Christian wedding photographer who refused to serve same-sex couples loses case

A federal court in New York has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a Christian wedding photographer who refused to photograph same-sex marriages.

The woman, Emilee Carpenter, filed a federal lawsuit in April, arguing that New York’s non-discrimination laws forced her to choose between going against her faith by photographing same-sex marriages and paying fines of up to $ 100,000.

US District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. of western New York City dismissed Carpenter’s claims on Monday, saying “the court is not convinced.”

“The crux of the Applicant’s claims is that her photography is the product of her unique artistic style and vision. Thus, an exemption for the Applicant’s unique and non-fungible services would necessarily undermine, and not serve, the purpose. state, because it “would relegate [same-sex couples] to a market smaller than that enjoyed by the general public, ”said Geraci.

Carpenter sued the state after being asked to photograph seven same-sex couples, arguing that the laws violated her First and 14th Amendment rights.

“Just like the government can’t force a lesbian pastry chef to create a cake condemning same-sex marriage or an atheist playwright to speak positively about God, New York City can’t force Emilee to deliver messages that she opposes,” said the trial.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious nonprofit organization that has previously advocated against LGBTQ rights, defended Carpenter. The group denounced the court’s decision and reiterated its demand that the Supreme Court take up the case.

“The court ruling continues on a dangerous government path forcing artists to deliver messages that violate their religious beliefs – or by imposing hefty fines, shutting down their businesses or throwing them in jail,” Jonathan Scruggs, senior counsel for the Defending Freedom Alliance, said in a statement Wednesday.

LGBTQ advocates hailed the court ruling, saying “support for marriage equality has never been higher.”

“Non-discrimination laws protect every citizen and send the signal that everyone is welcome, and it’s good for business,” Kate Ellis, CEO of GLAAD, said Thursday.

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