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Supreme Court Set to Rule on Compelled Speech in Christian Website Designer Same Sex Wedding Case

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As the U.S. Supreme Court nears the end of its term on June 30, one of the remaining cases awaiting a decision is 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis. The case revolves around the question of whether a state government can legally require a Christian website designer to provide services for the creation of content endorsing same-sex weddings. 

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/29/2023 (8 months ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Christian, Supreme Court, website, art, case, wedding, same-sex, discrimination

Lorie Smith, a website designer based in Colorado and the owner of 303 Creative LLC, initiated the lawsuit challenging a Colorado anti-discrimination law. This law prohibits the refusal, withholding, or denial of services to individuals based on their sexual orientation.

Represented by the religious liberty law firm Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), 303 Creative LLC argues that the state should not compel Smith or her company to offer services for same-sex weddings as it would require her to promote a message that contradicts her religious beliefs.

Kristen Waggoner, CEO, President, and General Counsel of ADF, emphasized the importance of free speech for everyone and expressed the view that the government should not coerce individuals to express opinions they do not hold. Waggoner stated in a December press release that each word, graphic, and custom website designed by Smith carries a unique message that should align with her beliefs, passions, and expertise. She argued that Americans should have the freedom to express their ideas, regardless of whether the government agrees with them, and that a victory for Smith would be a victory for all Americans.

The lawsuit contends that the Colorado law violates various aspects of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, including the right to free speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association.

It is worth noting that over five years ago, on June 4, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who had refused to create a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage on similar grounds related to free speech and freedom of religion. However, that decision applied solely to the specific business involved in the lawsuit and did not address the law's overall legality.

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