Liberal Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor made a false statement in her dissent of a ruling in favor of a Christian web designer that was issued on Friday.
In a landmark 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court faced a clash between LGBTQ non-discrimination and First Amendment freedom, declaring that a Colorado graphic designer, who specializes in creating wedding websites, cannot be compelled to design them for same-sex marriages, citing his Christian beliefs.
The Supreme Court, in a ruling favoring artist Lorie Smith, sided with her in a lawsuit against the state of Colorado in which she challenged the state’s anti-discrimination law that prohibited businesses from denying service to customers based on their sexual orientation.
In this case, Colorado seeks to force an individual to speak in ways that align with its views but defy her conscience about a matter of major significance,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the court’s majority opinion, per Fox News.
“But tolerance, not coercion, is our Nation’s answer. The First Amendment envisions the United States as a rich and complex place where all persons are free to think and speak as they wish, not as the government demands. Because Colorado seeks to deny that promise, the judgment is reversed,” he wrote.
Sotomayor dissented from the majority opinion, as did the court’s other liberals, Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson. Sotomayor called the ruling “a new license to discriminate” and argued that the “symbolic effect of the decision is to mark gays and lesbians for second-class status.”
Fox News noted further:
As part of her dissenting opinion, Sotomayor mentioned the Pulse shooting, where 49 people were killed and dozens more were injured. Police shot and killed gunman Omar Mateen after a three-hour standoff, during which he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terror group.
Sotomayor argued that the massacre was an instance of anti-LGBTQ hate.
“A social system of discrimination created an environment in which LGBT people were unsafe,” wrote Sotomayor. “Who could forget the… the Pulse nightclub massacre, the second-deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history?”
Contrary to Sotomayor’s statement, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies were unable to substantiate any allegations suggesting that Mateen was gay, visited gay bars, or had prior knowledge that the Pulse nightclub was a venue primarily catering to the LGBTQ+ community.
Based on court and phone records that emerged during the trial against Mateen’s widow, it appears that his choice of Pulse as his target was primarily influenced by the lack of security at the venue rather than specifically targeting it as a gay club. The records indicate that the decision was made hastily, as a last-minute choice, Fox News reported.
Mateen’s widow faced trial on charges of allegedly aiding and abetting her late husband.
“Mateen reportedly Googled ‘Orlando nightclubs’ after finding that security at his original target, a major shopping and entertainment complex, was too high,” the outlet’s report stated.
Despite the aforementioned facts, Sotomayor highlighted several instances of anti-LGBTQ discrimination and violence in her opinion, expressing concerns that the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday could potentially exacerbate hostilities towards the LGBTQ community and contribute to an increase in hate crimes.
Gorsuch, however, ripped Sotomayor’s dissent, saying it “reimagines the facts” from “top to bottom” while failing to answer the fundamental question: “Can a State force someone who provides her own expressive services to abandon her conscience and speak its preferred message instead?”
The nation’s highest court released its final decisions of the term Friday morning, handing down its highly-anticipated ruling on President Joe Biden’s student debt relief, striking it down as unconstitutional in a pair of lawsuits — one filed against the Department of Education and another filed by the administration against the state of Nebraska.