While Smith considers her creative skills a gift to glorify God, she revealed that she was not always a Christian.
“My faith journey began after I lost my uncle, who was like a father to me, to a tragic accident,” she said. “I couldn’t understand why bad things could happen to good people, so I set out on a journey to try to disprove the existence of God.”
Instead, she said, she found God.
“I attended church regularly to equip my arsenal of evidence against him,” she said. “But God had other plans, and it was through this process that he brought me to faith, and that changed my entire life. Now, everything I do or say and how I love other people, I do for his glory.”
According to Smith, her case has only drawn her closer to God.
“As I’ve navigated the highs and lows of the past six years of litigation, including death threats, hate mail, and even having my home address posted on social media, I have grown much in my faith,” she said.
“I know that my stand for free speech is for everyone, regardless of who they are or how they identify,” she added. “I know my stand will protect even those who disagree with me or who say uncharitable things about me. I know the freedom of speech is worthy of protecting and I want all Americans — and the next generation — to be able to enjoy this incredible freedom.”
She concluded: “My faith has inspired me to continue to stand for this important truth.”
Jake Warner, senior counsel for ADF, explained how Smith’s art translates into speech.
“She creates words, pictures, and graphics. And all of those things are what the Supreme Court calls ‘pure speech’ because they express a message,” he said, adding that Colorado has conceded the same about Smith’s work.
(Story continues below)
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Rather than having one product to sell to all, Smith’s creations are tailored to her every client, he said. Every website or graphic is custom-made, with different names, pictures, and details.
This is not the first time ADF has represented a Coloradan Christian artist at the Supreme Court. In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled on a case brought by Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, after he refused to create a cake for a same-sex wedding. With that case, Warner said the court ruled that Colorado had discriminated against Phillips and that his free exercise rights were violated.
“It didn’t reach the free speech issue raised in that case, which is the one that the 303 case, or that Lorie Smith’s case, raises now,” he said. “Can the government force an artist to express a message that goes against their deeply-held beliefs?”
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