SC attorney general joins 21 states urging court to protect religious rights of wedding photographer

wedding rings generic(WILX)
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 3:16 PM EST

COLUMBIA, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a coalition of 21 states in filing a brief before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit supporting the religious liberty and free speech rights of a wedding photographer.

According to the attorney general’s office, the “friend of the court” brief was filed to support the religious a wedding photographer’s right to decline to take custom photographs at a same-sex wedding.

“Religious freedom and free speech were at the very core of the Bill of Rights. If people cannot speak or worship as they please, liberty is at an end,” Attorney General Wilson said in a release. “Requiring a wedding photographer to take pictures of a wedding that goes against her beliefs is unconstitutional.”

A Louisville, Kentucky business owner has asked the Sixed Circuit to uphold a federal district judge’s ruling that protected her religious liberty and free speech rights by preventing Louisville from requiring the photographer to provide custom photography services at a same-sex wedding.

The coalition argues, in this case, Louisville’s public accommodation ordinance violates the photographer’s rights under the Free Speech Clause and Kentucky’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The coalition states the following:

“Both the Free Speech Clause and Kentucky’s RFRA apply. That means Louisville’s public-accommodation law must give way here. Louisville cannot force Nelson to take custom wedding photos for a same-sex wedding that send a message she disagrees with based on her religious beliefs.”

Attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia joined in filing the brief.

View the brief here.