A few months ago, wedding photographer Chelsey Nelson filed a lawsuit against her city of Louisville, Kentucky claiming that its law “forced” her to photograph same-sex weddings. According to her, this prohibited her from staying true to her Christian beliefs, and the Department of Justice has recently supported her in this legal battle.
In a piece she wrote for USA Today, Chelsey claims that “as a Christian, [she] shouldn’t be forced to work same-sex weddings.” To remind you, the Metro Ordinance 92.05 allows Louisville to impose a fine on her if she were to refuse to work with same-sex couples. The goal of this ordinance is to protect LGBT+ people from discrimination, but Chelsey seems to feel that it discriminates against her. So, she files a lawsuit against the city.
The Department of Justice filed a “statement of interest” this week in the federal court. According to this statement, “Forcing Ms. Nelson to create expression for and to participate in a ceremony that violates her sincerely held religious beliefs invades her First Amendment rights. The statement concludes that “Plaintiffs have demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits.” Or in the non-legal English language: Chelsey is likely to win this lawsuit.
When Chelsey started this legal battle, Sam Marcosson of Brandeis School of Law claimed that her suit wasn’t particularly strong. “What she’s claiming is the prospect that the law could be applied has the effect of infringing on her free speech because she is afraid,” he told WHAS 11 then. He added it could further weaken the case that no one had filed a discrimination complaint against Chelsey. However, it appears that the officials are on her side, at least for now. The case continues, and we still have to see how it ends. And I still think that it could have been resolved without courts and lawsuits but hey, that’s just me.
[via Huff Post]