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Christian Photographer Hauled before Commission for Refusing Same-Sex Job
LifeSiteNews ^ | 1/30/08 | John Jalsevac

Posted on 01/30/2008 4:22:09 PM PST by wagglebee

New Mexico, January 30, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The case of a Christian photographer who refused to photograph a same-sex "commitment ceremony", was heard before the New Mexico Human Rights Division on Monday.

A same-sex couple asked Elaine Huguenin, co-owner with her husband of Elane Photography, to photograph a "commitment ceremony" that the two women wanted to hold. Huguenin declined because her Christian beliefs are in conflict with the message communicated by the ceremony.

The same-sex couple filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Division, which is now trying Elane Photography under state antidiscrimination laws for sexual orientation discrimination.

The Alliance Defense fund (ADF), a legal alliance that is dedicated to defending and protecting religious freedom, sanctity of life, marriage, and family, is currently defending Elane Photography.

"On Monday we defended Elane Photography in court, saying basically that no person should be required to help others advance a message that they disagree with," ADF Senior Counsel and Senior Vice-President of the Office of Strategic Initiatives, Jordan Lorence, told LifeSiteNews in an interview today.  "That's a basic First Amendment principle.  The government is punishing Elaine photography for refusing to take photos which obviously advance the messages sent by the same-sex ceremony - that marriage can be defined as two women or two men."

In their complaint the homosexual couple has sought for an injunction against Elane Photography that will forbid them from ever again refusing to photograph a same-sex ceremony. They have also requested attorney's fees.

"Depending on how far up the ladder this goes of appeal that could be a lot of money," said Lorence. "Hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Lorence said that the ADF is framing its case in a similar fashion to the 1995 Supreme Court "Hurley" Case.  "In the Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade case the US Supreme Court said that the State of Massachusetts could not punish a privately run parade because it refused to allow a homosexual advocacy group in to carry banners and signs in the parade.  They said that would be compelled speech, ordering the parade organizers to help promote a message they do not want to promote.  To apply the discrimination law that way violates freedom of speech.  We are making a similar kind of argument in this case."

Lorence said that this current case is demonstrative of a "tremendous threat" facing those with traditional views on marriage and family.

"I think that this is a tremendous threat to First Amendment rights. Those who are advocating for same-sex marriage and for rights based upon sexual orientation keep arguing, 'We are not going to apply these against churches. We are going to protect people's right of conscience.  We are all about diversity and pluralism.'"

But, in practice, says Lorence, "Business owners with traditional views or church owners with traditional definitions of marriage are now vulnerable for lawsuits under these nondiscrimination laws.  There are 20 states that have these laws where they ban sexual orientation discrimination.  Most of the major cities in the United States also have these kinds of ordinances.  So these are a big threat, as the federal government debates whether to make this a blanket nationwide law.

"We see that these [non-discrimination laws] are not rectifying some unjust discrimination, but being used to punish those who speak out in favor of traditional marriage and sexual restraint," he concluded.

Lorence said that the ADF is "cautiously optimistic that the commission will do the right thing." If the New Mexico Commission, however, decides against Elane Photography, Lorence said that the ADF would appeal the decision all the way up to the US Supreme Court if necessary.

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Catholic Activist "Banned for life" From Publicly Criticizing Homosexuality
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/dec/07121306.html

Christian Political Party before Human Rights Commission for Speaking Against Homosexuality
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/nov/07112706.html

Alberta Human Rights Tribunal Rules Against Christian Pastor Boissoin
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/dec/07120306.html

Alberta Christian Pastor Hauled Before Human Rights Tribunal for Letter to Editor on Homosexuality
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/sep/05090204.html

U.S. Christian Camp Loses Tax-Exempt Status over Same-Sex Civil-Union Ceremony
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/sep/07091902.html

Methodist Camp Meeting Association Sues New Jersey for Civil Union Investigation
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/aug/07081501.html

Lesbian Couple Files Complaint against Church for Refusing Civil Union Ceremony
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/jul/07071011.html

Human Rights Complaint Filed Against Catholic Bishop for Defence of Traditional Marriage
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/mar/05033001.html

Homosexuals Seek to Shut Down Canadian Pro-Family Websites
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/jul/06073106.html

CHRISTIAN COUPLE FORCED TO SHUT DOWN B&B FOR REFUSING HOMOSEXUAL COUPLE
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2001/may/01052302.html


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: New Mexico
KEYWORDS: adf; antichristian; christian; christianpersecution; christians; homosexualagenda; homosexuals; lawsuit; workplace
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Unbelievable!
1 posted on 01/30/2008 4:22:15 PM PST by wagglebee
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To: AFA-Michigan; Abathar; Agitate; AliVeritas; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; BabaOreally; Balke; BigFinn; ...
Homosexual Agenda Ping

Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the homosexual agenda ping list.

