A wedding photographer lost her court case against the state of New York after she sued over LGBTQ+ inclusive protections.
Back in April, Emilee Carpenter filed a lawsuit against New York’s Attorney General Letitia James over non-discrimination laws.
The case was initially brought forward after Carpenter refused to photograph numerous same-sex couples.
After being faced with a potential fine of $100,000, the photographer filed a suit stating that the protective laws worked against her 14th amendment rights.
“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.
In the final ruling, US District Judge Frank P Geraci Jr gave insight into why he he threw out the case.
“The crux of Plaintiff’s claims is that her photography is the product of her unique artistic style and vision,” Geraci said.
“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.”
James echoed similar sentiments to Geraci and said her office will “always fight” for equality.
In a major victory, a judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by an Elmira wedding photographer who refused to photograph same-sex marriages.
My office will always fight to ensure that every New Yorker is treated equally under the law across our entire state.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) December 16, 2021
“In a major victory, a judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by an Elmira wedding photographer who refused to photograph same-sex marriages,” she said.
“My office will always fight to ensure that every New Yorker is treated equally under the law across our entire state.”
Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, who’s a senior attorney at Lambda Legal, was also expressed his happiness for the ruling in a statement.
“In rejecting an attempt to undermine New York State’s Human Rights Law, the federal court recognized New York’s compelling interest in protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in public accommodations and held that businesses opening themselves to the public must abide by the law.”
Although the court’s decision was praised by activists, the anti-LGBTQ+ group Alliance Defending Freedom condemned the ruling.
In a statement, the senior counsel of organisation Jonath Scruggs said that result ushers in a “dangerous path.”
“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,” he said.