Displaying 30+ Stories
Allow Ads

Christian Photog Appeals NY Law That Forces Her to Work LGBT Weddings Despite Religious Objections

Emilee Carpenter, owner of Emilee Carpenter Photography. (Image credit: Alliance Defending Freedom)

For nearly one year, a Christian photographer has been battling New York state laws that require her to create photographs and blogs celebrating same-sex weddings, even though it violates her religious beliefs. 

Emilee Carpenter filed a federal lawsuit against the state's legislation last year. However, a district court dismissed her case in December.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys who represent Carpenter, filed an appeal with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday. They argue the laws go against the First and Fourteenth Amendments, restricting her rights to freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion. 

"Artists like Emilee are protected under the Constitution to freely live and work according to their religious beliefs, and it is imperative the 2nd Circuit upholds that fundamental right," said ADF Senior Counsel Jonathan Scruggs. "Emilee happily serves all people; she just cannot promote messages which contradict her religious beliefs, including her views on marriage. A government that crushes an individual's right to speak and act freely threatens every American's freedom."

As CBN News reported last April, one of the laws also forbids Carpenter and her business from publicly explaining on her studio's own website or social media her religious reasons for only celebrating wedding ceremonies between one man and one woman.

New York prohibits such communications because they could make potential customers feel "unwelcome, objectionable or not accepted, desired, or solicited." 

Penalties for not adhering to the state's laws include fines of up to $100,000, a revoked business license, and up to a year in jail. 

***Please sign up for CBN Newsletters and download the CBN News app to ensure you keep receiving the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***

"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 a statement.

The law firm said the judge has left Carpenter with "three bad options": Violate the law, violate her beliefs, or close business. 

In the lawsuit, ADF outlined that obedience to her Christian faith is paramount for Carpenter.

"Emilee believes that God designed marriage as a gift for people of all faiths, races, and backgrounds, to reflect the unity and diversity seen in the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and to point people to Jesus' sacrificial and redemptive love for His Church," the lawsuit reads. "Emilee celebrates engagements and marriages between one man and one woman through what she photographs, participates in, and posts about in order to share God's design for marriage with her clients and the public consistent with her beliefs."

What is faith and what does the Bible say about faith? Click here for answers.

Need prayer? We’re available 24/7. Call (800) 700-7000 or request prayer.

Learn why Truth Matters at CBN News.
CBN Partners provide hope to those who are suffering! You can help bring hope today!
Bring Hope

Did you know?

God is everywhere—even in the news. That’s why we view every news story through the lens of faith. We are committed to delivering quality independent Christian journalism you can trust. But it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to do what we do. Help us continue to be a voice for truth in the media by supporting CBN News for as little as $1.