Bob Updegrove filed suit in 2020 to challenge a Virginia law that required him to offer and create photography celebrating same-sex weddings if he offered and created photography of traditional, opposite-sex weddings. The law also prevented Updegrove from explaining on his own website why he only celebrates weddings between a man and a woman.
Then-Attorney General Mark Herring (D-Virginia) felt such communications were discriminatory, and violators faced initial fines of up to $50,000. Every additional violation resulted in a $100,000 fine, and court orders forced Updegrove to photograph events that violated his conscience.
Current Attorney General Jason Miyares (R-Virginia) has stated that Updegrove cannot be punished for exercising his First Amendment rights, and the photographer's attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) have now settled a lawsuit on Updegrove's behalf.
"Free speech is for everyone," says ADF legal counsel Johannes Widmalm-Delphonse. "As the Supreme Court recently affirmed in 303 Creative, the government can't force Americans to say things they don't believe."
Widmalm-Delphonse says this victory for Updegrove "underscores how the 303 Creative decision will protect countless Americans" from government censorship and coercion.
"The U.S. Constitution protects his freedom to express his views as he continues to serve clients of all backgrounds and beliefs," the attorney adds.
The case was known as Updegrove v. Miyares.