A woman who says she was humiliated and shamed for breastfeeding while inside a local church has filed a lawsuit against it.

30-year-old Amy Marchant has filed a lawsuit against the Brighton Nazarene Church, known to most as “The Naz” alleging the church invaded her privacy, violated the Breastfeeding Anti-Discrimination Act and committed a breach of contract, in addition to issuing a defamatory apology. The suit seeks in excess of $25,000. Marchant’s Attorney David Helm says on June 17th, 2018 his client went to church and while waiting to pick up her twins, fed her then 1-year-old child. Almost immediately after getting home, he says Marchant began receiving messages via Facebook from employees of the church and other congregation members who tried to convince her to go into the back rooms of the church if she was going to breastfeed and then shamed her for causing men in the church to lust after her. Marchant maintains that an apology presented by the church after a meeting with then-Lead Pastor Ben Walls Sr. was different than what was actually published. She maintains the apology was defamatory and denies that both breasts were fully exposed as the church asserts.

Helm says once the church was confronted with the wrongful acts, rather than apologize, the church decided to double down on its decision and create a false narrative - accusing his client publicly in the media, online and throughout the congregation, of exposing both breasts and being nude from the waist up while feeding her child. Helm maintains that simply did not happen. He says this whole case arises from a church and its congregation who seem to have some internal impulse to sexualize a breast-feeding mother and impose their own morality on his client in violation of the Breastfeeding Anti-Discrimination Act. Helm says Marchant has had to switch churches, endure countless Facebook posts and messages calling her immoral and condemning her for pitting people against Christians, and she had to shut down her online counseling service.

In the lawsuit, the church has denied any violation of the Act and maintains the apology was not defamatory. Messages seeking comment have yet to be returned by church officials. (JM)