Be sure to click the FreeRepublic homosexual agenda keyword search link for a list of all related articles. We don't ping you to all related articles so be sure to click the previous link to see the latest articles.

Add keywords homosexual agenda to flag FR articles to this ping list.

2 posted on 01/30/2008 4:22:49 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

He’s being charged with not accepting a job?! What happened to we reserve the right to refuse service to anybody?


3 posted on 01/30/2008 4:23:48 PM PST by ECM (Government is a make-work program for lawyers.)
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To: wagglebee

These are the same people who claim to argue for freedom of choice. What hypocrits.


4 posted on 01/30/2008 4:24:33 PM PST by tennteacher (Romney '08)
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To: wagglebee
the New Mexico Human Rights Division

wtf is this?

5 posted on 01/30/2008 4:24:36 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (what would the founders do?)
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To: ECM

Apparently that doesn’t apply if the offended party is a protected class.


6 posted on 01/30/2008 4:25:30 PM PST by ItsOurTimeNow ("Never get involved in a land war in Asia.")
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To: wagglebee

So business owners no longer have a choice of what work they take? Could a general contractor be sued because he turned down a job to build a cathouse? Could a videophotographer be sued because she turned down a request to tape a porn flick?


7 posted on 01/30/2008 4:25:39 PM PST by Vigilanteman (Are there any men left in Washington? Or are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud)
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To: wagglebee

Rights of Blacks trump all, followed by Homosexuals, then illegal immigrants, then Muslims. Christians have no rights.


8 posted on 01/30/2008 4:25:45 PM PST by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: the invisib1e hand

Like Canada.


9 posted on 01/30/2008 4:25:50 PM PST by Cindy
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To: ECM

He is guilty of what Orwell called “thoughtcrime.” That’s the state of things today.


10 posted on 01/30/2008 4:27:33 PM PST by drew
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To: wagglebee

Might have been easier and cheaper if the photography outfit had just said they had a prior commitment on that date.


11 posted on 01/30/2008 4:28:47 PM PST by squidly
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To: wagglebee
These people simply need to make a sign for their place of business, and a small addition to their business cards, and perhaps on their vehicle that states the following:

"We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, at any time, for any reason."

While in Montana I had a similar experience with a woman who wanted our shop to print up a bunch of posters she wanted made of her art, which were inappropriate. She threatened me in this way and I simply pointed to the sign, prominantly displayed in the store and said that the sign applied to her as of that minute.

Never heard more about it. This was maybe 13-14 years ago.

12 posted on 01/30/2008 4:31:09 PM PST by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: CedarDave; Rogle; leapfrog0202; Santa Fe_Conservative; DesertDreamer; OneWingedShark; CougarGA7; ...

NM Ping.

Whatever happened to a private business, especially one that does not deal in the necessities being able to say “we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”?


13 posted on 01/30/2008 4:31:46 PM PST by LegendHasIt
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To: Jeff Head

You beat me by 5 seconds!


14 posted on 01/30/2008 4:32:54 PM PST by LegendHasIt
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To: wintertime

ping


15 posted on 01/30/2008 4:33:14 PM PST by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are not stupid.)
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To: colorcountry; Pan_Yans Wife; MHGinTN; Colofornian; Elsie; FastCoyote; Osage Orange; Greg F; ...

FIPing


16 posted on 01/30/2008 4:38:22 PM PST by greyfoxx39 (Salvation is NOT a value-added enterprise by making you pay for it. Christ gives it away free.)
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To: wagglebee
***A same-sex couple asked Elaine Huguenin, co-owner with her husband of Elane Photography, to photograph a “commitment ceremony” that the two women wanted to hold.***

What ever happened to the businessman’s prerogative of...”WE reserve the RIGHT to refuse service to anyone!”

17 posted on 01/30/2008 4:38:48 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Only infidel blood can quench Muslim thirst-- Abdul-Jalil Nazeer al-Karouri)
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To: wagglebee

Anyone heard of the First Amendment in New Mexico?

Maybe it’s not part of the US.


18 posted on 01/30/2008 4:40:33 PM PST by Brilliant
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To: Jim Robinson

You might like to see this, Jim.


19 posted on 01/30/2008 4:40:37 PM PST by greyfoxx39 (Salvation is NOT a value-added enterprise by making you pay for it. Christ gives it away free.)
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To: ECM
What happened to we reserve the right to refuse service to anybody

Gone with the Civil Rights Act back in the 1960s.

