Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips is taking his last stand at the U.S. Supreme Court. Because he politely declined to create custom art celebrating an event with which he disagrees, he is at risk of losing his family business simply for operating it according to his beliefs.
But it’s not only his fate that rests on the high court’s decision.
Colorado graphic designer Lorie Smith is threatened by the same law that is being used against Jack. Instead of waiting to face punishment under the law, however, she chose to challenge it before it could be used against her.
Recently, a federal court refused to halt this law’s application against her, a law which forces creative professionals, like Lorie and Jack, to use their artistic talents to promote same-sex marriages. The court placed Lorie’s case on hold until the Supreme Court rules in Jack’s case. Today, she appealed this decision.
As a Christian, Lorie wants to start designing custom wedding websites that celebrate God’s design for marriage. But this Colorado law states that if she designs wedding websites for weddings between one man and one woman, she must also design them for same-sex weddings.
Lorie, much like Jack, does not want to be forced to use her artistic talents to celebrate an event or express a message that conflicts with her religious beliefs. To both Lorie and Jack, a wedding is a sacred event that symbolizes the relationship between Christ and His Church.
Jack has seen a lot of support at the Supreme Court, with 46 amicus briefs being filed on his behalf, some of them even coming from unexpected allies – which speaks to the weight this ruling carries.
And even though these cases are associated with same-sex marriage, they are so much bigger than that. At the heart of these cases is the question of whether the government can compel artists to express messages that violate their beliefs.
That is a fundamental freedom that should not even be in question. But if the Supreme Court were to rule against Jack, that could have major implications for freedom in our country. It means the government could compel Jack, Lorie, and other artists to express messages that they disagree with and that violate their deep, personal beliefs.
A government that has the power to do that should concern us all.
That’s why we are asking the Supreme Court to uphold #JusticeforJack. In doing so, they are protecting artistic and expressive freedom for Jack, Lorie, and other creative professionals across the country who simply want to live and work peacefully according to their beliefs.
In America, that should never be too much to ask.
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