Friday’s ruling was another reassuring decision for religious conservatives.

Conservatives who have moral and theological objections to gay marriage saw the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday as reassurance that they would be able to assert their beliefs in a public square that they see as increasingly hostile to them.

“If the government can compel an individual to speak a certain way or create certain things, that’s not freedom — it’s subjugation,” Brent Leatherwood, the head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s policy arm, said in a statement after the ruling. He described the decision as having granted freedom to all Americans to speak consistently with their beliefs, “even when those beliefs are deemed culturally unpopular.”

According to polling from 2021 by the Public Religion Research Institute, majorities of most major religious groups — including Catholics, Jews and Muslims — oppose allowing small-business owners to refuse to serve gay and lesbian people on religious grounds. Notable exceptions include white evangelical Protestants and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Ms. Smith and her lawyers have emphasized that her objection is not to working with same-sex couples or gay individuals, but to designing websites for gay weddings. Several similar cases have centered on conservative Christian small business owners who object to working on gay weddings specifically, including a baker in Colorado, two invitation designers in Arizona and a Kentucky-based photographer.

In a news conference shortly after the ruling was issued, Kristin Waggoner, general counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented Ms. Smith, compared her client to a Muslim baker who was asked to make a cake criticizing Islam, or a Democratic speechwriter forced to promote a Republican candidate.

Seated next to Ms. Waggoner, Ms. Smith said she was grateful to the court, who “affirmed today that Colorado can’t force me or anyone to say something we don’t believe.” She said her consideration in accepting work as a website designer was the “message” of the site, not the identity of the client. Ms. Smith’s portfolio includes websites for churches, real estate companies and political candidates.

Progressive Christians and interfaith groups, including those that serve gay people of faith, lamented the decision.

“Broad exemptions to allow religious-based discrimination hurts people of faith, too,” Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which advocates for gay Catholics, said in a statement. “The court’s exemption will further fuel the violence against religious minorities, particularly against non-Christian adherents, that still continues to poison our national life.”

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