20 posted on 01/30/2008 4:41:01 PM PST by Cruising Speed
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To: wagglebee
Same thing happening in MA... notice in bulletin: We only perform marriages for persons who are members of our church and are one with Jesus Christ according to his teachings ... more or less...

Catholic Charities in MA gone out of adoption business... no kidding...

Gay objective appears to be the destruction of Christianity including Catholics instead of legal protections.

21 posted on 01/30/2008 4:42:42 PM PST by xtinct (I was the next door neighbor kid's imaginary friend.)
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: Vigilanteman

“...turned down a job to build a cathouse...”

We reserve the right to refuse to service anyone.


23 posted on 01/30/2008 4:44:04 PM PST by beelzepug ("Suffering from electile dysfunction.....can't get aroused by any of the candidates.")
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To: Cruising Speed

I remember when landlords weren’t allowed to “discriminate” against live-in couples. I guess this is just an extension. It was only a matter of time.


24 posted on 01/30/2008 4:45:08 PM PST by jwalburg (The climate will change, weather we like it or not)
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To: wagglebee

It always seems to be a “lesbian couple” that instigates these types of situations.

I think they are probably on somebody’s payroll to go out in teams and look for or create legal situations where precedent can be established.


25 posted on 01/30/2008 4:48:12 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: jwalburg

Yes, just as ‘commercial speech’ is not protected by the first amendment, ‘commercial property’ is not protected by private property laws.


26 posted on 01/30/2008 4:49:33 PM PST by Cruising Speed
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To: wagglebee
Photographers operate in the realm of "freedom of the press".

Might be the local laws that favor homosexuals might find itself kicked out of court once that claim is advanced and upheld.

27 posted on 01/30/2008 4:53:43 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: wagglebee

Although the Hurley case involved a gay advocacy group it was a free speech case. The court ruled that the parade constituted the speech of the parade organizers, not the participants, and the organizers were within their right to reject the speech of others if they felt it interfered with their message. In the Elane case, the defense would be arguing that the commitment ceremony is the speech of the couple involved and their client is being compelled to participate in that speech. I can see their point, but unfortunately I’m not sure the court will buy it. This is the place where liberal legislation and activist judges have brought us.


28 posted on 01/30/2008 4:53:48 PM PST by vamoose
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To: wagglebee
Ok, so worst case scenario, if they are forced to take a job like this, is there anything that would keep them of doing such a piss-poor job that it would essentially be the same as not doing it at all? I mean, if I was doing the photography (and I used to do wedding videos and some photos) and I felt I had been forced to take a job I didn't want, I would make sure that all of the pictures were out of focus, over and under exposed, crop faces out of the frame, etc., etc. When the customers complain about the job, tell them, "Yeah, well sorry. I must have had a [bad day/equipment failure, etc.] Here's your money back." Or, it might happen that the film accidentally got left too long in the developer (or the memory card got erased if it's a digital camera).

Nobody can make you take a good picture if you don't want to.

29 posted on 01/30/2008 4:54:34 PM PST by Pablo64 (What is popular is not always right. What is right is not always popular.)
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To: the invisib1e hand

Canadian import ~ they had all these Mexicans they’ve imported so they thought they ought to import some ideas from Canada, and there it is ~ fascism!


30 posted on 01/30/2008 4:54:44 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: wagglebee
The same-sex couple filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Division, which is now trying Elane Photography under state antidiscrimination laws for sexual orientation discrimination.

Amazing. This woman has not contractual obligation, has no special relationship with the same-sex couple, and as far as I know, photography services are not a public accommodation.

And yet, the state is going to force her to perform a service for private individuals against her will.

It's sickening. The whole premise behind discrimination law is bogus. Private individuals should be allowed to associate with whomever they want on whatever conditions they feel like. It's not the role of the state to make us nice, tolerant people.

What ever happened to freedom in this country?

31 posted on 01/30/2008 4:56:24 PM PST by timm22 (Think critically)
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To: wagglebee

And this is another reason why the silent GOP is dying and some of us just don’t give a damn anymore.


32 posted on 01/30/2008 4:56:29 PM PST by JoJo Gunn (Help control the Leftist population. Have them spayed or neutered. )
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To: wagglebee

Just exactly what authority does the “Human Rights Commission” have to drag someone before it?


33 posted on 01/30/2008 4:57:36 PM PST by dljordan
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To: the invisib1e hand
New Mexico Human Rights Division

Code word for sub dept of the new Democrat fascist party

34 posted on 01/30/2008 4:58:01 PM PST by Popman (Gold Standard: Trying to squeeze a 50 lb economy back into a 5 lb bag)
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To: ECM

That died in 1965.


