Christian wedding photographer granted legal protection to refuse same-sex couples

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News 


In yet another win for religious freedom in America, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled that a Christian wedding photographer in Kentucky is allowed to refuse service to homosexual couples under First Amendment rights to religious freedom.

U.S. District Judge and Donald Trump appointee Benjamin Beaton of the Western District of Kentucky granted religious protection for Louisville-based Christian photographer Chelsey Nelson on Tuesday, according to reports from the Christian Post. Nelson had sued for protection against city ordinances in 2019 when she refused to work the wedding of a homosexual couple.

Judge Beaton declared in the ruling,

The freedom of speech — especially for minority views — is a core premise of our democratic republic. As prevailing sentiments and politics have changed over the years, robust constitutional protection for differing views has remained fixed … Because the U.S. Constitution supersedes Louisville’s Fairness Ordinance as a matter of law, this Court enjoins the City from either compelling or suppressing Nelson’s photography and writing.

As so often seems to happen in cases such as this, leftist activists immediately condemned the ruling while ignoring the importance of First Amendment protections. The argument that sexual revolutionaries seem to repeat is that those who stand by their religious beliefs commit the cardinal sin of 21st-century liberalism, “discrimination.”

One of these is the Fairness Campaign, a pro-LGBTQ organization that decried the ruling on Facebook on Tuesday. The group said,

This is a disappointing and dangerous erosion of Louisville’s nearly 25-year-old [Fairness Ordinance] protecting [LGBT] people from discrimination. While employment, housing, & public accommodations discrimination protections remain in place, Trump-appointed Judge Benjamin Beaton exempts ‘singers or writers or photographers’ from having to provide services to LGBTQ people and weddings in his opinion.

Author’s Biblical Analysis:

As Christians celebrate another win for religious freedom in the ever-growing, anti-Christian climate of 21st century America, there is a lesson that we cannot ignore from the faithfulness of Chelsey Nelson and so many others like her, including cake baker Jack Philips who has faced a similar conundrum with his Colorado-based business.

The lesson is this: Christians must never forsake the truth.

Our Lord Jesus Christ repeatedly said things to people that many leftists today would condemn as “unloving,” not because it truly was unloving, but simply because it would offend them. Christians need to remember that the truth, spoken in love, is one of the most profound acts of love we can share. While it will likely be offensive to sinners who are dead in their sin, it could also be the conduit through which God saves that dead sinner from their sin.

A practical illustration: if my little daughter runs into the street with cars flying by at 45 miles an hour, do I risk “offending” her by yelling at her to stop? If I yell at her to stop, she will likely cry and may even be angry with me for raising my voice. She may not want to talk to me because, in her mind, Daddy was being mean and harsh. What she does not realize is that when I yell at her to stop, and she listens and obeys, her life will be spared.

The most loving thing I could do for her at that moment is to do whatever it takes to keep her out of the deadly road, even if it offends her. The most unloving thing I could do would be to tell her that she should keep doing what she is doing.

This is what Christians do for sinners when we speak the truth. Remember, it must be done in love. Our end goal must be for their salvation and God’s glory. Christians have the rare and high calling of speaking the truth and doing it in love. If we have done this, we should not fear the repercussions of those who will be offended by it.

By God’s grace, may we have the boldness, tenderness, and care necessary to stand for the truth, no matter who it offends, knowing it is done for the benefit of those listening. As the Lord Jesus said in John 8:32,

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

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