Wedding Photographer May Be Required (on Pain of Legal Liability) to Photograph Same-Sex Commitment Ceremonies
So the New Mexico Court of Appeals held last week in the long-pending Elane Photography v. Willock (N.M. Ct. App. May 31, 2012). The court began by holding that the state law that bans sexual orientation discrimination in places of public accommodation applies to professional wedding photographers decisions not to photograph same-sex commitment ceremonies: Such photography businesses are places of public accommodation under the language of the law, and the discrimination between legally recognized opposite-sex marriages (New Mexico only recognizes such marriages) and same-sex commitment ceremonies constitutes discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The court then rejected the argument of the photographer (Elane Huguenin, the co-owner and principal photographer for Elane Photography) that penalizing her for not photographing such same-sex ceremonies was an unconstitutional speech compulsion....
Why Barry Goldwater voted against the public accomodations law. It was a draconian measure to break the segregation culture. Vindication of the old maxim that hard cases make bad law.