Facts of the Case

Provided by Oyez

Lorie Smith is the owner and founder of a graphic design firm, 303 Creative LLC. She wants to expand her business to include wedding websites. However, she opposes same-sex marriage on religious grounds so does not want to design websites for same-sex weddings. She wants to post a message on her own website explaining her religious objections to same-sex weddings.


The Colorado AntiDiscrimination Act (“CADA”) prohibits businesses that are open to the public from from discriminating on the basis of numerous characteristics, including sexual orientation. The law defines discrimination not only as refusing to provide goods or services, but also publishing any communication that says or implies that an individual’s patronage is unwelcome because of a protected characteristic.


Even before the state sought to enforce CADA against her, Smith and her company challenged the law in federal court, alleging numerous constitutional violations. The district court granted summary judgment for the state, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed.


  1. Does application of the Colorado AntiDiscrimination Act to compel an artist to speak or stay silent violate the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment?


  1. The First Amendment prohibits Colorado from forcing a website designer to create expressive designs that convey messages with which the designer disagrees.