US Supreme Court weighs clash between free speech and gay rights

The US Supreme Court has heard arguments in the case of a graphic designer who refused to create wedding websites for same-sex couples.

It is the latest case to reach the top court that pits free speech rights against anti-discrimination laws.

Lorie Smith, from Colorado, argues she cannot offer her services to same-sex couples because of her Christian faith.

But this may violate a state law prohibiting businesses from refusing service due to sexual orientation.

Most US states have similar anti-discrimination laws in place.

Ms Smith, 38, has argued Colorado’s public accommodation law violates her First Amendment right to free speech, as the state would be forcing her to express a message she does not agree with.

“If the government can censor and compel my speech, it can censor and compel anybody’s speech,” she told CBS News before arguments began on Monday. “We should all be free to live and work consistently with our deeply held beliefs.”

The graphic designer and her supporters…

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This article was written by and originally published on www.bbc.co.uk