A conservative legal firm is claiming victory after a Wisconsin court is slated to rule that a Christian photographer cannot be forced by the government to offer her services for same-sex wedding ceremonies.
Dane County Circuit Court said at a hearing on Tuesday that photographer Amy Lawson and her business Amy Lynn Photography won’t be subject to city and state laws that would require her to provide services for gay nuptials.
The fact that Lynn doesn’t have a storefront helped contribute to the court’s allowance, though the Wisconsin State Journal reported that Madison and state officials also agreed at the hearing that Lawson isn’t bound by the law due to having no physical location.
It’s a resolution that came after Lawson sued over laws in the state as well as the city of Madison, claiming that public accommodation regulations violated her religious beliefs by potentially forcing her to create content that touts issues with which she disagrees; she reportedly feared that she could be fined for refusing certain services based on her convictions, WISC-TV reported.
“The court’s announcement has important implications for everyone in Wisconsin who values artistic freedom,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jonathan Scruggs said in a statement. “It means that government officials must allow creative professionals without storefronts anywhere in the city and state the freedom to make their own decisions about which ideas they will use their artistic expression to promote.”
Scruggs said that, based on these factors, Lynn and other business owners can’t be punished for adhering to their values. The court is expected to issue the final order in the coming weeks.
“No one should be threatened with punishment for having views that the government doesn’t favor,” he added.
Lawson had and her legal team had argued that current law would force her to create photos and blog posts that promote “pro-abortion groups and same-sex marriages” if she creates content for traditional marriages and in defense of life.
The court’s decision will help change and clarify that, according to Alliance Defending Freedom. It should be noted that the law firm relied on a preemptive strategy, challenging the merits of the law before it was actually applied to Lawson.
“We came to court asking for clarity about whether the law applied,” Scruggs told The Wisconsin State Journal.