35 posted on 01/30/2008 4:58:10 PM PST by rmlew (Huckabee flip flops so much it makes Romney cringe)
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To: Always Right

“Therein lies the rub”


36 posted on 01/30/2008 4:59:51 PM PST by redstateconfidential (If you are the smartest person in the room,you are hanging out with the wrong people.)
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To: wagglebee
In their complaint the homosexual couple has sought for an injunction against Elane Photography that will forbid them from ever again refusing to photograph a same-sex ceremony.

Fascism at its finest.

37 posted on 01/30/2008 5:00:03 PM PST by Hoodat (The whole point of the Conservative Movement is to gain converts, not demonize them.)
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To: Pablo64
Nobody can make you take a good picture if you don't want to.

I'd like to think so, but the fascists behind this suit would probably think otherwise. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they made the photographer give a speech congratulating the couple...and demanded that it be heartfelt.

38 posted on 01/30/2008 5:00:07 PM PST by timm22 (Think critically)
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To: squidly

When I photographed weddings the first question I asked was the date. Then I wised up. I’d chat with them first. If I did not like them I already had a deposit on that date.


39 posted on 01/30/2008 5:00:42 PM PST by Loud Mime ("Life was better when cigarette companies could advertise and lawyers could not")
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To: ECM

That went out with the movie “GIANT”.


40 posted on 01/30/2008 5:01:06 PM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote.)
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To: timm22

Well, you can tell them to hold out both of their hands and “demand” in one and “piss” in the other and see which one fills up faster.


41 posted on 01/30/2008 5:01:27 PM PST by Pablo64 (What is popular is not always right. What is right is not always popular.)
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To: wagglebee

42 posted on 01/30/2008 5:02:38 PM PST by Popman (Gold Standard: Trying to squeeze a 50 lb economy back into a 5 lb bag)
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To: wagglebee

When this started to play out the photographer should have agreed to do it. Then forgot to load film in the camera.


43 posted on 01/30/2008 5:02:42 PM PST by kjam22 (see me play the guitar here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noHy7Cuoucc)
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To: wagglebee

Under the federal “gay rights” bill pending in Congress, this policy will be spread over the entire nation. Liberty truly began to die in America in the 1960s.


44 posted on 01/30/2008 5:05:53 PM PST by puroresu (Enjoy ASIAN CINEMA? See my Freeper page for recommendations (updated!).)
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To: Pablo64
Well, you can tell them to hold out both of their hands and “demand” in one and “piss” in the other and see which one fills up faster.

You could, but that would probably get you hauled in to answer to the Human Rights Division...again.

45 posted on 01/30/2008 5:07:11 PM PST by timm22 (Think critically)
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To: ECM
What happened to we reserve the right to refuse service to anybody?

You still can do that, but in many cases you'd better not say a peep about why.

In my experience, folks tend to give way too much information when they're turning something down. There's a felt need to say something that manifestly justifies you saying, "No," or "Sorry, I can't."

So, the photographer says, "I can't do that, because...", the would-be customer is offended at the "because", and the rest will be a matter of public record. Stopping immediately prior to the "because" is most HIGHLY recommended in these perilous times.

46 posted on 01/30/2008 5:08:45 PM PST by HKMk23 (AUT VINCERI AUT MORI)
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To: wagglebee

See, you gotta make sure you put up a sign; “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” Maybe with an “especially queers” tag on it.

What next?


47 posted on 01/30/2008 5:12:22 PM PST by Blue Collar Christian (If "there are no losers here," then there are no winners here. ><BCC>NRA)
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To: wagglebee

Hm. Being paid to take pictures for private use does not constitute speech on the part of the photographer. I’m not so sure about free speech being applicable here.

And as far as the right to refuse service goes, that’s not absolute. You can’t throw a black couple out of your store because you’re a racist. Where race and sexual orientation/practices are equated, you’ll get this.

So, does freedom to practice one’s religion come into play here?


48 posted on 01/30/2008 5:13:11 PM PST by RonF
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To: wagglebee

I thought for sure this was going to be a Canadian thing. Sad to see it happening here.


49 posted on 01/30/2008 5:14:22 PM PST by Puddleglum
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To: Always Right
Rights of Blacks trump all, followed by Homosexuals, then illegal immigrants, then Muslims.

You have the wrong order. Muslims trump all, followed by Homosexuals, followed by illegal immigrants, then Blacks.

50 posted on 01/30/2008 5:16:29 PM PST by Alouette (Vicious Babushka)
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