A Christian wedding photographer who refused to work at same-sex weddings is going to have to do some career soul-searching after a federal court in New York dismissed her lawsuit.
Emilee Carpenter filed the suit in April after she was asked to photograph seven same-sex weddings, arguing that New York’s nondiscrimination laws forced her to betray her faith by snapping photos of happy, same-sex couples or else pay fines of up to $100k.
She claimed her First and 14th amendment rights were being violated.
“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 argued.
U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. of Western New York said “the Court is not persuaded” as he dismissed Carpenter’s claims Monday.
“The crux of Plaintiff’s claims is 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,” Geraci said.
Carpenter was defended by The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a conservative Christian nonprofit advocacy group “that has supported the recriminalization of sexual acts between consenting LGBTQ adults in the U.S. and criminalization abroad; has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has contended that LGBTQ people are more likely to engage in pedophilia; and claims that a “homosexual agenda” will destroy Christianity and society,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“ADF also works to develop ‘religious liberty’ legislation and case law that will allow the denial of goods and services to LGBTQ people on the basis of religion,” the group adds.
ADF has requested the case be brought before the Supreme Court.
AHGP – Always hire a gay photographer.
And everybody ends up happy. (Except for those who want to hate on everything)
What I still don’t understand is why you would want to compel a business (especially food businesses) into making your (insert cake/catering/etc)? So now the court has said you must make these cakes. Yeah we won. Now, insert hidden cam in bakers kitchen and watch as they piss in your cake miss. The only problem is that there is no hidden cam. So much for the court forcing someone that hates us to treat us as humans.
Because not all of us live in urban centers where we have choices for these things. While I feel like you do and I live in a small city where I do have choices, many do not have these choices.
There is nothing wrong with expecting people to do their damn job.
You really are too stupid to be posting publicly.
You know nothing about ADF, nothing about their constant fascist attempts to erode all LGBT civil rights, and nothing about the history of this sort of garbage ‘case.’
The issue is, where does it stop. Ok, this business doesn’t want to make a cake for LGBTQ people, then what’s next? The only gas station for 50 miles deciding it doesn’t want to serve Black people, so basically segregating the town.
They are a public business, they need to abide by the law, end of story.
Why would you force an apartment to rent to you? Why would you force a company to hire your? Why would you require a lunch counter to serve you?
It’s called public accommodation. If you are a business open to the public, you have to serve the public, not just the heterosexuals.
@henare, You make a very valid point, but I still question it actually impacts anyone beyond what they already expect. I one lives in a tiny rural town and is LGBTQ, they already know what to expect and have likely already evaluated the value of living where they do, presumably deciding the positives out weight the negatives.
I agree with you rray63. What have we’ve accomplished from this victory? We’ve destroyed a person’s life. And for what? Because he didn’t make a cake, wouldn’t take a photo, didn’t perform? I fought for our rights, but not this. We scream diversity is our strength until we meet diversity we don’t like. We’ve become the oppressors and the abusers.
You. and several others here misunderstand this specific case, the agenda of the ADF (and organizations like it), and the importance of anti-discrimination/public accommodation laws. The photographer HAD taken the jobs, and had been paid. Her goal is to undermine public accommodation laws and further the fundamentalist belief that they have the right to discriminate in the provision of goods and services. The ADF and its ilk share that desire as well as the desire to undermine marriage equality, legal protection for trans people and ultimately recriminalize homosexuality.
And once the courts (if they do) legitimize these desires, it then becomes possible to discriminate against others (such as Jews, people of color, and so on) in the provision of goods and services.
There are also ways in which a contractor can refuse work without insulting or humiliating the client (such as citing schedule conflicts). But these “christians” specifically want to cause hurt and humiliation and stupidly believe that “God is on their side” when they do so.
Little confused here. Article says she was “asked” to photograph the couples. She could’ve easily said no but she decided to sue (?). Appears some info is missing.
More than SOME info.
ADF is one of the leading homophobic fascist HATE GROUPS in the country. Probably no one asked this B*TCH to photograph anyone; in the past ADF has set up straw-man cake bakeries, ‘artists,’ etc, expressly to try to get more of these cases to our fascist SCROTUS. This may well be another of their lies.
@jsmu, I agree with you. I think this is a case being set up to go to the Supremes to limit rights of the LGBTQ community. Something stinks here and now that our SCOTUS is loaded with right wing bigots I can see it happening.
