US Christian artist sues to protect religious beliefs

A Christian graphic designer in the US has filed a federal lawsuit, in an attempt to avoid being forced to use her artistic talents to promote same-sex marriage.

Under current Colorado state law, the designer must promote same-sex marriage in her workplace and is also forbidden from sharing her views in public.

Lorie Smith is being supported in her case by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a religious liberty organisation.

Freedom

Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) requires artists to convey any message that a customer requests.

“Artists shouldn’t be threatened with punishment for disagreeing with the government’s preferred views,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco.

“The state must allow artists the freedom to make personal decisions about what art they can and can’t create.”

Unlawful

The law also bans artists from expressing religious views about marriage that could make someone feel “unwelcome, objectionable, unacceptable, or undesirable” due to their sexual orientation.

ADF Legal Counsel Samuel Green added: “Every American, including artists, should be free to peacefully live and work according to their faith without fear of unjust punishment by the government.”

He continued: “It’s unlawful to force an artist to create against her will and intimidate her into silence just because the government disagrees with her beliefs.”

Smith’s lawsuit is a pre-enforcement challenge, which enables people to challenge a law before the Government enforces it against them.

Christian baker

The CADA is the same law that is being used against another Christian business owner being represented by ADF, also in Colorado.

Jack Phillips, a Christian baker, politely turned down a request to produce a cake for a same-sex wedding in 2012, but was sued by the two men involved.

Phillips was found to have violated the law because he declined to promote the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s view of marriage.

His application is currently being considered by the US Supreme Court.

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