For Lorie Smith, working in the marketing and web design industry is not only a creative outlet, but it is a way to use her God-given talents to honor Christ and serve others.
What she discovered when she began her career, however, was that she did not always have the freedom to take on the projects that resonated with her and lined up with her personal beliefs. She came to realize that she wanted greater freedom to take on those types of projects, and avoid objectionable projects, which meant becoming her own boss.
When her first child was born, she took the opportunity not only to spend time at home with her baby, but also to take the leap of starting her own business—303 Creative. Being her own boss has allowed Lorie to pursue web and graphic design projects that are consistent with her faith, including many projects on behalf of religious organizations and churches. Her art form often involves creating original, custom websites that include customized text, graphics, images, and other content that promote ideas, events, or organizations.
Lorie’s goal has always been to publicly honor and glorify God through the work she does. Practically speaking, this means that she is selective about the projects she takes on because she speaks through her artistic design work and believes that speech is transformative. She articulates this core value on her website:
As a Christian who believes that God gave me the creative gifts that are expressed through this business, I have always strived to honor Him in how I operate it…. Because of my faith, however, I am selective about the messages that I create or promote – while I will serve anyone I am always careful to avoid communicating ideas or messages, or promoting events, products, services, or organizations, that are inconsistent with my religious beliefs.
Like many Americans, Lorie was dismayed when the Supreme Court redefined marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges. She grew even more concerned as she watched the government punish, and certain members of the public vilify, business owners like Barronelle Stutzman and Jack Phillips for following their religious convictions by declining to promote same-sex marriages.
Then, God did something Lorie did not expect. He convicted her to pursue the use of her artistic talents and the business He gave her to publicly proclaim and celebrate His design for marriage as a life-long union between one man and one woman.
But there is a substantial road block in her way – a Colorado law that requires Lorie to use her artistic talents to promote same-sex marriages if she promotes marriages between one man and one woman. The law even prohibits her from publicly explaining her religious reasons for promoting only God’s design for marriage and for declining to promote any other type of marriage. And the price for violating the law is costly and burdensome investigations, fines of up to $500 for each violation, and oppressive mandates, like re-education training designed to compel Lorie to agree with Colorado’s views on marriage and abandon her own.
Because of this law, Lorie has kept out of the wedding industry for fear that she would be punished for simply running her business consistently with her faith.
That’s why Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Lorie and asking a Colorado federal court to prohibit State officials from applying the law in a manner that punishes Lorie for operating her business according to her artistic and religious beliefs.
“Every American, including artists, should be free to peacefully live and work according to their faith without fear of unjust punishment by the government,” added ADF Legal Counsel Samuel Green. “Just because an artist creates expression that communicates one viewpoint doesn’t mean Colorado can require her to express all viewpoints. It’s unlawful to force an artist to create against her will and intimidate her into silence just because the government disagrees with her beliefs.”
Get to know more about Lorie!
Visit her website to learn more about Lorie and how her faith drives her work and inspires her to serve others. And visit CreateFreely.org to learn about other creative professionals like Lorie and Jack who are standing up for their right to operate their businesses according to their beliefs.