Statewide victory in support of LGBTQ+ community equal access

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FILE – In this June 30, 2019, file photo parade-goers carrying rainbow flags walk down a street during the LBGTQ Pride march in New York, to celebrate five decades of LGBTQ pride, marking the 50th anniversary of the police raid that sparked the modern-day gay rights movement. Democrats flooded Twitter and email inboxes this week with praise for the watershed Supreme Court decision shielding gay, lesbian and transgender people from job discrimination. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

ELMIRA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A lawsuit filed against the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), the state Division of Human Rights, and the Chemung County District Attorney’s Office in October, by an Elmira wedding photographer, was dismissed by a Federal Court. The case brought by Emilee Carpenter refused to photograph same-sex marriages.

Officials say Carpenter claimed that New York’s anti-discrimination laws violated her right to refuse to photograph same-sex marriages. According to the decision by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York agreed with Attorney General Letitia James, and ruled that all New Yorkers are entitled to equal access to the public marketplace under the law.

United States District Court Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr., dismissed Carpenter’s claims, noting that historically underserved, disfavored, or disadvantaged individuals are entitled to the same access to the public marketplace as afforded to everyone else. In Addition, Judge Geraci said in his decision that all businesses claiming to serve the public must serve all of the public, including members of the LGBTQ+ community.

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