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Attorney General Bailey Files Brief to Protect Religious Liberty, Free Speech Rights of Louisville Wedding Photographer

Mar 7, 2023, 11:19 AM by AG Bailey
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - In an effort to protect the Constitution and the guarantee of individual liberties it provides, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey joined a coalition of 21 states in filing an amicus brief before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit supporting the religious liberty and free speech rights of a Louisville wedding photographer to decline to take custom photographs at a same-sex wedding.

“As Attorney General, I will protect the Constitution, which includes defending the basic rights to free speech and religious liberty enshrined in the First Amendment,” said Attorney General Bailey. “Free speech and religious liberty are the bedrock of our republic, and my office will do everything in its power to defend the rights of all Missourians to speak and worship as they please. Nobody should be forced to speak against their will.”

The Louisville business owner has asked the Sixth Circuit to uphold a federal district judge’s ruling that protected her religious liberty and free speech rights by preventing Louisville from requiring the photographer to provide custom photography services at a same-sex wedding. 

In the amicus brief, the attorneys general argue that Louisville’s demands violate the photographer’s rights under the Free Speech Clause and Kentucky’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The coalition writes, “Both the Free Speech Clause and Kentucky’s RFRA apply. …. Louisville cannot force Nelson to take custom wedding photos for a same-sex wedding that send a message she disagrees with based on her religious beliefs.”

Attorney General Bailey joined attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia in filing the brief. 

The amicus brief can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/dn-42-ky-et-al-amicus-brief.pdf?sfvrsn=b74548_2  

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