Religion is not a valid reason to deny service to a same-sex couple.
By Daisy Barragan
On June 30, 2023, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of a graphic design business that refused their service to a same-sex couple. Under the Constitution of the United States, the freedom of religion is protected. So the graphic designer, Lorie Smith, claimed that serving the couple would be against her Christian beliefs.
The Supreme Court’s ruling is a threat to the rights of LGBT people. It sets a precedent for businesses to have the constitutional right to refuse service to people in the LGBT community. It set the idea that discrimination against a group of people could be protected under this ruling.
Religion is not a reason to discriminate against same-sex couples. Gay individuals are not sinful, however, they are just experiencing love. They should not have to accommodate someone else’s beliefs in order to be treated with respect and to be allowed the same resources that heterosexual couples have easy access to.
Although I thoroughly believe that religious people have the freedom to practice their beliefs in the spaces that they have, they should be prohibited from using these freedoms to oppress minority groups. Religious people can have their own opinions but they should not allow these opinions to become prejudiced-especially if they own a business.
Businesses are meant to be professional settings where the personal beliefs of the owner or employers should stay at home. Whatever happened to the customer is always right?
Not only is it bad business to discriminate against customers, but it’s also a matter of respecting other people. Although one may not fully understand same-sex couples, showing said confusion through words or even violence is not an appropriate response.
Not allowing same-sex couples to support a business is an inconvenience for these couples. Same-sex couples should be allowed to buy a wedding cake from a local business, and not go out of their way to buy one from an LGBT-friendly cake shop. Not only is it mentally draining to know that walking into the wrong business could be the difference between getting hate-crimed or not, but it can also get expensive.
It won’t be soon until stores that are LGBT “friendly” will start upping their prices as they know that gay people can only go there for a normal customer experience.
Unfortunately, there have been many gay people ostracized from their own religion and beliefs all because of who they are. There is a large population of LGBT individuals who are religious but have been scared out of their religious spaces due to homophobic rhetoric that is often thrown around.
This is not a religion vs. LGBT community issue, but an issue of human rights and the fear of what is different. I believe religion should not be used as a shield that can protect one from hateful actions and words. If we allow discrimination against one group because of religion, how much longer until the discrimination reaches other minority groups? When does it stop?
Religion should make someone feel good about themselves and their life. It has no right to dictate anyone’s life except one’s own. It should teach one about love, understanding, and forgiveness.
Same-sex couples will continue to form and religions will continue to thrive for as long as we live. The only hope is for religious groups to understand and learn about LGBT people. Being in love is not a choice and one should never feel shame for loving.