The Denver-area Christian website designer seeking to block Colorado from compelling her to design websites with same-sex messages violating her beliefs got some powerful support Friday as supporters — including 45 lawmakers such as Republican Sens. Marco Rubio from Florida and Ted Cruz from Texas asked the Supreme Court for a review of her case.
The attorneys general of 16 states also asked to consider the matter. The roster is led by Arizona and Nebraska. It includes Alabama, Arkansas and Kansas, Kentucky as well as Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri. Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Carolina. Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Tennessee.
Lorie Smith, who owns 303creative.com, went to the high court at the end of September following the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals’ rejection of her challenge to having certain provisions of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, also known as CADA, applied to her business.
Ms. Smith designs websites for individuals or businesses. She hopes to focus on websites for engaged men-and-female couple, keeping in line with her religious views about marriage. WeddingWire.com, in a 2020 survey, reported that 79% of such couples created a website for family and friends to track the progress of their upcoming nuptials.
” I have served and continue serving all people, even those who identify themselves as LGBT. However, I object to being forced into sending messages that violate my conscience,” Ms. Smith stated at a news conference to announce her appeal.
She added, “Artists must be free to create and speak messages consistent with their convictions without the threat of unjust punishment.”
Her appeal to the Supreme Court came after the majority of a three-judge Tenth Circuit panel said allowing Ms. Smith to refuse same-sex couples seeking a wedding website would assign such clients “to an inferior market” if they cannot avail themselves of Ms. Smith‘s “unique services.”
The 45 members of Congress who asked the Supreme Court to intervene rejected that argument from the court of appeals.
” The Tenth Circuit’s reasoning reveals the true purpose CADA’s speech coercions–to compel dissenters mouth views with which it disagrees and to silence opposing opinions,” they wrote. The Tenth Circuit acknowledged that same-sex couples have many options for web designs .”
The state’s attorneys general claim that Colorado’s “limitation of Smith’s business” is based on a message she can’t convey and not on the status she refuses .”
service to a customer she
By refusing Ms. Smith the right to uphold her beliefs, Colorado violates the constitutional rights its citizens because the First Amendment forbids States from requiring individuals (including people who create custom speech) to support same-sex marriage .”
The Alliance Defending Freedom, the public-interest law firm representing Ms. Smith, welcomed the wide range of support.
” As the briefs in support of artistic freedom and free speech in this case agree, it shouldn’t be allowed for the government to use the law to force web designers to communicate messages that are contrary to her beliefs. The Tenth Circuit recklessly threw these First Amendment guarantees aside, and that calls for the Supreme Court‘s attention,” said ADF general counsel Kristen Waggoner, who argued before the Tenth Circuit on Ms. Smith‘s behalf, in a statement.
The Washington Times asked for comment from Eric Olson (Colorado solicitor general), but he did not respond immediately.