All artists should be able to choose which events they express themselves in.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is representing several artists in their legal battle to defend their freedom of expression. As Jim Campbell, Senior Counsel for ADF, wrote in The Washington Post:
“[A] number of famous designers have refused to dress Melania and Ivanka Trump because they abhor the president-elect’s policies and practices….In their minds, designing dresses for a member of the Trump family would express approval of the president-elect’s politics.
“As for those designers for whom fashion serves as their voice in the world,” Robin Givhan concluded, “they should not feel obligated to say something in which they do not believe.” Well said. No one should be forced to violate his or her conscience by saying something that conflicts with his or her core convictions.
That same respect for freedom — and the right to live with authenticity — must apply to other artistic professionals, too. That includes people such as Blaine Adamson, a printer in Kentucky who objected to the messages on a promotional item he was asked to create for a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride festival. It also belongs to Lorie Smith, a graphic designer in Colorado who declines to build wedding websites that express ideas in conflict with her views about marriage, and Carl Larsen, a filmmaker in Minnesota who does not wish to be forced to tell the story of certain religious events (like same-sex weddings) that are at odds with his beliefs.
If fashion designers can say no to the first lady, then Adamson, Smith and Larsen must also be allowed to decline to communicate messages that they consider objectionable.”