Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Lorie Smith and 303 Creative: Six months later

Lorie Smith
Lorie Smith — 303 Creative
On September 20, 2016 Alliance Defending Freedom filed a pre-enforcement challenge in federal court on behalf of Lorie Smith and 303 Creative, a Colorado graphic and website designer. Smith claims that she wants to enter the wedding business but cannot do so because then, under Colorado law, she would have to provide her services to same-sex couples which would violate her sincerely held religious beliefs. Oh, the poor dear.

Did she want to enter the wedding business before, or after, she met with lawyers from ADF? Over five years in business and she has never done anything for a wedding. Marriage equality only came to Colorado in October, 2014.

Two days later I noted that, over the five years she has been in business, Smith claimed to have designed 35 websites and to have 67 clients. About six month have passed and Ms. Smith claims to have designed the same 35 websites and to have the same 67 clients. There might be a good reason for that. Aside from her public bigotry, Smith has some rather bizarre ideas about good business practices. According to a stipulation of facts between the parties filed in court:
Therefore, Plaintiffs’ “Contract for Services” includes the following provision:

Consultant has determined that the artwork, graphics, and textual content Client has requested Consultant to produce either express messages that promote aspects of the Consultant’s religious beliefs, or at least are not inconsistent with those beliefs. Consultant reserves the right to terminate this Agreement if Consultant subsequently determines, in her sole discretion, that Client desires Consultant to create artwork, graphics, or textual content that communicates ideas or messages, or promotes events, services, products, or organizations, that are inconsistent with Consultant’s religious beliefs.
No one in their right mind would sign a contract with a provision like that. Not even a church because it gives Smith the right to terminate the contract on a whim. What about any money that she has been paid? In addition, there is this gem:
Even if Plaintiffs were to hire additional employees or contract out work, it would violate their sincerely held religious beliefs to have the employees or independent contractors do work for Plaintiffs that Plaintiffs cannot do themselves due to their religious beliefs.
Assessing this situation is hampered by the fact that ADF is a dishonest hate group. We do not know what refinements Smith made to her business practices subsequent to ADF's representation. For example, when was that text added to her contract? It seems to have been written by a lawyer with no business sense whatsoever, which aptly describes the Christian zealots at ADF.

In case you are asking yourself “who the fuck does this woman think she is?”
Ms. Smith believes that everything she does – personally and professionally –should be done in a manner that glorifies God.

Ms. Smith believes that what is sinful versus what is good is rooted in the Bible and her personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Ms. Smith believes that she will one day give an account to God regarding the choices she made in life, both good and bad.

Ms. Smith believes that God instructs Christians to steward the gifts He has given them in a way that glorifies and honors Him.

Ms. Smith believes that she must use the creative talents God has given to her in a manner that honors God and that she must not use them in a way that displeases God.
This self-righteousness oozes arrogance. It defines both Smith and ADF.

What has all this self-absorbed self-righteousness cost us?

It's hard to tell but here are some facts:
  • Seven lawyers are representing Smith. Only one (Michael L. Francisco of of MRDlaw in Denver) is in private practice. The other six are with ADF and are funded by tax deductible contributions. Like it or not we are all subsidizing this nonsense.
  • There are a total of nine defendants. Representing these nine defendants are four lawyers, all of whom are paid with tax dollars. The nine defendants are employees of the state. They (and the state departments that they represent) are using time that is paid for by taxpayers to defend themselves in this case.
  • I am guessing that the combined legal fees are over $300,000 — all of which are subsidize or paid by taxpayers. That does not include considerable court costs.
  • 51 documents associated with this case have been reviewed by, and filed with, the Court.
  • On the federal docket for nearly six months, we are probably nowhere close to a resolution and when ADF loses (which is a near certainty) they will appeal. They always do.
Ms. Smith probably believes that she is a wonderful person. I view her as a superstitious fool with no business being in business. We can safely assume that she wants attention and is wed to the belief that we seek or require her approval. That makes her a bigot as well. She also believes that she has been victimized. According to a statement on her website:
Statement on Lawsuit:
Since filing a lawsuit to protect my First Amendment rights on September 20, I have been bombarded with many messages about my case. Some have been supportive, but many more have been hate-filled and deeply unsettling. I cannot possibly respond to every person who has reached out, but I nevertheless feel compelled to say a few things.

To the general public:
The messages I have received have shown that there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about the case. Please don’t believe everything you read or hear. Instead, find reputable sources of information about the case, review them, and make an informed judgment.

To my clients who have received harassing messages because of the lawsuit:
I am very sorry that some people are so intolerant of my beliefs – beliefs shared by many Jews, Muslims, Christians, and nonreligious people in this country and throughout the world – as to harass you. As you know, I try to treat everyone with respect and I wish they would do the same. Please contact me if you have concerns.

To those who have filled my inbox with vile, hate-filled messages:
If we disagree, we should be able to do so civilly. That is the mark of a healthy and free society. And while I think people should always strive to treat each other with politeness and consideration, and speak in ways reflecting that, I will always affirm one’s right to freely speak. All I am asking for is that same freedom.
Here we have an intolerant proprietor who seems desperate for attention claiming that her victims are intolerant because they stand up to discrimination. There is no “civil” way to say “we don't serve your kind here.” I cannot speak for Muslims in this country but I can say that “many Jews” do not support her beliefs. Nor do “nonreligious people.” That is all just wishful thinking. The very idea that she believes that she tries “to treat everyone with respect” is absurd. What she really needs is to get to the root of her personality disorder.

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