The US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit rejected 303 Creative owner Lorie Smith’s challenge to the state law on constitutional grounds.
The appellate decision comes three years after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a baker in the same state who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
Appellate Court Judge Mary Beck Briscoe, writing for the majority, expressed agreement with the dissenting judge, writing “diversity of faiths and religious exercise,” including Smith’s, “‘enriches’ society.”
But the judge wrote that while Smith’s free speech and free exercise rights were “compelling,” they did not supersede Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.
Smith was represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit conservative Christian advocacy group, which argued that the decision forces its client to publish websites that violate her religious beliefs.
“The government should never force creative professionals to promote a message or cause with which they disagree. That is quintessential free speech and artistic freedom,” said ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch in a statement following the ruling.
ADF’s general counsel, Kristen Waggoner, who represented Smith says the group plans to appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court.
In a statement via the ADF, Smith said she “works with everyone” but does not promote “all messages” through her designs.
“Just because artists communicate one viewpoint doesn’t mean they should be required to promote