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda. It is concerning to consider that Smith would go so far. Even if this information is false, the court must investigate. If it is found to be true, the court must reconsider its entire ruling.

The Dangers 

In an article with KQED, UC Law’s Matthew Coles stated that the community must “find out in advance if a business has said that it doesn’t want to serve queer people.” As if things weren’t hard enough for queer people already, now they must consider every business they walk into. Instead of being a fun process, wedding planning is now a series of buried landmines. Queer people must walk on eggshells to avoid discrimination in what is supposed to be one of the happiest moments of anyone’s life.

In the 2017 case involving Masterpiece Cakeshop and the Colorado Rights Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that the cake shop owner’s rights had been violated because the Commission lacked religious neutrality. Religious neutrality prevents the state from ruling in favor of one religion over another, and questions were raised. Had this case not come from a Christian woman, would the ruling have been the same? The argument against queer people mostly comes from Christians. The Supreme Court is ruling in favor of freedom of religion, but freedom of religion cannot be considered the gospel of the land. The state must remain separate from religion, and yet it continues to edge closer to the perilous line of religious bias.

These actions have led to much wider ramifications for the queer community. Christine Gieger, the owner of Studio 8 Hair Lab in Michigan, stated that she will refuse service to transgender people. She suggested that they go to a pet groomer to get their hair done. In a world where transgender people are already ostracized, comparing them to pets is an entirely horrific thing to say. The Supreme Court’s ruling opens the door for business owners like Gieger to get away with discrimination.

The Institution of Marriage 

Conservatives want to preserve the sanctity of marriage. They never stop to consider that the sanctity of marriage lies simply in the love between two people. They ultimately lose sight of this core value, allowing things like gender and sexual orientation to become more of a priority. The ability to marry provides people with privileges not rewarded to unmarried people. One of these greatest privileges is the ability to marry the person they love. Love is a powerful and precious thing. Conservatives frequently try to oversexualize queer people, which is a fear-mongering tactic to reduce queer existence down to sex. However, queer existence is about so much more. It’s about pride, hope and more than anything, it is about love.  

SCOTUS’ ruling puts the queer community in inordinate amounts of danger. It’s disappointing to have such a decision made, especially in the last days of Pride month. This year’s Pride month has not been one of celebration, but instead one of fear, loss, and increasing danger for the queer community. Queer people have been abandoned by corporations and now the state.

It’s not a stretch to consider and fear that another looming decision will be made in the Court, such as the overturning of queer marriage. When one discriminatory ruling is passed, it has a domino effect. Queer people are in danger from the government of the United States and have been abandoned by the very people who are supposed to help them. SCOTUS must make a commitment to supporting all of their citizens because currently, they are leaving some in the dust.  


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About the Contributor
Morgan Champine, Opinion Writer
(they/them) Morgan Champine is pursuing a career in creative writing and majoring in English. Morgan was born and raised in Utah, and when they're not writing, they're attending concerts, exploring the outdoors, and reading.

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