Wisconsin’s Dane County Circuit Court has given a profound victory for religious liberty.  In a nation founded on this very principle it is alarming in the extreme that we should have to fight for such a right, yet here we are.

Evangelical Christian photographer, Amy Lawson, encountered troubles after the Supreme Court pronounced same sex marriage to be legal, significantly overstepping their boundaries in so doing, making a mockery of the 10th amendment.


Lawson put a statement on her website in response to the ruling explaining she could not promote same-sex marriage through her photography and blog and that she would not serve same-sex weddings. As a result of that disclaimer, Lawson she put a statement on her website explaining that she could not promote same-sex marriage through her photography and blog and that she would not serve same-sex weddings.

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Like many other Christian business owners who have declared they won’t participate in same-sex weddings, Lawson’s decisions to post the statement on her website caused some backlash. One wedding client that saw her statement canceled her services because of her belief in marriage. As evidenced by the plethora of cases across the nation and by the upcoming Supreme Court case involving Masterpiece Cakeshop of Colorado, Lawson felt that Wisconsin law made her vulnerable to a lawsuit as a result of her living out her religious beliefs. As a result, she chose to be proactive and filed a pre-enforcement challenge to the laws. She also chose to stop accepting requests to photograph any and all weddings until the verdict was given by the courts.

Wisconsin law reads –


“…it is illegal for a place of public accommodation to publish communication that explains that a person’s business is “unwelcome” because of their sexual orientation. Meanwhile, the state law also prevents places of public accommodation from discriminating against someone on the basis of their sexual orientation.”

Lawson was represented by Alliance Defending Freedom in this action. Senior Counsel Jonathan Scruggs made a statement in response to the ruling –

“The court’s announcement has important implications for everyone in Wisconsin who values artistic freedom. 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. The court found—and the city and state have now agreed—that such professionals cannot be punished under public accommodation laws for exercising their artistic freedom because those laws simply don’t apply to them. No one should be threatened with punishment for having views that the government doesn’t favor.”

Since Lawson does not have a physical storefront the public accommodation law was found not to apply to her. This is a victory for religious liberty but the battle still wages as those entities WITH a storefront are still being subjected to profound infringements upon their religious liberties.

“Amy is happy to take photographs of anyone; she simply objects to being forced to participate in events, or promote messages or causes, that she can’t support,” Scruggs said in another statement. “Photography and writing are quintessential examples of protected artistic expression and free speech.” This is a prevailing philosophy among many evangelical Christian business owners and one that Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop has also echoed.  His case is set to be heard before the Supreme Court in October.

Source- AFF 

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