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Christian business owners are pursuing a new legal strategy to oppose laws they say would force them to use their artistic talents to promote same-sex marriage.

In one case, a graphic designer is suing the state of Colorado over a nondiscrimination law she says would impede her free speech rights if she were forced to design announcements for same-sex marriages. A separate complaint by owners of an art studio in Phoenix challenges a local ordinance on the same basis.

Both lawsuits differ from recent legal battles involving Christian business owners who had been penalized for declining to sell cakes, flowers or photography services for same-sex weddings.

Instead, these lawsuits are “pre-enforcement challenges” — complaints filed against a law perceived by a challenger as a threat to his or her rights before the law has been enforced.

Both lawsuits come as conflict intensifies over the intersection of civil rights for gays and lesbians and the rights of religious freedom for Christian business owners who seek exemptions from offering same-sex wedding services.

The outcomes of both cases could have important ramifications, as courts across the country grapple with this difficult balance.

To read the full article on Deseret News, click here