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Christian Photographer Beats City in Court: Won’t Be Forced to Work Same-Sex Weddings

ChristianHeadlines.com reports: “The city of Louisville, Ky., cannot force a photographer to work at a same-sex wedding under a federal court ruling Tuesday that sided with a Christian businesswoman in her lawsuit opposing the application of a new ordinance.

Chelsey Nelson sued Louisville in 2019 and claimed its Fairness Ordinance – which bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity – would require her to photograph same-sex weddings, violating her First Amendment rights.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Beaton sided with Nelson, who owns a studio, Chelsey Nelson Photography.

‘Although Louisville may require restaurants and hotels and stores to provide services regardless of the proprietors’ views or their customers’ legal status, the government may not force singers or writers or photographers to articulate messages they don’t support,’ Beaton wrote. ‘Because speech is categorically different under the federal Constitution, local laws must treat it differently, too. … However worthy and widely supported the government’s commitment to equal access and respectful speech, these are concerns the First Amendment resolves in favor of the dissenting speaker.’

Beaton’s decision does not overturn the Fairness Ordinance but prevents the city from enforcing it against Nelson’s business. The decision also allows Nelson to state on her website that her faith prohibits her from working at same-sex weddings. The text of the Fairness Ordinance bans such statements…”

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