Christian Wedding Photographer Who Refused Service to Same-Sex Couples Loses Case
A federal district court dismissed a case Monday from a photographer who argued that she should not be required to photograph same-sex weddings.
U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. wrote in the ruling against Christian photographer Emilee Carpenter, “Her photographs are a product of her personal ‘artistic discretion,’ ‘technical proficiency,’ and ‘moral standards,’ and it is her ‘faith and eye for beauty’ that ‘shape her photography—from first click to final edit.’”
The Alliance for Defending Freedom, the organization representing Carpenter in the case, disagreed with the ruling.
The ADF argues that the court’s ruling can prohibit Carpenter from “even explaining on her company’s website which photographs and blogs she can create in good conscience based on her religious beliefs,” according to the ADF’s statement.
Penalties for violating the laws noted in the ruling could include a fine of up to $100,000, revocation of a business license, and up to one year in jail, the ADF noted.
The case arose after Carpenter had received at least seven requests since March to create content celebrating same-sex weddings in New York. “The state shouldn’t be able to silence or punish me for living out my convictions,” Carpenter said when the lawsuit was announced in April.
“I serve clients from all backgrounds, but the government is attempting to tell me what to do, what to say, and what to create based on its beliefs, not mine. Free speech protects everyone. Photographers and other artists should be able to choose the stories they tell,” she added.
Carpenter plans to appeal the decision.
“The court’s decision continues down a dangerous path of the government compelling artists to speak messages that violate their religious beliefs—or imposing steep fines, closing their businesses, or throwing them in jail,” ADF Senior Counsel Jonathan Scruggs said in the statement.
This isn’t the first time a case like this has occurred. Remember Jack the cake maker? His Colorado case over refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding has led to years of legal battles as LGBT activists seek not only to disagree with him, but to destroy his life and business. It’s one thing to disagree; it’s quite another to actively seek to take down those who hold a different view.
But is anyone in the Biden administration running to help Carpenter with her case? No way. She’s on her own, being represented by a legal group that raises donor funds to help in such cases.
Our nation’s lawfare against conservative Christian viewpoints continue to damage our citizens and destroy the foundations of our country. People should be free to conduct their personal businesses without fear of being hassled over choosing not to take on certain projects.
By the way, the judge in the court? An Obama appointee. The people we vote for matter. He’s been out of office since January 2016, but his actions continue to impact the lives of many. Let’s choose to support those who will help our nation increase freedoms – not limit them – in the days ahead.