UW-Madison students support religious freedom for Muslims but not Christians -interview

University of Wisconsin-Madison students interviewed by Arizona-based nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom think Muslims have the right to reject doing business with Christians, but they could not say the same for the latter.

(WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / Vonbloompasha)The Memorial Union as seen from the Library Mall on the UW–Madison campus. 18 May 2008.

In a video recently featured on ADL's Facebook page, the nonprofit interviewed several students about Muslim fashion designer Sophie Theallet's refusal to dress U.S. first lady Melania Trump. They agreed that she had the right to make that decision, and that a Muslim singer also has the right to turn down a solicitation to sing in a Christian church, Breitbart News details.

"Yeah, if that goes against your religious view, I feel you have a right to turn that down," one student told ADL in the interview.

However, the same students appeared to have a hard time deciding if a Christian photographer has the right to turn down coverage for a same-sex wedding.

ADL's interview with UW-Madison students comes amid a lawsuit the nonprofit filed in Dane County Circuit Court last week on behalf of Amy Lyn Photography Studio owner Amy Lawson. The group's client is challenging a city ordinance and state legislation which could force photographers and other creative professionals to promote messages that clash against their religious beliefs, The Wisconsin State Journal reports.

In January 2016, Lawson posted a statement which appeared on her website for three months, maintaining that she would not cover same-sex marriages because of her Christian faith. Last spring, she met with a client who had signed a wedding contract with her company but wanted to cancel the booking after hearing Lawson's views on same-sex marriage. The Christian photographer agreed with the client's decision, refunded the deposit the customer paid, and also sent a wedding gift to that person, based on the lawsuit.

Right now, Lawson is seeking to block the enforcement of the Madison ordinance and state law, saying the two legislations violate the Wisconsin Constitution's Free Speech Clause. She believes that the situation is unfair for her because the laws make it difficult for Christians to conduct their business.

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