A legal ministry that defends religious freedom maintains that artists should not be forced to promote messages that are inconsistent with their personal beliefs.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is defending Louisville, Kentucky-based photographer and blogger Chelsey Nelson, who wants to be able to photograph and write about events and messages that are consistent with her religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.
The city of Louisville passed an ordinance in 1999 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender, but ADF argues the so-called "Fairness Ordinance" is not being applied to Nelson.
"Recently, the United States Department of justice filed a statement of interest siding with Chelsey saying that Louisville's law forces her to create expression and to participate in a ceremony that violates her religious beliefs," reports ADF attorney Bryan Neihart.
ADF maintains that a ruling in Nelson's favor is a win for people of all faiths and for those of no faith.
"The same principles that would protect Chelsey would protect, for example, an atheist singer who would not be required to sing at a church's Easter service, or an LGBT filmmaker [who] would not be required to create a film against same-sex marriage for a church," explains Neihart. "So all the same principles that protect Chelsey protect all artists and all speakers, regardless of their views."
The case is Chelsey Nelson Photography v. Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government. It is filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in Louisville.