Christian graphic designer Lorie Smith, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, is taking her case to the Supreme Court.
Smith, the owner of 303 Creative outside Denver, is taking on a Colorado law that forces her to create messages that violate her religious beliefs.
If Smith doesn’t win her case the free speech for all Americans could be jeopardized, Kellie Fiedorek, senior counsel at ADF, told the “Todd Starnes Show” Monday.
Smith said she prayed about it and felt like she didn’t have a choice not to stand for free speech.
“You don’t have to have the same views on marriage as me to understand the importance and the significance of the right to speak freely and the right to speak freely is guaranteed to all of us,” she said. “And the government is not in a place to threaten some people simply because it doesn’t hold the same views on marriage. So it has been a very long six year journey and I’m so incredibly grateful to Alliance Defending Freedom and for the United States Supreme Court that they’re taking up this case to protect the rights of all Americans, including graphic designers and artists like myself.”
LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH ADF AND LORIE SMITH BELOW:
Below is a rushed transcript from the Todd Starnes Show:
STARNES: [00:59:51] So there is a very important Supreme Court case that is going to impact a lot of people. It is a major free speech case. I want to go to the alliance to the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line, and we’re honored to have some very important guests with us today. Kellie Fiedorek is the senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, and Lorie Smith is their client. Welcome to you both. [01:00:18][26.3]
FIEDOREK: [01:00:19] Thank you for having us. [01:00:20][0.9]
STARNES: [01:00:21] All right. Well, Kellie, let’s start with you in a nutshell. Explain why this case is so important to free speech in America. [01:00:29][7.9]
FIEDOREK: [01:00:31] Well, at stake is it’s really the free speech for everyone. No one, no matter who you are or what you believe, should be forced to say something that violates your convictions. We should all be free to speak and to create consistent with our convictions without fear of the government. And Colorado for the past six years is trying to censor Lori and force her to create art, create websites that violate the very core of who she is. And so we’re thrilled to be going up to the Supreme Court and asking them to protect free speech, to protect Lori, and really the freedom of all of us to live consistent with our deepest held convictions. [01:01:10][38.4]
STARNES: [01:01:10] Lorie, let’s talk about you. You are a graphic artist and you’re a web designer and you have your own studio: 303 Creative. Tell us a little bit about the work that you do. [01:01:23][12.6]
SMITH: [01:01:24] Well, I as Kellie alluded to, I am a graphic and a website designer, and I’ve always wanted to create for weddings. It’s been a passion of mine for a long time. I started my business over a decade ago because I wanted to invest my time and my talent to promote messages that I really care about. And while I work with all people, I’m happy to work with all people, including those who identify as LGBT, I’m unable to promote all messages through my business. And I am in this interesting position that the United States Supreme Court will look at here in the next couple months, because the government is forcing me to not only create and design, but to celebrate messages that violate my beliefs. And if I don’t, then face a whole slew of different punishments. [01:02:11][46.8]
STARNES: [01:02:12] And Lorie, you live in Colorado. That’s your home state. And I have to imagine that you are paying very close attention to a very similar case involving our friend Jack Phillips of the Masterpiece Cakeshop and Sweet Mercy, man. They have been after him for such a very long time now for wanting to basically do the same thing as you. [01:02:33][20.9]
SMITH: [01:02:35] That’s correct. I’m a Colorado native, so as I was excited to carry out this dream and start creating for weddings, it was very clear to me and the way that the state was treating Jack Phillips and other people of faith, that the state felt they only confirmed really that they believe they have the power to compel speech. And so that’s what takes us to the United States Supreme Court before the end of this year. [01:03:01][26.8]
STARNES: [01:03:02] Now, Kellie, let’s try to maybe use some logos, the most recent examples here and see if I’m on the right path. So let’s just say, for example, A, there’s a business and they’re having a big family-friendly drag show, which seems to be the big controversy these days. And they went to Lorie and said, we want you to create a poster supporting and promoting this family-friendly drag show. If she said no, that she could not do that, that would put her in violation of the law. [01:03:32][30.2]
FIEDOREK: [01:03:34] Well, you’re right to bring up different analogies and to show the extent of what the government is arguing. What Colorado’s basically saying, and this would apply to anyone. If you were an LGBT artist there. What they’re saying right now could threaten their ability to create websites promoting to decline, to create websites, promoting biblical beliefs about marriage. When you think about what if you have a pro-abortion photographer, they may not want to take photographs of the March for Life, regardless of who you are and what your beliefs are, the First Amendment protects all of us. It’s what is essential to a free society. And so what we’re asking for in Lori’s case is that Colorado respect her freedom of speech, just as it should respect anyone and not force anyone to create art or to promote a message that violates what they believe. [01:04:24][49.6]
