Wisconsin court says Christian photographer can reject gay weddings

A court in Wisconsin has announced that a Christian photographer who has no physical storefront cannot be forced by the city and the state to accommodate gay weddings, according to a religious freedom advocate group.

(REUTERS / Ina Fassbender / File Photo)Canon cameras with lenses are pictured at the stand of Japanese camera maker Canon on the press day of the world's largest fair for imaging in Cologne September 17, 2012.

In March, Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit on behalf of evangelical Christian photographer Amy Lawson, who owns the Amy Lynn Photography Studio in Madison. She asked a judge to bar the enforcement of a city ordinance and state law and said these measures violate Wisconsin's Free Speech Clause, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

The Christian photographer lamented that her faith makes her photography business difficult. She has already stopped receiving wedding clients for fear that her stance on same-sex marriage may be seen as a violation of the law.

On Aug. 1, Alliance Defending Freedom  senior counsel Jonathan Scruggs issued a statement about the Dane County Circuit Court's ruling during Tuesday's hearing of the Amy Lynn Photography Studio v. City of Madison case. He said the court will declare Wisconsin laws cannot limit the artistic freedom of Christian photographer Amy Lawson because her business has no physical location.

"The court's announcement has important implications for everyone in Wisconsin who values artistic freedom," said Atty. Scruggs. "It means that government officials must allow creative professionals without storefronts anywhere in the city and state the freedom to make their own decisions about which ideas they will use their artistic expression to promote."

In addition, Scruggs said the city and state have already agreed with the court's ruling that photographers and other similar professionals cannot be sanctioned for exercising their artistic freedom because public accommodation laws are not applicable to them. He asserted that no one has to be "threatened with punishment" for having views that are contrary to what the government dictates.

The Dane County Circuit Court has yet to release its order in the next few weeks.