We’ve been hearing a lot lately about HB2, city ordinances and religious freedom and the option 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 the question is can you refuse a job?
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 in Raleigh, Wilmington or Asheville, who might be fined for declining to use her talents to promote abortion?
In Madison, WI a city ordinance exists to force commissioned creative professionals to promote messages that violate their beliefs. It is very similar to the ordinance Charlotte City Council passed in 2016 before North Carolina passed HB2. On the campus at University of Madison the issue is not so clear-cut. For these students it seems that the freedom to live and work according to your beliefs really depends on what you believe. Before you decide watch the short video conversation below.
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, baker or artist, it seems they must live by a different standard.
For almost a year North Carolinians have been under the privacy protections found in HB2 that prohibits cities from passing ordinances similar to the one found in Madison. While many sports fans and out-of-state big business groups are eager to repeal the bill, the issue or privacy protections and religious freedom are very important to many in the state. To better understand just how confusing this issue seems to be watch as students talk on campus at University of Wisconsin-Madison to hear what students have to say.