Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett faces calls to recuse herself from LGBTQ case over Christian faith

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett faces calls to recuse herself from LGBTQ case over Christian faith

By United States Supreme Court – Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States – Amy Coney Barrett

Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett is facing calls to recuse herself from an upcoming case involving a web designer’s handling of wedding websites for LGBTQ clients. Some have raised concerns that her Christian faith may influence her decision in the case.

Former members of the People of Praise religious community have argued that Judge Amy Coney Barrett should recuse herself from an upcoming Supreme Court case. The Guardians report that the matter in question, 303 Creative LLC v. Aubrey Elenis, is set to begin hearing oral arguments on December 5th.

Barrett is a member of the secretive faith group People of Praise, which she has not publicly spoken about just yet. During her 2020 confirmation hearings, conservatives argued that Barrett’s faith was wrongfully weaponized when she told senators that her religious beliefs would not interfere with her abilities to be an unbiased judge.

Maura Sullivan, a 46-year-old raised in a People of Praise community, told The Guardian that she does not believe that someone in Amy Coney Barrett’s position, as a member of the People of Praise community, could put aside her biases. Sullivan, who is bisexual, said that her parents cut her off and prevented her from spending time alone with a younger sister when she came out at 19. However, they rekindled their relationship after the parents left the People of Praise community.

In the case of 303 Creative LLC v. Aubrey Elenis, Lorie Smith, owner and founder of a graphic design firm, seeks to post a statement saying she will not take on clients requesting wedding website designs for same-sex couples. This is because gay marriage conflicts with her religious beliefs.

The court will need to decide whether the Colorado AntiDiscrimination Act, which makes it illegal for businesses that serve the public to discriminate against people based on things like sexual orientation, violates the freedom of speech that is guaranteed in the First Amendment. Smith argues that she has worked with LGBTQ clients before on other projects that don’t go against her religious beliefs.

“Lori’s victory would set a powerful precedent protecting all creative professionals from being coerced into expressing messages that violate their core beliefs,” Kristen K. Waggoner, Smith’s lead attorney, told The Washington Examiner.

However, those who left the group cited Barrett’s former role on the board of Trinity Schools Inc. as their reason for doing so. Barrett joined the board in 2015; Trinity Schools Inc. is affiliated with People of Praise.

The Trinity Schools have a long-standing policy of not admitting children of same-sex parents. This policy was in place before and after Barrett joined the faculty. According to The Guardian, this policy prevents children of same-sex parents from enrolling in the Trinity Schools network.

“The People of Praise has a set of values that are opposed to acceptance of gay people, and these values have harmful consequences for real people,” Kevin Connolly, who used to be a member of the group, told The Guardian.

He said these values are reflected in the standard policies of the People of Praise and their schools. Connolly continued that these policies are not in line with most Americans’ beliefs, and most people would be concerned about them. In the past, Kevin Connolly has spoken out about the physical abuse he claims to have suffered at the hands of his father. His brother is the current spokesman for the People of Praise.

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