Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a 14-state coalition in defense of religious liberty in a case in which the state of New York sought to punish a photographer, Emilee Carpenter, who chose to not accept bookings for same-sex weddings. In violation of Ms. Carpenter’s free speech rights, New York interprets its public-accommodation law to require that photographers who commemorate opposite-sex marriages must also do so for same-sex marriages. Refusal may result in fines up to $100,000, as well as possible criminal prosecution.
This unconstitutional law violates the First Amendment, which prohibits states from forcing individuals to speak in favor of same-sex marriage.
“States do not have the power to violate the U.S. Constitution. Forcing Ms. Carpenter to photograph weddings that violate her faith is a blatant intrusion on her First Amendment rights,” the Attorney General said. “Time and time again, absurd laws like New York’s try to persecute people of faith who wish only to conduct their business in line with their sincerely held beliefs.”
Read the amicus brief here.