Hate Group Files Appeal To Overturn VA LGBT Rights

The Christian Post reports:

A photographer suing Virginia over a law that would force him to service same-sex weddings despite religious objections is continuing his legal battle after a district court dismissed his complaint.

The Alliance Defending Freedom filed an appeal on Wednesday on behalf of Robert Updegrove of Bob Updegrove Photography in Updegrove v. Herring.

In late March, U.S. District Court Judge Claude M. Hilton ruled against Updegrove, arguing in part that the photographer lacked standing since the act “has never been enforced against” him “or any other person.”

From Alliance Defending Freedom:

On appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, ADF attorneys will argue that the district court should not have dismissed the suit because Updegrove faces real violations of his foundational rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution, including the First Amendment’s Free Speech and Free Exercise clauses.

“Artists should be free to choose the messages they promote,” said ADF Senior Counsel and Director of the ADF Center for Conscience Initiatives Jonathan Scruggs, who argued before the district court on behalf of Updegrove.

The law also forbids Updegrove from publicly explaining on his studio’s own website the religious reasons why he only celebrates wedding ceremonies between one man and one woman. Virginia considers such communications “discriminatory.”

As I’ve previously reported, in other states Alliance Defending Freedom appears to have helped establish a new business with the sole purpose of creating a client that would have standing to file a lawsuit against recently enacted LGBTQ business protections. The ADF then files so-called “peremptory challenges” on behalf of these businesses because they’ve not actually been asked to serve any LGBT customers, much less refused them. Last month the ADF filed a similar suit against New York state.