NEW YORK — (01-02-22) — U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. of Western New York dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Christian wedding photographer who refused to photograph seven same-sex couple weddings.

Emilee Carpenter represented by The Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit religious organization with a history of litigating against LGBTQ rights, claimed “That her photography is the product of her unique artistic style and vision.  Thus, an exemption for Plaintiff’s unique, non-fungible services would necessarily undermine, not serve, the State’s purpose, as it would ‘relegate [same-sex couples] to an inferior market’ than that enjoyed by the public at large,”.

Unfortunately for Carpenter and the Alliance Defending Freedom, Judge Geraci disagreed and dismissed Carpenter’s claims last Monday.

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Background on the case states that Emilee Carpenter sued the state of New York after she was asked to photograph seven same-sex couples, arguing that the state’s protection of same-sex marriage violated her First and 14th amendment rights.

“Just as the government cannot compel a lesbian baker to create a cake condemning same-sex marriage or an atheist playwright to wax positively about God, New York cannot force Emilee to convey messages she objects to,” Carpenter’s lawsuit said.

“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,” said Jonathan Scruggs, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, in a statement released Wednesday.

LGBTQ advocates celebrated Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr saying “support for marriage equality has never been higher.”

“Non-discrimination laws protect every citizen and send a signal that all are welcome, and that’s good for business,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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