We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the freedom of creative professionals to live and work according to their beliefs; from fashion designers in New York City to floral designers in small-town Washington State.
But what if Sophie Theallet — a well-known fashion designer — were thrown in jail after she told the world she would not design a gown for First Lady Melania Trump? Can you imagine the media firestorm that would create? Then why is it any different if a pro-life photographer and writer faces fines that would put her out of business for declining to use her talents to promote abortion?
For Amy Lawson, blogger and owner of Amy Lynn Photography in Madison, WI there is no difference. That is why she is challenging a sweeping local ordinance that forces commissioned creative professionals to promote messages that violate their beliefs.
For many, the issue is not so clear-cut. For them it seems that the freedom to live and work according to your beliefs really depends on what you believe.
Don’t like President Trump? It’s fine to tell people you won’t write a speech supporting him. Muslim singer? No one should force you to perform at an Easter service under threat of government punishment. But for a Christian creative professional, photographer, writer, or artist, it seems they must live by a different standard.
To get a sense of just how confusing this issue seems to be for some, we visited the University of Wisconsin-Madison to hear what students have to say.
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