The US Supreme Court is this week hearing arguments in what could be a landmark religious discrimination case.
A Christian web designer from Colorado is challenging her State’s public accommodation law which forces her to provide wedding websites for same sex couples.
Lorie Smith says it compels her speech as an artist to create messages that go against her traditional beliefs on marriage.
The case mirrors another Colorado case in which the Supreme Court found that the state had discriminated against a cakeshop owner who refused to make a cake for a same sex couple.
However, the court did not address his free speech rights which could happen in Ms. Smith’s case.
The state of Colorado says giving Ms. Smith an exemption would pave the way for other businesses to discriminate against prospective customers.
It says the state anti-discrimination law regulates sales, not speech.
Legal academic Rob Natelson from the Denver-based Independence Institute believes Ms. Smith will win the case.
He told The Center Square the implications of allowing the state to force her to say and do things against her beliefs are “really grave”.
Ms. Smith described the six year long case as a “rollercoaster ride” during which she’s been harassed, hacked and delivered death threats.
She claims she’s fighting for free speech for everyone including the LGBT community.