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December 09, 2022

303 Creative LLC v. Elenis

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an important religious liberty case this week. The case, 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, represents another clash between our First Amendment rights of religious freedom and free speech, and the demands of the LGBTQ+ movement.

Lorie Smith is a Christian artist who runs 303 Creative LLC, a studio specializing in graphic and website design. She uses her small business to specialize in projects consistent with her heartfelt beliefs, including overseas missions, children with disabilities, and veteran causes. Lorie wanted to expand her portfolio to include designing wedding sites for marriages between a man and a woman. That is when she ran into opposition.

Ms. Smith's business is located in Colorado, a state with a "public accommodation" law. Colorado and LGBTQ+ groups are trying to use that law to prevent Lorie from providing design services only for marriages between men and women.

Lorie Smith is not refusing to work with gay customers. For example, she would be willing to do graphics for a gay customer who had an organization serving children with disabilities. What she objects to is using her creative talents to promote or serve same-sex marriage, which violates her conscience.

In 2017, the Supreme Court heard a similar case from Colorado involving a baker who objected to designing a cake for a gay couple's wedding. The Court ruled in favor of the baker, but on narrow grounds that did not address the larger issues of religious liberty and free speech.

The outcome of this case has national implications. Colorado is being supported by the ACLU, the Biden administration, and 20 other states that have filed briefs that essentially restrict religious liberty and rights of conscience. We are standing with the Alliance Defending Freedom and 20 other states that support Lorie Smith and religious liberty.

Increasingly, if the demands of the LGBTQ+ movement prevail, religious liberty and the rights conscience will shrink.

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