News 18 Jul. 2023

Partner Juan Perla Quoted on 303 Creative in Spectrum Magazine

Partner Juan Perla was quoted in Spectrum Magazine regarding the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 303 Creative v. Elenis, a case about whether a Colorado state law prohibiting businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation violates free speech.

On June 30, the Supreme Court issued its decision in 303 Creative. Website design company 303 Creative and its owner, Lorie Smith, challenged provisions of Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act requiring businesses to sell goods and services to customers regardless of sexual orientation. Smith argued that she cannot create weddings websites for same-sex couples because it would require her to express messages approving of same-sex marriage in violation of her religious beliefs. In a 6 to 3 decision, a majority of the Justices sided with Smith, saying that her work producing websites is protected speech under the First Amendment and that forcing her to create wedding websites for same-sex marriages equates to the government compelling speech.

The decision is a “devastating blow to members of the LGBTQ community,” said Mr. Perla, “especially to those who are themselves people of faith, because it allows businesses to stigmatize and demean their relationships by subjecting them to unequal treatment.”

Acting as pro bono counsel for two faith-based organizations including Adventist Forum, the publisher of Spectrum, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP filed an amicus brief in August last year advocating on behalf of protecting LGTBQ persons from religious discrimination in the marketplace. “The brief that Curtis submitted on our behalf offered a constructive framework that recognized the reality that many people of faith reject these political divisions,” said Alexander Carpenter, executive director of Adventist Forum and editor of Spectrum.

Click here to read the full article in Spectrum Magazine.

Related resources


Curtis Files SCOTUS Amicus Brief in 303 Creative v. Elenis



Juan Perla Speaks on Free Speech and Religious Discrimination in a Recent Podcast