FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2023
Contact: Laura Macklem
SUPREME COURT DECISION UPHOLDS RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN 303 CREATIVE VS. ELENIS
NC Values sister organization filed Amicus Brief in favor of Christian designer
The Supreme Court handed down a major victory for religious freedom in the 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, case siding with Colorado graphic designer Lorie Smith who was seeking injunctive relief before expanding her business to create wedding websites. The devout Christian asserted Colorado’s law would compel her to engage in speech contrary her religious beliefs by forcing her to create wedding websites for same-sex couples. NC Values’ sister organization, Institute for Faith and Family (IFF), filed an Amicus Brief on behalf of Smith.
“Free speech is for everyone. No one should be forced to say something they don’t believe. Every American should be free to say what they believe without fear of government punishment. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of free speech, holding that Colorado cannot punish graphic designer Lorie Smith for creating custom art consistent with her beliefs,” said NC Values Coalition Executive Director Tami Fitzgerald.
“This win for Lorie is a win for all Americans and a significant win for free speech. The First Amendment prevents the government from forcing Americans to say things they don’t believe, and the Supreme Court rightly ruled that Colorado cannot force this website designer to express a message inconsistent with her beliefs or misuse the law to coerce or silence her speech. The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act does just the opposite of its title—it discriminates against people who have deeply held religious beliefs. Freedom to speak is a fundamental right inherent in a free society. The government has no right to compel speech and an individual has the right to speak his mind regardless of what the government’s opinion is of that speech.”
IFF also filed briefs in the Masterpiece Cakeshop, LTD V. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and in Arlene’s Flowers Inc V. Washington in support of creators who were contesting their state’s demands to violate their religious beliefs by forcing them to engage in expression of beliefs contrary to their own.
“The NC Values Coalition is hopeful other creators like Jack Phillips will have their rights restored after today’s decision to allow people of faith and conscience to conduct their businesses without the threat of being political targets of the radical left which seeks to destroy those who believe differently,” said Fitzgerald.