Supreme Court rules in favor of Christian web designer

Fox News anchor Shannon Bream and Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley discuss the Supreme Court’s decision that the First Amendment allows a Christian graphic designer to decline to work on websites for same-sex weddings.

The legacy media has broadly distorted a Supreme Court ruling on Friday as being “anti-LGBTQ” rather than an issue of free speech.

In a 6-3 decision, the court sided with Christian web designer Lorie Smith who had specifically refused to create wedding websites for same-sex couples on the grounds of her religious beliefs. This led to a years-long legal battle with her home state of Colorado, despite her vocal assurances that members of the LGBTQ community are among her clients for non-wedding sites.

Justice Neil Gorsuch authored the majority opinion, which said, “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.”

“But, as this Court has long held, the opportunity to think for ourselves and to express those thoughts freely is among our most cherished liberties and part of what keeps our Republic strong,” Gorsuch wrote. “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.”

SUPREME COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF COLORADO GRAPHIC DESIGNER WHO REFUSED TO CREATE SAME-SEX WEDDING WEBSITES

Members of the legacy media are distorting a Supreme Court ruling as being “anti-LGBTQ” rather than as being a free speech issue.

However, judging by the coverage this ruling has received, news consumers would conclude that it was a devastating blow to LGBTQ rights. CNN, which has quickly reverted to its left-wing partisan ways following the ouster of network boss Chris Licht, ran the headline “Supreme Court limits LGBTQ protections with ruling in favor of Christian web designer.”

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Jake Tapper, CNN’s lead news anchor who reportedly voiced his complaints about Licht before the firing, shared the misleading article on Twitter but was later shamed into deleting the tweet by critics. He replaced it with another tweet linking to a separate CNN article with the more watered-down headline “Read the opinion: Supreme Court decision on LGBTQ and business owners’ rights.”

CNN’s Jake Tapper deleted a tweet that peddled a false narrative about the Supreme Court ruling, replacing it with a more watered-down tweet.

Tapper was far from the only media offender. Several news organizations immediately spun the breaking news. CBS News tweeted, “BREAKING: The Supreme Court rules in favor of a Colorado web designer who said her religious beliefs prevent her from taking on same-sex couples as clients.”

Like Tapper, CBS News deleted the tweet following swift backlash, later issuing a correction and adding, “An earlier version of this tweet has been deleted. The new tweet clarifies the designer’s beliefs are specific to weddings.”

Axios made a similar error on Twitter writing, “BREAKING: Businesses can refuse to serve same-sex couples if doing so would violate the owners’ religious beliefs, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday” but unlike CBS News, Axios never took down the tweet.

“This is false. Again, journalistic ethics is not a real thing anymore,” National Review contributor Pradheep J. Shanker reacted to Axios’s tweet.

“This again, is not the case. They are all doing this on purpose,” Versus Media podcast host Stephen L Miller wrote.

“That’s not at all what the Supreme Court ruled. Ask yourself why so many corrupt, left-wing media companies and personalities feel so compelled to blatantly lie about the decision,” The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis tweeted.

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The misleading narrative was rampant across the media. MSNBC ran a “Breaking News” graphic on-air reading “Supreme Court: Web Designer Can Refuse LGBTQ+ Clients.”

MSNBC falsely asserted in an on-air graphic that the Supreme Court ruled that Smith “can refuse LGBTQ+ clients.” (Screenshot/MSNBC)

PBS NewsHour ran the headline “Supreme Court rules for Christian graphic designer who didn’t want to work with gay couples,” similar to the Daily Beast’s “Supreme Court: Web Designer Can Turn Down LGBTQ Customers.” People Magazine went with “Supreme Court Closes Out Pride Month with Major Blow to LGBTQ+ Rights, Opening Door for Broader Discrimination.” Reuters sounded the alarm with its headline “US Supreme Court deals blow to LGBT rights in web designer case,” while HuffPost went with “Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Discrimination Of Same-Sex Couple,” and The Guardian’s read “US supreme court strikes blow against LGBTQ+ rights with Colorado ruling.”

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While The Associated Press was upfront that the ruling pertained specifically to gay weddings, it nonetheless called the ruling “an LGBTQ+ rights setback.”

ABC News went to even greater lengths to push the narrative, running two separate stories, the first with the headline “In sweeping decision, SCOTUS rules for Christian web designer’s free speech rights over LGBTQ+ protections,” and the second reading “SCOTUS ruling prompts fear, criticism from LGBTQ community leaders,” which buried mention of the key fact that the ruling specifically involved same-sex weddings in the fourth paragraph.

The Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision in favor of Christian web designer Lorie Smith who refused to make same-sex wedding websites on the grounds of her religious beliefs. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Washington Post columnist Philip Bump penned a piece titled “Pride Month ends as it began, with LGBTQ+ lives viewed as an imposition,” writing, “The actual argument is largely irrelevant to the politics at play here,” and suggesting First Amendment rights are merely “legal trappings.”

He later told readers, “It is more broadly a manifestation of the ideological right’s view that God-fearing Americans are being forced to kowtow to the existence of gay Americans — and that they shouldn’t be.”

NYNNC

The New York Times similarly published a guest essay titled “The Supreme Court Just Weakened L.G.B.T.Q. Protections. That Hurts Families Like Mine.”

Daily Beast writer Jay Michaelson characterized the case as being about “anti-LGBTQ discrimination” and said the Supreme Court’s ruling is “incoherent.”

“You can’t refuse services to gay people, but you can refuse a gay wedding,” the Court essentially said in its ‘303 Creative v. Elenis’ decision. Is there a difference?” Michaelson rhetorically asked.

>NYNNC is a media reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @JoeExample.

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