The article makes it pretty clear that she took the jobs. They mention the fine for not doing so, and state it “forced her to betray her faith by snapping photos of happy, same-sex couples or else pay fines of up to $100k.”
So she did the jobs and was paid, making the lawsuit even more obnoxious.
I personally wish Homophobe Business were forced to publish in their advertising and hang signs in their business widows that they are homophobic and/or religious fanatics so I can boycott their businesses.
I don’t sympathize. Business is business, personal life is personal life. Take the photos, make the money. However if I had a restaurant and Tucker Carlson came in with his family and Anderson Cooper came in with his. They’d be treated the same.
Tucker, You hate everyone don’t you. LOL
I agree hire a gay photographer or one that doesn’t have a bible shoved way up their asses.
Imagine if a surgeon refused to treat a patient in the emergency room because it would go against their religious beliefs? If a professional can’t put their own personal beliefs on a shelf & just do their job, then don’t have that job.
Oklahoma and Missouri have tried to pass laws allowing that exact thing.
PEW recently released a poll that indicates the number of Americans associated with a religion are saying “none”. I wonder why?
People use their religion to justify there hate.
Or their ignorance.
The ADF needs to remember two things: 1) “Be careful what you wish for. It might come true.”
2) “Wishes, like chickens, come home to roost.”
If anyone doesn’t understand #2, it means that often, what you wish for others will happen to you (quite often with a bit of overkill).
The court made the correct ruling here on the principle of the law, but … why in the world would anyone want to put their money in a homophobe’s pocket?
The breadth of one’s personal practice of religion should terminate at the point where it impinges on the personal rights and right to privacy of others.
When one’s religious freedom causes damage, a tort, to another person, that personal religious freedom exceeds bounds of being personal and becomes a public nuisance.
The REAL question for this group is: Would it be O.K. to deny photography services to a REPUBLICAN couple? Answer this honestly and you know the answer to this stories question.
Public accommodation laws apply to all, so yes one needs to serve Republicans. Antidiscrimination laws apply to federally recognized suspect classes (republican or democrat do not fall into those classes, only groups targeted for ethnic/racial, sexual preference, or religious reasons do).
However, it is very easy for a gay owned business to put a pride flag in the window or some other indicator, and the courts would certainly recognize acts intended to incite, such as asking a gay baker to bake a cake that says “God Hates Queers” or something similar.
Plus there are obvious ways to refuse a job without insulting, inciting or humiliating a potential client in most cases. As a landscaper and gardener I did it all the time. There was always a way to refuse work in a polite and politic fashion.
I believe sexual orientation is a protected category in New York and therefore a business cannot discriminate against (refuse service to) someone in a protected category. That’s the law. I think the religious extremists want to have a religious exemption so they can discriminate. What if a religion believes that women without head coverings should not be permitted to shop in public? What if a religion believes that only people of a single race should be seated together in a restaurant ?
There’s a lot at stake here, including sexual orientation as a protected category and whether people can invoke religion as an excuse to discriminate in commerce. I pray the current Supreme Court doesn’t set the country back a hundred years.
Nobody is “forced” to perform a job, but if you are in a business that serves the public you had better be prepared to serve ALL of the public. In any state that includes sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination laws, you can still refuse a job for lots of other reasons — just not for the reason that it’s against your principles to serve gay people. The photographer could say he’s booked up on that date. A wedding planner could say she doesn’t feel qualified for the job. They don’t, because the Alliance Defending Freedom needs test cases. But they need to give it up, as they’re losing the battle.
It is more than needing test cases. They also feel it is their right to shame and humiliate “sinners”. That is why it is always “As a Christian I cannot support your lifestyle”, and never “I’m so sorry, but I have schedule conflicts that make it impossible”.
The current laws are “forcing” people to either perform a job or lie. I totally agree that much of this is centered around opposing groups wanting to build cases around what each side perceives as an imposition to their rights. Den is correct in stating that there are many ways to get around the law, but this usually requires one to lie about their true beliefs. I’d almost rather see it legal to just put a sign in the window that says “We don’t serve Gays” just so I know where the business truthfully stands. Much like a pride flag in the window sends the message that they are Gay friendly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not above embellishing the truth to prevent working for a certain set of people because it is much easier to simply state my workload doesn’t allow me to take your project instead of the actual reason. For some people, being honest is important, even if being fair to all isn’t.
Again, a made up belief system claims to have the prime rights in this country; no other rights matter to them until all minds are indoctrinated into their sad little mindsets