Anti-gay activists are rejoicing at the Supreme Court's decision in Hobby Lobby today, in part because they are hopeful that the decision will pave the way for one of their own policy goals: to use the religious liberty argument to push for broad exemptions for corporations from nondiscrimination laws.
Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber is hopeful that the decision bodes well for those trying to use religious freedom as a cloak to justify discrimination against LGBT people:
Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality has a similar take:
LGBT Left has been winning in the courts, but now we have hope that SCOTUS will honor small biz conscience exemptions on homosexuality #tcot— Peter LaBarbera (@PeterLaBarbera) June 30, 2014
There may be reason for them to be optimistic. As SCOTUSblog pointed out, the majority's opinion pointedly leaves open "the question of whether the Government has a similarly compelling interest in preventing discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual orientation."
With respect to implications for other kinds of religious-based discrimination, the Court writes that racial discrimination in hiring will not be permitted under RFRA because "The Government has a compelling interest in providing equal opportunity to participate in the workforce without regard to race, and prohibitions on racial discrimination are precisely tailored to acheive [sic] that critical goal." Note that this leave open the question of whether the Government has a similarly compelling interest in preventing discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual orientation.
UPDATE: TPM has more on this.
UPDATE II: Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association has joined the chorus:
What freedom means: if you want to hire homosexuals, you can. If you don't want to hire homosexuals, you don't have to.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) July 1, 2014