Supremes lineup to make critical decision on free speech

The U.S. Supreme Court is to hear arguments on Monday in a critical free speech case.

State of Colorado forces Christians to violate their faith in the name of ‘nondiscrimination’

Bob Unruh
WND News Center

The U.S. Supreme Court is to hear arguments on Monday in a critical free speech case.

The question is whether a state – the leftist Colorado in this case – can deliberately order a Christian to violate her faith in the name of its so-called “nondiscrimination” agenda.

The fight is over a Denver website developer who has been ordered by the state, under penalty of law, to promote same-sex marriages through her work if she does any work at all for traditional weddings.

Multiple groups have filed friend-of-the-court briefs, including Liberty Counsel, when the attack by the all-Democrat government in the state against web designer Lorie Smith developed.

The case is 303 Creative v. Elenis.

It’s just the latest attack from the state of Colorado on Christians. Years ago it was soundly rebuked by the Supreme Court for its attack on Masterpiece Cakeshop’s Jack Phillips.

There, the state had ordered him into an indoctrination program for his refusal to use his artistry to create a “wedding cake” for a same-sex duo.

The legal team explained the current issue: “Smith creates unique and beautiful websites for her clients and started her business in 2012 to exercise creative freedom. Smith serves everyone but cannot use her design skills and creativity to express messages that violate her deeply held religious beliefs. However, under Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act, Smith could be punished simply for offering to create websites only celebrating weddings consistent with her beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Further, the state even imposes a gag order, preventing Smith from expressing on her website why she cannot create messages celebrating “certain ideas.”

As was revealed during the Masterpiece case, the state’s public accommodations law was written with a deliberate bias against people of faith, as it “allows secular artists but not religious ones like Smith to make ‘message-based refusals.’”

”Liberty Counsel presents the fact that artistic expression is pure speech that is fully protected by the First Amendment and must be protected from censorship or compulsion, particularly when the message is an unpopular one. This applies even when speakers are compensated for artistic expression. The protected artistic expression includes, among other things, books, plays, films, video games, music, painting, poetry, drawings, engravings, sculptures and photography. This also includes website creation and content as pure speech since websites can provide a powerful way for private citizens to make their voices heard,” the organization noted.

In the past, the high court has noted the First Amendment draws no distinction between the creation, distribution, or consumption of the speech at hand.

”For example, in Fields v. City of Philadelphia, the High Court ruled that ‘the First Amendment protects actual photos, videos, and recordings, and for this protection to have meaning the Amendment must also protect the act of creating that material.’”

Kristen Waggoner of the Alliance Defending Freedom will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court on Smith’s behalf.

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1 Comment

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    Anna Miller

    Tyranny. When the heavy hand of government mandates that anyone “create” something that currently does not exist, such as a wedding cake against their most profound beliefs, what is next? Can a painter be required to paint a painting that depicts an objectionable scene based on their deeply held religious beliefs? Can a sculptor be required to “create” such an object? Who is next??


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