A New York photographer has filed a federal lawsuit against the state, arguing that its antidiscrimination laws may force her to serve same-sex couples.

Emilee Carpenter, a professional photographer in Elmira who says her Christian beliefs lead her to oppose marriage equality, filed the suit with the backing of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian nationalist legal group based in Arizona.

New York law bars discrimination against LGBTQ residents. Carpenter, who specializes in wedding photography, said she has not yet been sanctioned for refusing to serve same-sex couples but fears she will be.

Carpenter’s case, Emilee Carpenter Photography v. James, asks the court to stop New York from enforcing its antidiscrimination laws against her while the case moves forward, reported the Elmira Star Gazette.

ADF is sponsoring similar cases around the country, seeking to secure for the owners of secular, for-profit businesses a right to deny services to LGBTQ people.


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Americans United for Separation of Church and State joined 29 religious freedom organizations in filing an amicus brief that explained how anti-discrimination laws like Colorado’s protect religious minorities as well as LGBTQ people and customers with other protected characteristics, such as race, sex, age and ability.

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