Federal judge says Christian photographer must accept work at same-sex weddings

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – A federal judge in New York has ruled that Christian photographer Emilee Carpenter must provide her photographic services at same-sex weddings although she is against gay marriage, the Christian Post (CP) reports. Carpenter will appeal the decision to the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

Based in upstate New York, Carpenter had filed suit to request a preliminary injunction against the state’s anti-discrimination law, CP reports. Represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) conservative legal organization, Carpenter argues that the legislation forces her to participate in same-sex weddings and promote messages in violation of her rights to free speech and to express her religious beliefs.

In his ruling Monday, Obama-appointee Judge Frank Geraci, Jr. of the US District Court for the Western District of New York said the state has a “compelling interest” in ensuring everyone has access to publicly available goods or services, without discrimination based on their sexual orientation.

“As a result, even if the [law] compels speech or expressive association in a manner that implicates Plaintiff’s free-speech and free-association interests, the provision survives strict scrutiny,” Geraci said.

In a statement decrying the ruling, ADF Senior Counsel Jonathan Scruggs 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.”

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