Wednesday, March 8, 2017

ADF has found a new photographer who wants to discriminate

Amy Lynn Photography
Alliance Defending Freedom has a new client who wants a license to discriminate against gay people. Amy Lawson owns Amy Lynn Photography Studio which she started in 2015 in Madison Wisconsin. Amy's half-assed website has no telephone number and no address so I have to question the seriousness of this business. Amy is a confused conservative Christian. Lawyers are supposed to help people make sense of what seems to them to be confusing. ADF tends to further confuse the already confused which is kinda confusing.

ADF hasn't had much luck with photographers. They represented Elane Photography for eight years only to be rebuked in the case that became Elane Photography v. Willock. In 2006 Elane refused to photograph a commitment ceremony in New Mexico. Her appeal ended up at the New Mexico Supreme Court which ruled against her in 2013. The Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear the case in April, 2014.

Amy Lawson
Here's the requisite boo-hoo:
As a Christian, Amy believes both the institution of marriage and the sanctity of life are sacred, and she wants to use her artistic skills to change minds and influence culture on these issues.
Translation: Her religious beliefs entitle her to discriminate against gay couples.
There’s just one problem.

A Madison law makes it illegal for Amy to express beliefs that convey someone is “unwelcome” based on their sexual orientation or political beliefs — an incredibly vague standard that allows the city officials to punish speech simply because someone finds it “offensive.” The law also makes it illegal for Amy to decline to take on projects based on disagreement with the political beliefs expressed in a requested project.
Oh come on! ADF knows precisely what the ordinance entails. It is a prohibition against per se discrimination. In other words, if you post a sign that says “we prefer that Jews go elsewhere” that is comparable to refusing service to Jews. And, yes, the law in Madison, WI makes it illegal for a public accommodation to refuse service based upon (in this case) sexual orientation and political beliefs. Trump supporters can take some comfort in that I suppose.

If Lawson cannot comply with the law then no one forced her into business in Madison. There are no religious exemptions to otherwise valid laws — Scalia wrote that for the ruling in Employment Division v. Smith. Amy can believe anything she wants.
That means if she were to take pictures and write blog posts celebrating events and organizations that are in line with her faith, the law says she must do the same for events and organizations that conflict with her faith. Under the law, she could be forced to take photos and write blogs celebrating same-sex weddings as well as Planned Parenthood rallies or other pro-abortion events and organizations.
Sometimes the people at ADF manage to confuse themselves. Lawson can write whatever the hell she wants. What the law means is that whatever services she offers to straight couples she has to provide to gay couples. According to her website she does wedding photography. It applies to all. Fawning over a heterosexual wedding is not per se discrimination against a prospective gay couple. I wonder if she asks if this is both of the participants' first marriage. Does she inquire about their premarital sex? I mean if this woman thinks that she needs to display her disapproval of things that go against her religion she should do so. Right? In fact, I suppose that she could turn down the pregnant bride without violating any laws.

What about a Jewish couple I wonder. After all, according to Lawson they are both going to hell. Should she really approve of a marriage that leads to destruction? And suppose that she also believes, according to her religion, that interracial marriages are sinful. What then?

ADF has handled this the American way. They have filed a lawsuit — a pre-enforcement challenge. They'll raise money off of this as the taxpayers get taken for a ride. One of these days a judge is going to start sanctioning these religious zealots, reporting vexatious litigation to the applicable bar association.

The 2013 graduate of Bob Jones University has had eight jobs over three years. None of those as a photographer.

Hey Amy. nobody asked for your approval. Just take the goddamned pictures and get paid.

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