Can the government force a web designer to create art that violates their religious beliefs?
A 10th Circuit Court ruled “yes,” but Colorado web designer Lorie Smith and attorney Jake Warner say “no.” Now the religious liberty case could be on its way to the U.S Supreme Court for the final answer.
In 2012, Lorie Smith began her web design business, an art career where the “canvas is website design.” That same year, the country would learn the controversial religious liberty case of Jack Philips, the Masterpiece Cake Shop owner who made national headlines after he refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.
“I thought to myself, ‘It’s clear how the state is treating [Jack Philips], I wonder if they can do the same to me,’” Smith said.
The Colorado state law could and later would.
The web artist was approached to make a website for a same-sex wedding, an act that violated her religious conscience. She didn’t respond to the request, an act that violated Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act.
Smith took her case to a Colorado Appellate Court but lost in a 2-1 ruling, requiring her to make websites that conflict with her religious beliefs.