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Amicus: Carpenter v. James

The NYCLU, in partnership with the ACLU LGBTQ Project, filed an amicus brief in Carpenter et al. v. James et al. The case – on behalf of Emilee Carpenter, a wedding photographer based in Chemung County – argues that the First Amendment bars certain New York State Human Rights Law and Civil Rights Law provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation from being applied to the plaintiff, who seeks permission to turn away same-sex couples and to advertise that she doesn’t photograph same-sex weddings. The NYCLU argues that New York is permitted to prohibit discrimination in public accommodations through neutral laws, like the Antidiscrimination Laws, that regulate conduct and have only an incidental effect on expression, that the Plaintiffs’ free exercise claim fails because the Antidiscrimination Laws are valid, neutral, and generally applicable regulations, and that New York has a compelling interest in ending invidious discrimination and such laws are narrowly tailored to protect individuals from being unjustly turned away and barred from participation in the marketplace.

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