At the Supreme Court — Christian Graphic Artist Fights Colorado Law That Would Compel Her to Violate Her Conscience

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed earlier this year to hear the case of Lorie Smith, a Christian graphic artist in Colorado who filed a lawsuit against the state to challenge a law she said would violate her religious beliefs.

Smith believes what the Bible teaches about marriage and homosexuality: marriage is the union between one man and one woman, and homosexuality is a sin. The law would force her to choose between practicing her faith or violating its tenets by providing services for same-sex “weddings.” The Colorado Civil Rights Commission used the same law to go after Christian baker Jack Phillips, sued for declining to use his artistic talents to provide services for same-sex “weddings.” Phillips’s case went to the Supreme Court, which ruled in his favor.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Smith’s and Phillips’s legal counsel, recently announced that Smith submitted a reply to Colorado’s brief in the Supreme Court.

Specifically, the brief explains that the state’s admissions that she serves clients “regardless of classifications” like “sexual orientation” and that her websites are “expressive” and “communicate a particular message” make the case simple: “Colorado may not use its public-accommodation law to compel speakers to convey government-approved messages.” Even though the state has admitted that Smith works with people from all walks of life, including those who identify as LGBT, and that she chooses her projects based on their content, Colorado still says it can force her to speak messages about marriage that contradict her core beliefs.

Like Jack Phillips, Smith serves all kinds of customers. She simply refuses to provide services that go against what the Christian faith teaches about sin.

ADF makes the point that a win for Smith is win for the First Amendment rights of everyone. Would the state actually defend forcing a Jewish graphic designer to provide services for a Holocaust-denial event? Would anyone expect a black baker to make a custom cake for a KKK rally? Of course not. So why is it an issue when a Christian refuses to provide services for same-sex “weddings?”

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