When Amy Lawson was 13, her mom gave her a scrapbooking kit. As she began putting together family albums, it quickly became clear that she had a passion and skill for preserving memories and telling stories through photography.
That sparked her love for visual storytelling.
Amy continued to learn more about photography as she grew up, taking pictures for her college newspaper and even shooting some friends’ weddings. After her own wedding and a move to Madison, Wisconsin, she took the leap and opened her own business, Amy Lynn Photography Studio.
Amy loves shooting portraits, weddings, and other events, celebrating beautiful moments in her clients’ lives through her photos and on her blog. As a Christian, she also has a passion to promote the beauty of marriage and the sanctity of life, especially as the culture continues to reject a biblical understanding of these issues.
Blogging, in particular, is an important part of what Amy does. Not only is it something that many photographers in the industry are moving toward as a way to showcase their online portfolio, but Amy sees it as a way to tell a complete story and capture all the details surrounding the photos that she takes:
“In photography, I could stop beautiful moments in time – moments telling the story of God’s goodness, true love, encouraging joy, heartfelt laughter, and real tears. Photography and blogging about my photographs let me tell stories in ways more powerful than words alone. They let me shine a light on beautiful stories and share that light with others.”
But a Madison law forces Amy to take photos and write blogs for events or organizations that promote messages contradictory to her faith if she does the same for events and organizations she agrees with. The Madison law also says that Amy cannot publish any communication that conveys someone would be “unwelcome” based on sexual orientation and political beliefs, meaning she could be punished simply for posting a statement on her website explaining how her beliefs impact her photography and blogging.
Since Amy features each of her clients on her blog, this law is especially egregious because it would force her to speak a message on her blog that violates her faith.
For a Christian, whose faith inspires her creativity, this is out of the question. But the law threatens her with steep fines if she does not comply.
The practical and immediate effect of this law forced Amy to stop telling stories celebrating marriage between one man and one woman and the sanctity of life. She had to silence her own speech in order to comply with the law.
But our government should be upholding and protecting our free speech, not trying to silence it.
That’s why Amy has decided to challenge this unconstitutional law before the government punishes her for running her business consistently with her faith.
When Amy takes this stand, she takes it for everyone. If the government can tell her what to create and what to say, then why can’t it compel you to promote messages against your values? Every American should be free to live, work, and create consistently with their faith without fear of government punishment.
Amy is just the latest in a string of clients who have stood up to defend the rights of conscience for all Americans. To learn more about Amy and other clients like her, visit CreateFreely.org.