Artist Resisting Compelled Speech

News: Video Reports
by Kristine Christlieb  •  •  October 6, 2022   

SCOTUS takes up another Colorado case

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In tonight's In-Depth Report, another example of the Left's drive to compel speech is on the Supreme Court's docket.

Jack Phillips, owner, Masterpiece Cakeshop: "I'm not judging these two gay men who came in. I'm just trying to preserve my right as an artist to decide which artistic endeavors I'm going to do and which ones I'm not."

Following in the footsteps of Masterpiece Cakeshop baker Jack Phillips, another Colorado artist is asking the Supreme Court to provide relief from the state's antidiscrimination law.

Lorie Smith is a website designer who sought to expand her business to include wedding websites.

Smith: "As a Christian artist, I was excited to step into the wedding industry and use my artistic talents, except there's a Colorado law that prevents me from continuing with my work and forces me to violate my beliefs and speak messages that I don't agree with."

Smith wanted to include on her business website a statement saying she could not collaborate on websites with messages that violated her religious beliefs.

Kristen Waggoner, general counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom: "Colorado is censoring what Lorie wants to say — is trying to force her to express the government's message about marriage. Lori witnessed Colorado use this same law to harass and punish Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips."

Stepping outside his lane as a Jesuit priest, Fr. James Martin tweeted his legal opinion: "Once again, the Supreme Court will take up the question of whether someone can refuse to do business with a same-sex couple because it offends their Christian beliefs. But notice that these business owners don't have a problem with (nor should they) serving non-Christians."

Martin is wrongly assuming Smith is discriminating against gay people as a class of individuals when what she objects to is certain messaging.

Smith would not want to create a website, for example, promoting violence or pornography.

For its part, the state of Colorado in its response is telling Smith not to worry, saying there's no "credible threat of enforcement under the Act."

The state argues: 

The record contains no evidence that anyone has asked the company to create a website for a same-sex wedding, that Colorado has threatened enforcement or that any future wedding website would convey a message that would be attributed to the company. The company lacks standing, and this case is not ripe.

Christians are likely to be targeted with antidiscrimination lawsuits. Just ask Jack Phillips; he's been sued three times.

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