Does a wedding videographer have the right to refuse service based on religious belief to a same sex couple?

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Does a wedding videographer have the right to refuse service based on religious belief to a same sex couple?

Asked on January 19, 2016 under Business Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

This is actually an unsettled issue, but in my opinion, yes. As a general matter, person A is not required to associate with or, by extenson, provide service to, person B if A does not want to--including for religious reasons. This flows from both the the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of association. Against that, there are law prohibiting certain forms of discrimination in places of "public accommodation"--like in shopping malls or restaurants. The question is, are wedding videographers and their services, though offered or marketed to the public, sufficiently like a place of public accommodation that they are forbidden from discriminating in this regard? I do not believe so, but the law in this area is still evolving, so there is no final answer or definitive guidance yet.


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