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Why Did This Attention-Seeking Christian Anti-Gay Group Sue a City for Photographer Who Won’t Work With Same-Sex Couples?

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Wrongly Claimed ‘A Sweeping Local Ordinance and a State Law’ Forced ‘Commissioned Creative Professionals to Promote Messages That Violate Their Beliefs.’ Nope.

The Alliance Defending Freedom is back in the headlines again, and it’s just what they wanted. The Christian law firm that appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s page of anti-gay hate groups is representing a Christian photographer, and sued the city of Madison, Wisconsin because she didn’t want to work with same-sex couples. 

On Tuesday, the ADF said they won their case, but legal experts will have to weigh in to decide if the Christian law firm should have brought the case at all.

“Amy Lawson is a 25 year-old evangelical Christian who seeks to honor God in everything she does, creates, and says,” the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents many clients who refuse to work with same-sex couples who are marrying, writes in a press release on its website.

“A commissioned photographer and blogger, Amy is the sole owner of Amy Lynn Photography Studio, which offers visual storytelling services to clients on a commission basis. In addition to taking and editing photographs for individuals, events, and organizations, Amy posts those photographs on her studio’s blog and social media sites. She also writes comments on those posts praising and celebrating each client’s activity or event. Amy’s posts can be seen on the studio’s blog, Facebook page, and Instagram account.”

In short, the ADF sued Madison and Wisconsin over “a sweeping local ordinance and a state law that force commissioned creative professionals to promote messages that violate their beliefs.”

Except it doesn’t.

In its press release announcing its win, the ADF admits that the law did not apply to Lawson, because she does not have a storefront business. Lawson operates her photography business from her home, and the law specifically is applicable to places of public accommodation.

Kind of a no-brainer.

And in fact, Lawson wasn’t being sued for refusing to follow the law, which, again, did not apply to her.

But ADF has made a business out of pushing the cases of supposedly victimized Christians whose deeply held religious beliefs they believe force them to not perform the functions of their chosen careers for same-sex couples. Florists like Barronelle Stutzman, bakers like Jack Phillips, and farmer Steve Tennes. In fact, here’s a photo from ADF’s Facebook page, of some of their clients:

Posted by Alliance Defending Freedom on Monday, July 25, 2016

So, back to Amy Lawson.

The ADF in a press release states the Dane County, Wisconsin Circuit Court announced “that it will issue an order declaring that Amy Lawson and her business are not subject to city and state laws that would otherwise control her artistic freedom because she does not have a physical storefront.”

Seems like a no-brainer, right?

Maybe ADF should have advised its client, rather than sued?

But then, how would they have stayed in the headlines?

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BREAKING NEWS

Just 9 Republicans Joined Democrats to Uphold the Rule of Law and Vote to Hold Steve Bannon in Criminal Contempt

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Only nine House Republicans joined with every Democrat in voting to hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress. Thursday afternoon’s final vote was 229-202.

Bannon refused to obey a lawful congressional subpoena ordering him to hand over documents and to submit to congressional investigators for a deposition. His legal defense was mocked by experts after he tried to invoke executive privilege.

Minority Whip Steve Scalise had directed House Republicans to vote against the motion.

Top voting rights attorney Marc Elias warns against praising the nine Republicans for doing the right thing in this one instance: “all nine of them voted against voting rights legislation,” he tweeted.

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News

‘Act of War’: Trump Blasted for ‘Chilling’ Statement Calling Election an ‘Insurrection’

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Donald Trump, the twice-impeached former president, on Thursday issued what is being called a “chilling” statement on the election and the insurrection he incited.

“The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!” Trump said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh simply and clearly calls it an “act of war.”

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) during debate on the House floor has “repeatedly” been “calling on Republicans to denounce the Trump statement,” according to reporter Jamie Dupree.

“All my colleagues were elected on November 3,” McGovern said. “If you believe that Election Day was an insurrection, then your election results are illegitimate.”

McGovern is not the only one to blast the Trump statement:

Some journalists are also slamming the former president’s latest remarks.

S.V. Dáte, the White House correspondent at HuffPost weighed in, saying, “Donald Trump tried to overthrow American democracy after he lost his election by 7 million votes, but nearly a year later, he’s still lying. About all of it.”

Washington Post national political reporter Felicia Sonmez called it a “chilling statement … that makes clear his stance on peaceful democracy vs. violent insurrection.”

Washington Post White House bureau chief Ashley Parker pointed to the statement and said: “In which Trump’s shamelessness continues to be his political super power.”

ProPublica Senior Reporter Peter Elkind says: “This is the position of the widely embraced leader of the GOP. Republicans all behind that?”

More:

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Garland Destroys GOP Congressman’s False Suggestion His School Board Memo Calls Parents Terrorists

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U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday morning was forced to respond to repeated Republican false claims about his memo directing the DOJ to hold “discussions” with local leaders about threats of violence made against school board members, and several times had to push back hard against false accusations made by GOP Congressmen.

Franklin Graham, Stephen Miller, and countless others on the right for weeks have been falsely claiming that Garland has ordered DOJ to investigate parents merely for opposing school board decisions, mostly on mask mandates and what they claim is “critical race theory.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) on Wednesday during a Judiciary Committee hearing falsely suggested Garland was calling parents’ challenging school boards domestic terrorists.

“One example of a so-called terrorist incident was a parent, merely questioning whether school board members had earned their high school diplomas. Now that might have been rude, but does that seem like an act of domestic terrorism that you or your Justice Department ought to be investigating?” Chabot asked.

“Absolutely not,” Garland replied. “And I want to be clear the Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish, about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools. That is not what the memorandum is about at all, nor does it use the words ‘domestic terrorism’ or ‘Patriot Act.’ Like you, I can’t imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can I imagine a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorism.”

As NCRM has previously reported, school board members and educators in at least nine states this year have been targeted with threats, death threats, and often racist death threats, including in Virginia, Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Vermont, according to local news reports.

Ironically, it was Congressman Chabot who, a decade ago, was legitimately accused of violating the First Amendment when his staffers directed local police to confiscate video cameras at the Congressman’s town hall event, held in a public school.

Chabot, ruffled and rebuffed by Garland’s response, decided to end the inquiry there.

“Thank you I’m nearly out of time.”

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