The Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the same organization responsible for its infamous case against Christian baker Jack Phillips that went all the way to the US Supreme Court, is still trying to censor its citizens who voice views in favor of traditional biblical marriage.
This time, the commission has set it sights on web designer Lorie Smith and her 303 Creative studio.
After building her business over the past several years, Smith decided she wanted to add wedding websites to her company’s portfolio. However, due to her religious beliefs, Smith decided to create custom websites and graphics only for weddings between one man and one woman.
If she does not create websites celebrating same-sex weddings, the state commission will punish her.
Last week, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Smith filed an appeal of a federal district court’s order that upheld a state provision that gags creative professionals from talking about their beliefs when explaining their business decisions.
The September order adds to a previous decision that would allow Colorado officials to force Smith to design and publish websites promoting messages or causes that conflict with her beliefs.
In a May ruling in 303 Creative v. Elenis, a court said it ruled as it did because it “assumes the constitutionality” of the Colorado law. But other courts have recently found otherwise regarding similar laws in Minnesota and Arizona.
Smith’s appeal will now be heard before the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver.
“Americans shouldn’t be forced by the government to create and publish websites that promote messages or causes they disagree with. That is a quintessential freedom that the First Amendment protects,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jonathan Scruggs.
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