‘Hopeful the court affirms that artists are free to create consistent with their beliefs’
(Photo by Joe Kovacs)
By Katelynn Richardson
Daily Caller News Foundation
The Supreme Court’s decision in an upcoming case could secure protection for multiple religious small business owners with current lawsuits in federal appeals courts, along with others in 22 states impacted by similar laws, an Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The plaintiff in the 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis case, graphic designer Lorie Smith, is challenging the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA), a law that bars public accommodations from restricting services based on sexual orientation. She wants to create wedding websites that reflect her belief that marriage is between one man and one woman, but the law compels her to also create websites for same-sex marriages. When the Supreme Court releases an opinion on her case, which they heard oral arguments for in December, it could impact multiple other cases ADF is currently litigating in lower courts.
“We’re hopeful the Supreme Court affirms that artists are free to create consistent with their beliefs,” ADF Legal Counsel Bryan Neihart told the DCNF.
One case brought by Chelsey Nelson, a Louisville-based wedding photographer and blogger, challenges a city law similar to the Colorado law that would compel her to create photos or blog posts expressing a view of marriage with which she does not agree. A briefing for Nelson’s case is scheduled for April in the 6th Circuit, with oral arguments to be held sometime after that, likely after the ruling in 303 Creative, Niehart said. Twenty-one states have already backed Nelson’s case.