The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of a web designer fighting a Colorado law that forces her to promote messages against her religious beliefs, the court announced Tuesday.
Lorie Smith of 303 Creative asked the court to review the 10th Circuits’ ruling that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act requires Smith to engage in speech that violates her conscience, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing her.
The Colorado law in question requires Smith to create websites for same-sex weddings against her personal beliefs. Smith is willing to work with all people regardless of sexual orientation and to create content for customers who are LGBT, according to court documents, but she refuses to promote messages she finds objectionable.
The court granted certiorari to the case Tuesday and will consider “whether applying a public-accommodation law to compel an artist to speak or stay silent violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.”
The Colorado law allows secular artists to make “message-based refusals” to create certain content they disagree with, but targets religious artists, according to ADF.
“The government doesn’t have the power to silence or compel creative expression under the threat of punishment. It’s shocking that the 10th Circuit would permit Colorado to punish artists whose speech isn’t in line with state-approved ideology,” commented ADF General Counsel Kristen Waggoner, Smith’s attorney.
“Colorado has weaponized its law to silence speech it disagrees with, to compel speech it approves of, and to punish anyone who dares to dissent,” she added.
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