BREAKING: Supreme Court weighs compelled speech versus free speech in case of Christian Colorado web designer who opposes same-sex marriage

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On Monday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of 303 Creative LLC v Ellen’s, a case relating to a Colorado website designer’s claims that the state’s discrimination laws would violate free speech rights protected under the First Amendment.

According to SCOTUSblog, 303 Creative LLC owner Lorie Smith, a devout Christian, wants to expand her business to include building wedding websites but does not want to design websites for same-sex weddings and announce publicly on her website that the company would not be undertaking these projects.

Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA), states that “Coloradans are entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of all goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations offered to the public, regardless of protected class.”

Smith argues that “applying CADA to her would violate the First Amendment because it would require her to create messages that are inconsistent with her religious beliefs, and it would bar her from announcing those beliefs on her website,” according to SCOTUSblog. 

Smith has said that her decision to undertake a project is not related to the identity of the person requesting the work, but rather the message that would be conveyed. For example, Smith said she would “happily” design a website for an LGBTQ customer running an animal shelter, but would not take on clients promoting messages inconsistent with her Christian beliefs, like promoting same-sex marriage.

A similar case was handled in 2018, where justices ruled narrowly in favor of Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who refused to bake a custom cake for a same-sex couple because he believed it would violate his religious beliefs.

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