Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined a coalition of 21 states in filing a “friend of the court” brief before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit supporting the religious liberty and free speech rights of a wedding photographer to decline to take custom photographs at a same-sex wedding.
“Religious freedom and free speech were at the very core of the Bill of Rights. If people cannot speak or worship as they please, liberty is at an end,” Attorney General Wilson said. “Requiring a wedding photographer to take pictures of a wedding that goes against her beliefs is unconstitutional.”
The Louisville, Kentucky business owner has asked the Sixth Circuit to uphold a federal district judge’s ruling that protected her religious liberty and free speech rights by preventing Louisville from requiring the photographer to provide custom photography services at a same-sex wedding.
In the amicus brief, the coalition argues that, in this case, Louisville’s public-accommodation ordinance violates the photographer’s rights under the Free Speech Clause and Kentucky’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The coalition writes, “Both the Free Speech Clause and Kentucky’s RFRA apply. That means Louisville’s public-accommodation law must give way here. Louisville cannot force Nelson to take custom wedding photos for a same-sex wedding that send a message she disagrees with based on her religious beliefs.”
Attorney General Wilson joined attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia in filing the brief.
To view a copy of the amicus brief, click here.