Skip to comments.NM Supreme Court: Christian Photographers Can't Refuse Gay Weddings
Posted on 08/25/2013 7:47:02 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
In New Mexico, professional photographers may not refuse to work at gay weddings, that state's Supreme Court decided Thursday.
When Elane Photography refused to work for Vanessa Willock at her same-sex wedding, the Court said, it violated the New Mexico Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in public accommodations based upon sexual orientation.
"First, we conclude that a commercial photography business that offers its services to the public, thereby increasing its visibility to potential clients, is subject to the antidiscrimination provisions of the NMHRA and must serve same-sex couples on the same basis that it serves opposite-sex couples," Justice Edward Chavez wrote for the majority.
Chavez also wrote that refusing to work at a same-sex wedding is equivalent to refusing to work at a mixed-race wedding: "Therefore, when Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the NMHRA in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races."
Elane Photography is not protected by their rights to freely exercise their religion, which are protected by the U.S. Constitution, because the NMHRA is a "neutral law of general applicability," the Court said. This means that the law does not target a specific religious group when it restricts Elane Photography's religious freedom.
In the proceedings, Elane Photography argued that it did not discriminate based upon sexual orientation because it would have photographed same-sex couples in other contexts. It was only the conveyance of a same-sex marriage in the company's photos that conflicted with the owner's religious beliefs.
In a concurring opinion, Justice Richard Bosson said that Elane Photography must be forced to violate their religious beliefs because of "the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. ... it is the price of citizenship."
"The idea that free people can be 'compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives' as the 'price of citizenship' is a chilling and unprecedented attack on freedom," said Jordan Lorence, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom and one of the lawyers for Elane Photography. "Americans are now on notice that the price of doing business is their freedom. We are considering our next steps, including asking the U.S. Supreme Court to right this wrong."
In a Rasmussen Reports poll of 1,000 adults conducted last month, 85 percent of respondents said that a Christian wedding photographer should be able to turn down work for a same-sex wedding.
I’d stop advertizing and just pick up work by word of mouth. If anybody asks, its just a hobby.
They could always just take completely crappy pictures.
“Here you go, fags. Here are your out of focus poorly composed pictures. Enjoy your AIDS.”
So, as a private business, I have to accept all paying customers? What if someone wanted me to shoot a video of their honeymoon night in their hotel room? Would I have the right to refuse? Where does it stop?
The judges ignore the rights of Christians to practice their faith as guaranteed by the Constitution.
I think we delude ourselves if we believe that the churches themselves will not be sued over refusal of same sex weddings.
I’d go out of business.....not photographing any biological abberations.
There is no Constitutional protection against discrimination. There is case law but it is not Constutionally established.
As I suggested on the other thread on this topic....
perhaps we can get the Westboro..”baptist church” to try to hire a “gay couple.’...for some reason or another and wee what transpires ??
That list of reasons was recently expanded to include "sexual orientation", but it was not expanded to include people currently engaged in sexual intercourse.
there you go, it does not say how well have you to do it.
Close up shop, and move to another state.
So, have photographers turned down jobs for other reasons or are they always required to always take the job form any person walking through the door with a check that doesn’t bounce?
ummmm... isn't this a PRIVATE business?
And what morons would want to FORCE someone to work for them? I would not expect the best work.
just say you can’t fit it in to your schedule.....
this is just another example of forcing ppl to engage in a business transaction that they otherwise don’t want. Theres no free association
Liberals will point to their "tax-free status" (which is a subsidy from the gov't) as the reason a church cannot discriminate.
RE: Close up shop, and move to another state.
Wherever you go in this country, the Courts are there.
Yeah right. Fuc# you! I have a cold.