Lorie Smith - 303 Creative
This image is at least five years old but Lorie Smith is still using it on her website | via 303 Creative

Alliance Defending Freedom is pissing away more of our tax dollars to attract donations.

Friday, ending a trying week, I received a bloated email from ADF:

“ADF asks U.S. Supreme Court to End Harassment of Artists”

Before I get into this, I am required to translate ADFese to English:

  • “Harassment” means the enforcement of nondiscrimination laws that ADF doesn’t like. ADF doesn’t like laws that include sexual orientation and/or gender identity as protected classes.
  • “Artist” means someone who has violated nondiscrimination laws but believes that Christian privilege should provide an exemption. Thus, a baker becomes a “cake artist.” A florist is a “floral artist.” The guy who fixes a leaky roof is an “aerial artist.”
  • U.S. Supreme Court means a group of lawyers expected to honor Christian privilege.

Most recently the Supreme Court has done just the opposite. In July, even Amy Coney Barrett declined to hear the Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts case. That was the case of the bigoted “floral artist,” Barronelle Stutzman.

Furthermore, ADF actually lost the Masterpiece Cakeshop (Jack Phillips) case. While the nutty “cake artist” caught a break it was only because of some untoward actions by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. As evidenced above, no precedent was established — even with a Justice Barrett. Furthermore, the Court did not strike Colorado’s nondiscrimination law. It remains valid.

Well, that just won’t do. Not in ADF-world:

“No gay couple ever asked Smith for services. Now, that ship has sailed, never to return.”

Now, meet Colorado web designer Lorie Smith.

Lorie creates unique and beautiful websites for individual, small business, and nonprofit clients. Inspired by her faith, Lorie plans to begin creating custom wedding websites to celebrate marriage.

But if Lorie creates wedding websites only for marriages in accord with her religious beliefs—that marriage is between one man and one woman—Colorado will punish her using the same law it used to punish Jack. Colorado also threatens punishment if Lorie even speaks about her religious beliefs and their impact on her business on her website.

More translations are in order. The simple fact is that if this nitwit turns away a gay couple then she has violated a perfectly valid law that has already been reviewed by the Supreme Court.

“How fucking stupid does one have to be to think that a business transaction constitutes approval when approval was never solicited?”

Moreover, ADF is implying that Smith lost her freedom of speech. That is not the case. A sign that says “we only serve Christians” has the same legal effect as turning away Jews and Muslims. At the time the case was filed she had a disclaimer turning away business that did not promote her religious beliefs “or at least [projects] that are not inconsistent [with her] religious beliefs.”

This nonsense has now gone on for five years (filed in September, 2016).

No gay couple ever asked Smith for services. Now, that ship has sailed, never to return. Six months after filing I did some paper napkin math. Lorie Smith didn’t have much of a business in the first place. We Jews believe that turning business away is a grave sin.

Seriously. How fucking stupid does one have to be to think that a business transaction constitutes approval when approval was never solicited?

“Lorie Smith seems to believe that every interaction must be an expression of approval or shame. She feels compelled to demonstrate her disapproval (shame).”

The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has heard this case twice. More than three years ago they sustained the district court’s ruling that Smith was not entitled to an injunction. Then last July, the Tenth Circuit sustained the district court’s final ruling in favor of Colorado.

To be clear, we … do not question Appellants’ “sincere religious beliefs” or “good faith.” … Yet, we fail to see how Appellants’ sincerity or good faith should excuse them from CADA. Appellants’ intent has no bearing on whether, as a consequence, same-sex couples have limited access to goods or services.

It is worth noting that the appellate court also relied on Bostock v. Clayton County (workplace discrimination).

Getting back to ADF’s BS:

No more artists should have to suffer penalties or live in fear of government punishment for their beliefs.

For nearly a decade, cake artists, floral artists, designers, calligraphers, photographers, and others have been dragged through the court system or been forced to file suit to defend their rights. They’ve been subjected to overreaching state laws that force them to create art that sends messages that violate their beliefs on marriage and human sexuality.

Everyone is a goddamned artist. Moreover, this is ridiculous. They do not have to live in fear if they obey the law. Furthermore, the customer is sending a message, not the vendor.

Lorie Smith seems to believe that every interaction must be an expression of approval or shame. She feels compelled to demonstrate her disapproval (shame). It’s just a business transaction exchanging services for money.

ADF has a more cynical agenda. Between now and when the Supreme Court rejects this case (which I think they will do) ADF will have its grubby hands in the pockets of supporters.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.