/Michael Imperioli Has A Message For Bigots And Homophobes Who Watch His Work

Michael Imperioli Has A Message For Bigots And Homophobes Who Watch His Work

Michael Imperioli turned the tables on “bigots and homophobes” supporting the Supreme Court’s decision to allow a Christian website designer to discriminate against same-sex couples.

“The Sopranos” star reacted to the news of the ruling in an angry Instagram post on Saturday, where he posted a screenshot of an article with the headline, “Supreme Court protects web designer who won’t do gay wedding websites.”

On Friday, the court’s 6-3 conservative majority ruled that a Colorado graphic designer could legally refuse services to same-sex couples on the grounds of her First Amendment rights.

Imperioli tried to twist the Supreme Court’s own logic in the case, telling fans, “I’ve decided to forbid bigots and homophobes from watching ‘The Sopranos,’ ‘The White Lotus,’ ‘Goodfellas,’ or any movie or TV show I’ve been in.”

“Thank you Supreme Court for allowing me to discriminate and exclude those who I don’t agree with and am opposed to,” he continued, wryly. “USA! USA!”

Imperioli expanded his thoughts in the comment section, telling critics, “Hate and ignorance is not a legitimate point of view” and “America is becoming dumber by the minute.”

The Supreme Court’s decision in 303 Creative v. Elenis broadened the rights of people who want to refuse services to same-sex couples based on religious or ideological grounds.

It determined a Colorado anti-discrimination law which prohibits denial of goods, services or facilities “because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, national origin, or ancestry,” would violate her religious liberties and right to free speech if she was made to create a website expressing views she opposed.

The dispute cited in the case was entirely hypothetical, however. Petitioner Lorie Smith has never been hired to make a website for a same-sex couple, nor has she professionally created any website.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor skewered the majority’s opinion in a dissent with liberal justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, writing, “Today, the Court, for the first time in its history, grants a business open to the public a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class.”

Michael Imperioli attends the Season 2 premiere of "The White Lotus" in Los Angeles on Oct. 20, 2022.
Michael Imperioli attends the Season 2 premiere of “The White Lotus” in Los Angeles on Oct. 20, 2022.

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

“By issuing this new license to discriminate in a case brought by a company that seeks to deny same-sex couples the full and equal enjoyment of its services, the immediate, symbolic effect of the decision is to mark gays and lesbians for second-class status,” the dissent continued.

“In this way, the decision itself inflicts a kind of stigmatic harm, on top of any harm caused by denials of service. The opinion of the Court is, quite literally, a notice that reads: ‘Some services may be denied to same-sex couples.’”

In the majority, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that states still have the ability to safeguard protected classes from discrimination, but not in matters that “implicate the First Amendment.”

“States are generally free to apply their public accommodations laws, including their provisions protecting gay persons, to a vast array of businesses,” he wrote, later adding, “When a state public accommodations law and the Constitution collide, there can be no question which must prevail.”

This week the Supreme Court ended its session with a slew of wins for conservatives.

Hours after its decision in 303 Creative v. Elenis, the court overturned President Biden’s plan for student loan forgiveness. On Thursday, the Supreme Court decided college’s use of race-conscious admissions, also known as affirmative action, was unconstitutional.

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