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Published On: Thu, Aug 24th, 2017

Wisconsin: Court protects Amy Lawson from city, state punishments over gay marriage photography services

A Dane County Circuit Court declared that Amy Lawson and her business are not subject to city and state laws that would otherwise control her artistic freedom because she does not have a physical storefront.

Regarding the ruling in Amy Lynn Photography Studio v. City of MadisonAlliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Jonathan Scruggs made this statement:

“The court’s judgment has vital implications for everyone in Wisconsin who values artistic freedom. The court found—and the city and state have now agreed—that creative professionals without storefronts can’t be punished under public accommodation laws for exercising their artistic freedom because those laws simply don’t apply to them. It means that government officials must allow such professionals anywhere in the city and state the freedom to make their own decisions about which ideas they will promote with their artistic expression. The court’s orders bring this case to a close, and we are pleased that Amy and many other artists in Madison and throughout the state can pursue their work without fear of government censorship.”

Scale of Justice photo/DTR via wikimedia commons

ADF explained in a press release that although the court has not yet officially issued a preliminary injunction in the case, it is expected to do so in the coming weeks.

“No one should be threatened with punishment for having views that the government doesn’t favor,” Scruggs continued.

Lawson’s troubles began in 2016, when 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.

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.

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