Carpenter v. James (U.S.D.C. Western District of New York, 2021)

Free Exercise of Religion
Discrimination

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Free Exercise of Religion
Discrimination

At issue in this case is a business invoking the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to seek a religious exemption from a New York State anti-discrimination law for the purpose of denying wedding photography services to LGBTQ+ couples. In opposing this claim, the legal brief joined by ADL asserts that such an exemption is not authorized by the Free Exercise Clause and is prohibited by the Establishment Clause. Furthermore, the exemption being sought would undermine the law’s prohibition on religious discrimination by authorizing discrimination against religious minorities and others.