BLOGThe Weekly Digest: Wisconsin Photographer Asks Court to Halt Government Control of Artistic Expression

By James Arnold Posted on: | August 02, 2017
For an introduction to the Weekly Digest, read our first post here. To receive the Alliance Alert Daily Digest in your inbox every day, sign up here.

On to the news.

 

Wisconsin Photographer Asks Court to Halt Government Control of Artistic Expression

 

Recently, photographer Amy Lawson and ADF attorneys argued in state court in favor of halting enforcement of a Madison ordinance and a state law against her while her lawsuit proceeds.

Here's what you need to know about the case.

Amy Lawson owns Amy Lynn Photography Studio in Madison, Wisconsin. Under the laws that ADF is seeking to suspend, Amy and her studio are required to create photographs and blog posts promoting pro-abortion groups and same-sex marriages if she creates content that promotes pro-life organizations or that celebrates the marriage of one man and one woman.

We alluded to it there, but there is something different about Amy's business than many other photographers. Not only does she capture moments (and she has an artistic eye for framing a picture, most certainly), but she also tells the stories of her clients on her blog.

Take, for example, this post on her blog from March. Amy weaves together words and images to tell the story of a happy couple expecting their first child (a girl, Amy joyfully tells the reader). Or take this post, where Amy displays the joy an infant can bring to a young family.

The Madison ordinance violates Amy's freedom to tell the stories about which she is excited. Here's what ADF Senior Counsel Jonathan Scruggs, who is arguing on Amy's behalf today, had to say:

Amy is happy to take photographs of anyone; she simply objects to being forced to participate in events, or promote messages or causes, that she can’t support. Photography and writing are quintessential examples of protected artistic expression and free speech.

Ultimately, that's what Amy's case is all about. It is also what Barronelle Stutzman's case and Jack Phillips' case are about.

Now, if only people could see that these freedoms should apply across the board and political spectrum.

Update: A Dane County City Court announced at the hearing on Tuesday that it will issue an order declaring that Amy Lawson and her business are not subject to city and state laws that would otherwise control her artistic freedom because she does not have a physical storefront. Read more about it here.


As always, you can receive the Alliance Alert Daily Digest right in your inbox. Subscribe by clicking here.

James Arnold

News and Research Manager

James Arnold manages and edits the Alliance Alert, a daily repository of news in all forms—written, spoken, or in video format.

More from ADF View All

Religious Freedom Needs Reinforcement

Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom Needs Reinforcement

“We are all in this together” is one of those things that can’t be said enoug...

Mr. Funny | Words | Author | I'm the icon | www | 12/13/2017 18:20:04 Read More

If Your Viewpoint Is “Similar” to Someone Else’s, Should It Be Silenced?

Religious Freedom

If Your Viewpoint Is “Similar” to Someone Else’s, Should It Be Silenced?

Too much of a “similar” viewpoint is a bad thing, according to officials at t...

Mr. Funny | Words | Author | I'm the icon | www | 12/06/2017 18:00:00 Read More

An Early Christmas Present: FBI Investigating Planned Parenthood over Baby Part Sales

Sanctity of Life

An Early Christmas Present: FBI Investigating Planned Parenthood over Baby Part Sales

Last week, Fox News discovered that the Justice Department is investigating P...

Mr. Funny | Words | Author | I'm the icon | www | 12/13/2017 21:50:09 Read More

Don’t Think Twice, It’s Hate – According to the SPLC

Culture

Don’t Think Twice, It’s Hate – According to the SPLC

I was singing along with Peter, Paul and Mary when a startling thought brough...

Mr. Funny | Words | Author | I'm the icon | www | 12/12/2017 18:00:00 Read More