The clash between gay rights and the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion has been occurring at record speed over the past decade.
The latest iteration involves a Colorado-based web designer, Lorie Smith, who has launched a preemptive strike against the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA): it would require her to promote messages that run afoul of her religious convictions.
The Catholic League, represented by the Pittsburgh law firm of Gallagher Giancola, has filed an amicus brief supporting Smith in her quest to maintain her First Amendment rights.
Smith has never refused to service homosexual individuals. She draws the line, however, when she is forced to express a message that runs counter to her Christian beliefs. She filed a lawsuit to stop the state from compelling her to provide web services celebrating gay weddings, citing her First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty.
“When religious liberty concerns are coupled with free expression,” our friend-of-the court brief says, “the Constitution demands the most exacting scrutiny. That is because the First Amendment…provides special protection for the religious, their right to speak freely, and their right to refrain from speaking.”
Secular critics who side with the gay lobby argue that there is a difference between religious beliefs and religious conduct. Nonsense. Beliefs and speech mean little if they are restricted from being acted upon in a legitimate fashion.
This case will not be decided until June 2023.