The US Supreme Court handed out another big win today, this time in the case of 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, which involved a wedding announcement website designer whose Christian faith prevented her from supporting non-heterosexual marriage.
Lorie Smith, who ran 303 Creative, had wanted to post a notice on her website to explain her faith-based view, and instead refer non-heterosexual patrons to other designers who may provide services to them. But before adding the notice the website, she learned that Colorado had enacted a law that prevented public businesses from discriminating against gay people and from making statements to that effect
She sued the state in September 2016 with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)
Today, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment prohibits Colorado from forcing a website designer to create expressive designs speaking messages with which the designer disagrees.
Justice Neil Gorsuch said in his 6-3 majority opinion, “as this Court has long held, the opportunity to think for ourselves and to express those thoughts freely is among our most cherished liberties and part of what keeps our Republic strong.”
“[T]he freedom to think and speak is among our inalienable human rights. … By allowing all views to flourish, the framers understood, we may test and improve our own thinking both as individuals and as a Nation.”
ADF CEO, President and General Counsel Kristen Waggoner explained the importance of the ruling:
“Without the freedom to speak, we shutter diverse views, meaningful debate, and the conditions for progress,” Kristen said. “Regardless of one’s beliefs, race, faith, or identity, no one should be punished by the government for saying what they believe. Political and cultural winds shift, but the First Amendment’s promise remains constant.”
“If our civil liberties are to have any meaning, people must be free to speak consistently with the very core of who they are. The Supreme Court’s ruling ensures that future generations will enjoy this most essential of freedoms.”
This is a massive win for freedom of speech.
No one should be forced to say something they don't believe just because the government said so.