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248 views • June 30, 2023

Supreme Court Rules for Christian Web Designer in Forced Speech Case

NTD News
NTD News
The Supreme Court ruled 6–3 in favor of a Christian website designer who said Colorado’s law requiring her to create websites to celebrate same-sex weddings infringed on her constitutional rights. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion (pdf) in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis (court file 21-476) which was decided June 30. The three liberal justices dissented. Left-wing activists have been targeting bakers for years for political purposes, asking Christian confectioners opposed to same-sex marriage to bake wedding cakes for gay marriage celebrations. When the bakers refuse to make the cakes, these activists sue under anti-discrimination laws, hoping to secure favorable legal precedents. In Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2018), the Supreme Court sided with Jack Phillips, a Christian baker whom a gay couple had asked to create a custom cake to celebrate their union, finding a state human rights commission had violated his First Amendment right to free exercise of religion. But in the case at hand, artist and website designer Lorie Smith of 303 Creative complained she was being singled out by the same Colorado human rights commission because, based on her religious faith, she does not support nontraditional marriage. Smith has said she will design custom websites for anyone, including those who identify as LGBT, so long as their message does not conflict with her religious views. This means that she won’t promote messages that condone violence or encourage sexual immorality, abortion, or same-sex marriage. When clients want such messages expressed, Smith refers them to other website designers. Smith took action when she discovered she was forbidden under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) to post a statement online explaining what content she was, and was not, willing to create. Gorsuch wrote in the majority opinion: “Like many states, Colorado has a law forbidding businesses from engaging in discrimination when they sell goods and services to the public. Laws along these lines have done much to secure the civil rights of all Americans. [morearticles mode="false"]4476981[/morearticles] "But in this particular case, Colorado does not just seek to ensure the sale of goods or services on equal terms. It seeks to use its law to compel an individual to create speech she does not believe. The question we face is whether that course violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.” “In this case, Colorado seeks to force an individual to speak in ways that align with its views but defy her conscience about a matter of major significance,” Gorsuch wrote. “The First Amendment envisions the United States as a rich and complex place where all persons are free to think and speak as they wish, not as the government demands.” This is a developing story. This article will be updated. From The Epoch Times
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