Denver, CO

Woman Who Never Had LGBTQ Clients is Suing for the Right to Turn Them Away from Her Business, You Know- Just in Case.

Matthew C. Woodruff

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Lorie Smith claims Colorado’s LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination law violates her Christian beliefs, and the case is now before the United States Supreme Court.

Lorie Smith is a 38-year-old graphic artist and website designer from the Denver metro area and is challenging Colorado’s anti-discrimination law that she says would compel her to use her artistic talents, or speech, to create messages celebrating same-sex weddings. She filed the lawsuit in Colorado in 2016 just after starting up a website design business claiming she has the right to refuse wedding commissions for same-sex couples. Smith is a conservative evangelical Christian who opposes same-sex marriage, she had never actually had an LGBTQ couple ask her to work for them, but she sued the state because she would like to accept customers planning opposite-sex weddings but reject requests made by same-sex couples wanting the same service.

Her legal pursuits at the federal district court level ultimately failed. However, in February, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case on Smith’s free speech claim. The case is odd because, according to court filings, it appears Smith has never been asked to create a wedding site for a same-sex couple.

There are concerns that a win for Smith could lead to businesses being able to discriminate beyond the LGTBQ+ community – such as Black, Jewish, or Muslim customers, the Associated Press reported. NBC News similarly reported civil right groups saying it could completely undermine the purpose of anti-discrimination laws.

Civil rights groups say Smith is asking the conservative-majority court for a “license to discriminate” that would seriously undermine public accommodation laws that require businesses to serve all customers.

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Matthew is a free-lance journalist, and an internationally award-winning author best known for Dark Humor/Lite Horror/Supernatural short stories, as well as an ordained minister who served as a domestic missionary. He is a lover of the unusual, travel, cats and the spark that makes people tick. Matthew is based in Florida, USA.

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