What Is Speech?

News: Video Reports
by Nicholas Wylie  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  December 7, 2022   

Religious beliefs vs. LGBT lobby

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The U.S. Supreme Court is mulling over a very important First Amendment case for Christians.

In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Nick Wylie discusses the oral arguments in a controversy over the rights of artists. 

Kristen Waggoner, president, Alliance Defending Freedom: "The Pulitzer Prize doesn't go to the customer or to the subject, it goes to the photographer. And there's a reason for that. That reason is because you are requiring that artist to speak a message. It is their work."

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the case 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis.

The central issue in the case is whether or not website designer Lorie Smith — a Christian — can refuse to service non-heterosexual couples due to her religious beliefs. 

Colorado opposition claims such a refusal of service would violate its Anti-Discrimination Act.

Under the law, no "place of public accommodation" may directly or indirectly, refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a group, because of sexual orientation the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, or accommodations.

Marc Randazza, First Amendment attorney:

There are websites out there that you can go to that will give you a website that you can customize. So if you had, for example, a product where you say, "Hey, for 100 dollars, I'm going to send you all the architecture for a website, and you plug in your own pictures; you plug in your own content; you plug in whatever you want." I don't think that a person who runs a business like that would properly be able to claim it was violating their freedom of conscience or their First Amendment rights to do so. You're really just selling a product.

Smith argues her personalized designs for each customer are protected as speech under the First Amendment and that the state doesn't have the right to compel her speech. 

Waggoner: "The State forces Ms. Smith to create speech, not simply sell it. Next Colorado says it can compel speech on the same topic, but Ms. Smith believes opposite-sex marriage honors Scripture and that same-sex marriage contradicts it. If the government can label this speech equivalent, it can do so for any speech."

Randazza: "I do think you're going to get a decision here that clarifies — and I hope it's done well — that clarifies what speech is so that people understand that something more than holding a sign or making a speech can actually be speech and that we need to have limits on compelled speech."

The woke crowd won't give up on forcing a diabolical ideology down the throats of Christians, so Christians must fight with the same intensity for the right to freely serve Christ. 

The religious liberty question is still unsettled after the Supreme Court in the 2018 Masterpiece Cakeshop case punted on deciding whether religious beliefs trump antidiscrimination laws.

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