A photographer in Virginia can now refuse to photograph same-sex weddings. Wedding photographer Bob Updegrove filed a lawsuit against an anti-discriminatory state law that said he couldn’t do this.
The state agreed not to force him to work on same-sex weddings and let him tell people about it on his website.
The court based this decision on a case where a Christian web designer in Colorado didn’t want to make websites for same-sex weddings. The court said she didn’t have to. Updegrove’s case is similar and shows how this court ruling affects anti-discrimination laws in the country.
Updegrove told the Washington Post in 2020, “I want to create photography I believe in. I believe marriage is meant to be a unique and sacrificial relationship between one man and woman that points people to Jesus Christ’s sacrificial covenant with the church.”
This settlement is a blow to Virginia’s Values Act. The state passed the law in 2020 which protects LGBTQ rights. The Values Act not only stops LGBTQ+ discrimination but also discrimination based on race, religion, and more. People breaking this law can receive a fine of up to $100,000.
The case is part of a trend where some claim anti-discrimination laws go against their freedom and religious beliefs. However, it can backfire, especially on a small business. In Australia, a wedding magazine went bankrupt after it refused to feature same-sex couples.