The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) welcomes today’s Supreme Court 6–3 decision in 303 Creative v. Elenis, ruling that Lorie Smith cannot be required by law to compromise her Christian witness or “contradict God’s true story of marriage” by designing websites for same-sex weddings.
“In a democratic and pluralistic society, there must be room for those with dissenting views to peacefully express them and follow their conscience without fear of prosecution,” said NAE President Walter Kim. “We are encouraged that the Supreme Court has upheld the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech for all Americans. With very limited exceptions, governments should not tell citizens what they can or cannot say.”
In a court amicus brief, the NAE, along with the Anglican Church in North America and other amici, argue that while a state “is free to promote all sorts of conduct in place of harmful behavior, it is not free to interfere with speech for no better reason than promoting an approved message or discouraging a disfavored one, however enlightened either purpose may strike the government.”
The brief also points out that Smith is happy to serve clients who are in same-sex marriages. Her concern is not with the personal status of her customers but with the message that she is asked to express. She believes developing a website for a wedding necessarily entails communicating a message of approval for the marriage that is taking place.