Sunday, December 19, 2021

U.S. federal court rules photographer has to serve LGBTQ people equally

Professional photographer Emilee Carpenter, with help from the anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), field a lawsuit claiming New York's nondiscrimination laws forced her to create work "against her beliefs" or face numerous fines. 

Carpenter sued the state for violating her First and 14th Amendment rights after being asked to photograph same-sex couples.

"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,” the lawsuit said.

U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. of Western New York dismissed Carpenter's suit, stating the nondiscrimination laws "simply seek to guarantee that businesses purporting to serve the public truly do serve the public."

“This court decision is a huge victory in our pursuit to ensure that every New Yorker has equal access and equal protections under the law,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James in a statement. “My office will always fight to ensure that every New Yorker is treated equally under the law across our entire state.”

Carpenter and ADF announced that they would appeal.

Read the NY AG Letitia James statement here

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