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Colorado Firm's Anti-LGBTQ Appeal Dismissed, FFRF Outline Requested to Supreme Court

FFRF Colorado Business Overview

The US Supreme Court must dismiss Colorado’s business hoax lawsuit and stop discrimination on the basis of religion, Freedom From Religion Foundation argues in its opinion.

The Colorado/Church watchdog has filed a free speech lawsuit alleging that a Colorado business owner wants to start designing a wedding website but can’t because of Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws. I have filed an opinion of a friend of the court. She was puzzled: her Christian religion prevented her from designing a wedding website for same-sex couples. The 10th U.S. Court of Appeals for the Circuit ruled in Colorado’s favor, finding that her freedom of speech was not violated by law. Other major secular groups such as the Center For Inquiry, the American Humanist Association, and the American Atheists have signed the FFRF outline.

The Constitution requires federal courts to decide only actual cases and controversies. In this pre-enforcement challenge, the aspiring Colorado wedding web designer is trying to circumvent that constitutional requirement, FFRF claims. We have never received a complaint under the Colorado Nondiscrimination Act.

“Laurie Smith may hate that same-sex couples in love are given the right to marry in the United States,” the synopsis said. “But her religious disagreements over marriage equality don’t magically turn a cascade of speculation into imminent injury. You cannot prove that you have been exposed to

FFRF reveals the real reason 303 Creative appealed to the Supreme Court.

“The ultimate prize for litigants is not to engage in certain conduct,” the brief said. “They are awaiting a court decision. The ability to actually engage in business ventures appears to be a secondary, if not non-existent, purpose.”

Another major concern the FFRF has is manipulating the cases the Supreme Court can hear. FFRF argues that this court must apply the doctrine of jurisdiction uniformly.

“What is involved amici, And for those watching the court, it’s whether the court applies the same jurisdictional framework to all litigants,” Brief argues. “All citizens should be given the same access to the courts, whether they are Christians, Muslims, Jews or atheists.”

And FFRF is deeply concerned about what a ruling in favor of the company will mean.It will no doubt result in increased religious discrimination.

“If the Supreme Court recognizes discrimination by corporations as a matter of free speech, there will be more and more religious discrimination as a result,” it argues. “Courts will do serious harm by sanctioning discrimination against religious and non-religious customers by businesses.”

Such rulings may have consequences totally unanticipated by current courts.

“If a court reaches the merits and rules in favor of 303 Creative, it will undoubtedly create religious disharmony and create a catalyst for religious discrimination,” Brief stresses. “In the next few years, companies may begin to discriminate against couples wishing to get married on the basis of their religion or lack of religion. couples who seek to be more likely to be discriminated against in practice.”

Because 303 Creative lacks legitimacy, the FFRF concludes that the Supreme Court should dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. Alternatively, the 10th Circuit judgment should be upheld.

FFRF Senior Counsel Patrick Elliott is the attorney of record for this brief. FFRF would like to thank Chloe Garcia, FFRF’s summer law student intern, for helping with her brief. You can read the entire brief here.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is the nation’s largest association of free thinkers, representing atheists, agnostics, and those who base their views on religion on reason rather than faith, tradition, or authority. There are more than 38,000 members of her in every state and the District of Columbia, including her 1,200 active members in Colorado with chapters in Denver and Colorado Springs. Over 10% of FFRF members are LGBTQ. FFRF supports civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans and opposes radical redefinition of “religious freedom” as the right to impose one’s religious beliefs on others.