- Lorie Smith, the Christian web designer who recently secured a victory in a landmark First Amendment Supreme Court case, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview that the ruling makes everyone more free to “speak consistent with their convictions.”
- Smith, who owns the Denver-based design studio 303 Creative, said she’s excited to finally start doing what she spent seven long years fighting her state to do: creating wedding websites that display “God’s design for marriage” between one man and one woman.
- “This ruling protects the LGBT website designer, the Jewish calligrapher, the Democrat speechwriter, the pro-life photographer,” she said.
The Christian web designer who recently secured a victory in a landmark First Amendment Supreme Court case told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the ruling makes everyone more free to “speak consistent with their convictions.”
The Supreme Court issued an opinion on the final day of its term reaffirming individuals’ rights to “think and speak as they wish, not as the government demands,” siding with Lorie Smith in her lawsuit challenging a Colorado law that prohibits public accommodations from restricting services based on sexual orientation. Smith, owner of the Denver-based design studio 303 Creative, told the DCNF she’s excited to finally start doing what she spent seven long years fighting her state to do: creating wedding websites that display “God’s design for marriage” between one man and one woman.
Under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA), Smith was unable to create these kinds of wedding websites without the state compelling her to also create wedding websites for same-sex couples, which was a violation of her deeply held beliefs. It’s the same law that has kept Jack Phillips, the Christian cake baker who previously won a Supreme Court case after declining to make a custom cake for a gay wedding, in litigation for over a decade.
“I was being censored by the state of Colorado, and I wanted to stand,” Smith explained to the DCNF when asked why she brought the lawsuit.
Smith told the DCNF that she wants people to understand that the ruling she fought so hard to secure is a victory for “each and every American”—whether they acknowledge it or not.
“This ruling protects the LGBT website designer, the Jewish calligrapher, the Democrat speechwriter, the pro-life photographer,” she said. “Everyone is more free this week than they were last week to speak consistent with their convictions.”
But getting to this point wasn’t easy, Smith told the DCNF. Years of litigation put pressure on her business and subjected her to “a lot of hills and a lot of valleys” — among them, the hold it forced her to put on her dream of creating wedding websites.
“People tried to hack into my website,” she said. “I’ve also been on the receiving end of a lot of hatred.”
Smith told the DCNF her faith in Christ impacts “every facet” of who she is, including her business, where she strives for her artwork to be “glorifying and honoring to our Creator.” Yet, she said she hasn’t always been a believer.
“My faith journey began at a really difficult time,” she said. “I lost my uncle, who was an incredible man of God, and I really struggled with this concept of a good God … I really set out on a journey to disprove him.”
“Ultimately, the Lord was working in my heart, and I would have no other place to look other than to Him,” she said. “So I would accept Him as my Lord and Savior, and my life changed dramatically.”
As for her critics, she encourages them to read the majority opinion for themselves.
“I think it’s powerful, and I think by doing that people can make an opinion of their own,” she told the DCNF, noting that there are many “egregious falsehoods” spreading about her case.
Following the decision, some media outlets incorrectly reported the Supreme Court ruled businesses could refuse service to same-sex couples when the decision actually shot down government efforts to compel business owners to speak messages that contradict their beliefs.
“I’ve always loved working with people from all walks of life,” Smith said. “I will continue to serve my LGBT clients. But I simply cannot create messages that violate the core of who I am and what I believe. I’m grateful that the court affirmed that I don’t have to.”
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