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‘This is a big deal’: Attorneys, scholars speculate on anti-discrimination case’s future at Supreme Court

Religious freedom scholars and anti-discrimination attorneys are assessing the likelihood that the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court may take up a major First Amendment decision out of Colorado, in which the state’s anti-discrimination law prevailed over a business owner’s religiously based objection about serving same-sex couples.

“I believe that this case, or one similar to it, is likely to end up before the Supreme Court at some point in the future, but the Court doesn’t seem anxious to rule on these types of cases anytime soon,” said Iris Halpern, a civil rights attorney and LGBTQ-rights advocate with Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC in Denver.

On Monday, the federal appeals court based in Denver decided the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act compelled website and graphic designer Lorie Smith to make wedding websites for same-sex couples if she decided to make them for opposite-sex couples. Smith, a Christian, asserted she had the right to advise potential clients she could only promote marriages between one man and one woman.

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