STARNES: [01:04:25] And Kellie, again, going back to the Jack Phillips case, even after the Supreme Court victory, they were still coming after this guy. We’re dealing with some people that are pretty ruthless and they’re determined to force people of faith to violate their religious beliefs. [01:04:42][17.4]
FIEDOREK: [01:04:44] That’s right. In Colorado and now even private citizens using this law that’s also threatening Lori have been coming after Jack for now over a decade. The [inaudible] who’s now going after Jack wants to correct the errors of his thinking and is trying to use the force of Colorado’s law to do that. And you have to think about this, Todd. You take a step back. What Colorado is doing, what the laws are doing to its citizens is having a severe impact on their business. Lorie and Jack both get death threats and other types of threats in their families every day. And the uncertainty of being in litigation for this long, living in fear of knowing that the government won’t allow you to live and to speak freely, is a very unfortunate place that our country is headed in. And so we’re really hopeful that the Supreme Court will step in, they’ll speak up, and that their ruling will help Lorie. It’ll help Jack Phillips, and it will truly benefit all of us as Americans. [01:05:38][54.4]
STARNES: [01:05:39] Lorie, I know we live in an age where people of faith are being told to just be quiet. You know, even some in within our own circles are saying, well, we shouldn’t really we shouldn’t really push back. We should just accept what comes. I’m just curious, what was it that compelled you to say, ‘you know what? I’ve got to take a stand here.’ [01:06:01][21.6]
SMITH: [01:06:03] Well, I think all Americans have the right to challenge unjust laws. And being in Colorado and seeing the way that the state is treating people of faith, I sat back. I certainly prayed about it. And then I said ultimately, the right to speak freely is a right that’s guaranteed to all of us. So I really didn’t feel like I had much of a choice other than to take a stand. You know, you don’t have to have the same views on marriage as me to understand the importance and the significance of the right to speak freely and the right to speak freely is guaranteed to all of us. And the government is not in a place to threaten some people simply because it doesn’t hold the same views on marriage. So it has been a very long six year journey and I’m so incredibly grateful to Alliance Defending Freedom and for the United States Supreme Court that they’re taking up this case to protect the rights of all Americans, including graphic designers and artists like myself. [01:07:04][61.3]
STARNES: [01:07:06] And Kellie, I think it’s important for our listeners to understand that what you guys are doing, you do free of charge. You don’t — you’re not charging Laurie. You’re taking on this case and relying on people like our listeners to help pay the bills. [01:07:21][14.6]
SMITH: [01:07:22] Well, we are. And it’s absolutely an honor and privilege to represent Laurie and present Jack and others and to represent their freedom. As Lorie mentioned, she and Jack, they both serve everyone. In fact, Colorado and the 10th Circuit agree that Lorie served and worked with people from all walks of life, including those who identify as LGBT. She’s just simply asking for that basic, fundamental freedom of speech. And so we’re so grateful for the many supporters who support ADF and the work that we’re doing for people like Lorie, so that all of us can live out our beliefs without fearing that the government is going to come in and censor us. [01:08:00][37.9]
STARNES: [01:08:01] Well, I wish you both the very best as you get ready for later this year when the Supreme Court will hear those oral arguments. Lorie, we appreciate you. Kelly, we appreciate the great work you guys are doing at Alliance Defending Freedom. [01:08:15][14.4]
SMITH: [01:08:16] Thank you so much. [01:08:17][0.6]
STARNES: [01:08:18] All right. There you have it, folks. And this is why, in a nutshell, this radio program supports Alliance Defending Freedom. We’re dealing with a war, and there are people on the other side who do not believe in live and let live. They want to shut you down. They want to force Jack Phillips to violate his religious beliefs. They want Lorie Smith to violate her religious beliefs. I mean, could you imagine that what the Colorado they’re telling this woman, this graphic designer, if somebody from the local strip club comes into her, her establishment and says, hey, we need you to make a poster supporting a strip club night or whatever kind of an event. And she says, no, she’s in violation of Colorado law. I mean, that’s just outrageous. This is the cancel culture that we talk about a lot on this program. And that’s why all this month, we’re helping to raise money for Alliance Defending Freedom. Look, here’s the deal. If whatever you give this month, your gift is going to be doubled thanks to a generous friend of ADF. So if you give $100, that $100 is going to turn into a $200 gift. Some of you may want to give even more. And the best part? Well, one of the cool things, the best part is we’re standing up and we’re fighting for our freedom, but you’re also going to be getting a tax deduction. So if you go to Todd Starnes dot com right now, just scroll down and you will see you’ll see legacy precious metals banner and then you will see the Alliance Defending Freedom banner. All you have to do is click on that banner and it’ll take you to a special page that’s been created just for listeners of the Todd Starnes Radio Show. Again, Todd Starnes dot com and click on the Alliance Defending Freedom banner. Our goal, my personal goal. I’m thinking that we can raise $50,000 this year. So that’s our goal. And we need your help to make that happen. It’d be great if we could just do it all in the first week, but it may take a couple of weeks. Again Todd Starnes dot com. Click on the Alliance Defending Freedom banner and you’re going to be helping folks like Lorie as she takes your case to the Supreme Court. [01:10:26][128.3]