BREAKING: Supreme Court rules Colorado cannot force graphic designer to create art violating her beliefs.
The United States Supreme Court ruled Friday that Colorado cannot force graphic designer Lorie Smith to create art that violates her religious beliefs.
Smith, who believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman, wants to create wedding websites. But under Colorado’s discrimination laws, if she were to create such wedding websites, she would be compelled to do so for same-sex weddings.
Represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, Smith had asked the Supreme Court to say that Colorado’s discrimination law violated her rights. ADF asked the court: Can the government compel an artist to create custom artwork or speech that goes against the core of who that artist is?
And on Friday, the court decided that the government cannot.
“The U.S. Supreme Court rightly reaffirmed that the government can’t force Americans to say things they don’t believe,” said Alliance Defending Freedom CEO Kristen Waggoner in a statement. “The court reiterated that it’s unconstitutional for the state to eliminate from the public square ideas it dislikes, including the belief that marriage is the union of husband and wife.”
“Disagreement isn’t discrimination, and the government can’t mislabel speech as discrimination to censor it,” added Waggoner. “Lorie works with everyone, including clients who identify as LGBT. As the court highlighted, her decisions to create speech always turn on what message is requested, never on who requests it. The ruling makes clear that nondiscrimination laws remain firmly in place, and that the government has never needed to compel speech to ensure access to goods and services.”
Sarah Parshall Perry, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, tweeted that the decision was a “BIG win for free speech.”
“I create unique, one of a kind artwork, and messaging for my clients,” Smith shared in an interview with The Daily Signal earlier this year. “I love what I do. I have clients who come from all different walks of life, I have clients who identify as LGBT.”
“I’ve always wanted to design and create, and I’ve always wanted to create and design for weddings,” Lori said. “But I can’t do that … because the state of Colorado is censoring my speech and forcing me to create custom and unique artwork, one of a kind designs that celebrate messages about marriage that go against what I believe.”
Originally published by The Daily Torch. Republished with permission.
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