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Lord God, we thank You for this victory for religious freedom and pray the higher courts uphold it.

From World. Chelsey Nelson . . .  a Kentucky wedding photographer who says she uses images and words to celebrate the union of marriage—just not same-sex marriage. In a possible preview of a hoped-for Supreme Court ruling next year, a federal judge in Kentucky on Tuesday barred the Louisville city government from forcing Nelson to comply with its public accommodations law by photographing and creating blogs for same-sex weddings.

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In a 44-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Beaton ruled that Louisville’s so-called Fairness Ordinance unfairly violated Nelson’s free speech rights. He said it forced her to express messages contrary to her Christian belief that marriage is only between one man and one woman. The Trump appointee also nixed provisions in the local law that would have barred Nelson from stating on her website that she could not photograph same-sex weddings or posting statements that could make potential customers feel unwelcome.

Beaton rejected efforts by the city’s attorneys to frame its law as a permissible regulation of conduct, not speech. . . .

Beaton was not swayed by city attorneys’ argument that the law focused on protection of a protected class and not limiting speech. Nelson will serve LGBT customers so long as the photos she produces do not carry a message that contradicts her beliefs, the judge noted, concluding that “discrimination based on status is not the same as disagreement with a message.”

Louisville’s law was particularly offensive because of its attempt to bar the photographer from explaining her beliefs on her website, Beaton wrote, concluding that the city was picking sides by approving of messages that approve of same-sex marriage while disapproving of messages that dissent from the city-approved view. “This sort of content- and viewpoint-based restriction is presumptively unconstitutional,” Beaton concluded.

While noting that the law would not run afoul of the U.S. Constitution’s free exercise clause, Beaton did find that it violated the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Like the federal law and a host of other state laws bearing the same name, Kentucky’s RFRA requires governmental action burdening religious conduct to serve a compelling interest and to use the least restrictive means in regulating it—a test the Louisville law failed. . . .

Creatives argue that laws traditionally enacted to prevent restaurants and hotels from denying service to racial and ethnic minorities are now being used to discriminate against those with a culturally disfavored position on same-sex marriage.

That’s upside down, said Alliance Defending Freedom’s Bryan Neihart, who represents Nelson, celebrating the ruling as one that accommodates the existing diversity of views on marriage. “The court’s decision sends a clear and necessary message to every Kentuckian—and American—that each of us is free to speak and work according to our deeply held beliefs,” said Neihart.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said city officials “will likely be appealing this decision,” vowing in his statement that the city would “fight against discrimination in any form.”

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(Excerpt from World. Photo by Mariah Krafft on Unsplash.)

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Herb Johnston
September 9, 2022

Yes. Lord, let the Louisville mayor have a change of heart..as Dr Alma , – and let the city officials see the error of their ways Lord in bringing this decision against Chelsey Nelson. Let their hearts be convicted lord.. and let them sense the presence of your Holy Spirit in their lives.. but they would turn from Evil and do good and seek your son Jesus as Savior.. and let Chelsy Nelson’s business Thrive-,Lord thank you Lord , in Jesus name-, amen

Dr. Alma
September 9, 2022

Thank you for righteous Judge Beaton and his ruling. We pray that the Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and the city officials will each have a change of heart being convicted by Your Holy Spirit and they WILL NOT appeal this decision. We declare that the city will completely cease and desist from any from of harassment per Your divine restraining order. Give Nelson Your divine favor with all the business and support she can handle. In Jesus’ name Amen.

Rebecca Hart
September 7, 2022

As a Myles Standish descendant, our ancestors made a covenant with God over this land and raised a tall cross around 1621, that was torn down in 2012, but I remember the covenant and others remember, as well. I pray that God will remember the covenant as we gather our hearts in supplication to Him. Father God, bless this country for Your name’s sake as we seek Your perfect will. Amen.


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