The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case out of New Mexico in 2014 about a Christian photographer who declined to provide services for a “commitment ceremony” between two women on religious grounds. Lower courts and the New Mexico Supreme Court rejected Elaine Huguenin’s religious freedom arguments.
A Christian photographer, editor, and blogger in Kentucky is facing a similar issue.
In what’s known as a pre-enforcement challenge, Chelsey Nelson filed a lawsuit against the city of Louisville over a so-called non-discrimination law that would violate her religious freedom and freedom of speech. She does not want to provide services for homosexual “weddings,” but if she refuses, she faces government fines and possibly the loss of her livelihood.
From Nelson’s legal counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom (emphasis added):
The Louisville law also forbids Chelsey Nelson and her studio, Chelsey Nelson Photography, from publicly explaining to clients and potential clients through her studio’s own website or social media sites the religious reasons why she only celebrates wedding ceremonies between one man and one woman. Louisville considers such “communications” as indicating that services will be denied or that someone’s patronage would be “objectionable, unwelcome, unacceptable, or undesirable” because of sexual orientation.
The complaint indicates that an online directory lists 91 photographers in Louisville and 314 photographers in Kentucky who will photograph same-sex weddings—many of whom express support for same-sex marriage by posting statements promoting same-sex marriage on their websites and by displaying photographs of same-sex weddings on their websites, blogs, and social media sites.
In a similar case in Kentucky, Christian print shop owner Blaine Adamson scored a victory at the Kentucky Supreme Court earlier this month. Homosexuals sued him when he declined to print “gay pride” messages on T-shirts, citing his religious beliefs. The court contended the plaintiffs lacked standing.