The Supreme Court will likely rule on Friday in favor of web designer and plaintiff Lorie Smith, backed by the extremist Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), largely based on her claim that she wants to make wedding sites but can’t because she’ll be forced to do so for gay couples. But it sure looks like she fabricated the one gay couple she claims asked her for one.
Raw Story has more:
Initially, no same-sex couple had asked her make a website for their wedding — not surprising since she wasn’t in the business of making wedding websites.
But after the case was filed, a same-sex couple named Stewart and Mike, according to court documents as The New Republic reports, did ask Smith for a wedding website. Stewart’s name, email address, phone number, and even his website URL were included in the filings, yet no reporter appears to have ever contacted him to verify his story.
The New Republic did the fact checking that nobody else did. Yes, Stewart and his contact information are correctly listed. But unless he did a good job of lying to TNR reporter Melissa Gira Grant, it turns out he never asked for a wedding website, was married to a woman at the time of the supposed request and, since he’s a designer himself, hundreds of miles away, would probably never have asked the inexperienced Smith to do the work regardless.
I’m not a lawyer but it sure looks like Smith not only fabricated the wedding site request but committed perjury while she was at it. More from TNR (emphases added):
In a motion filed by the defense on October 19, 2016, arguing that the case should be dismissed, they state that Smith has received no actual inquiries for services and therefore has suffered no injury. The following month, in its response, ADF did not mention the September 2016 “Stewart” inquiry to refute the defense’s claims. Rather, ADF merely stated that it was not necessary for Smith to have received an inquiry in order to challenge the law over her feared consequences of denying services to a same-sex couple.
Not until February 2017 did ADF include the text of the “Stewart” inquiry and argue its relevance to the case. “Notably, any claim that Lorie will never receive a request to create a custom website celebrating a same-sex ceremony is no longer legitimate because Lorie has received such a request,” the group wrote. “Even though she is not currently in the wedding industry, Lorie received an email inquiry on September 21, 2016.” Smith elaborated in a sworn statement that she “received a request through the ‘contact’ webpage on my website from a person named, ‘Stewart,’ reference number 9741406, to create graphic designs for invitations and other materials for a same-sex wedding (‘same-sex wedding request’).” She added that a “true and accurate copy” of the “same-sex wedding request” would be submitted with the statement. Why it took until possibly February 2017 to introduce the inquiry is not clear.
It’s not known to this non-lawyer whether anyone but Smith had an obligation to make sure her claim was truthful and accurate. But if, or more likely when, the U.S. Supreme Court rules in her favor based on a lie, it will make the ruling even more vile and add a new layer of corruption to the court.
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