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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Default New Mexico Court:Christian Photographer Cannot Refuse Gay Marriage Ceremony

    Today the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that Christian photographers cannot decline to participate in gay-marriage commitment ceremonies, even though that state does not have gay marriage and the court acknowledged that providing services for the ceremony violated the Christian’s sincerely-held, traditional religious beliefs. This becomes one of the first major cases where religious liberty collides with gay rights, and could now go to the Supreme Court of the United States.

    Elane Huguenin is a photographer in New Mexico. She and her husband Jonathan jointly own their family business, Elane Photography. Specifically, Elane is a photojournalist—using a carefully-planned series of photographs to tell a story and convey a message. She is also a devout Christian, who believes that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

    In 2006, Vanessa Willock contacted Elane Photography, asking Elane to photograph her lesbian commitment ceremony. It was a private commitment ceremony because New Mexico recognizes neither gay marriage nor gay civil unions. Elane thanked Willock for her interest, but explained that due to her religious beliefs she only does traditional weddings.

    Willock filed a complaint against Elane with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission, citing a state law that does not allow discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The commission ruled Elane’s decision illegal, and imposed a fine of $7,000 to cover legal fees.

    Elane took this matter to court, represented by Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). The trial court upheld the fine, as did the court of appeals.

    The New Mexico Supreme Court has now affirmed the lower courts, holding that Elane Photography is a “public accommodation,” and because they photograph wedding ceremonies they cannot refuse a gay-commitment ceremony (even if it is not a legal wedding).

    In a concurring opinion, Justice Richard Bosson wrote Elane and Jonathan:

    now are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives… the result is sobering. It will no doubt leave a tangible mark on the Huguenins and others of similar views.

    At its heart, this case teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our nation’s strengths, demands no less. The Huguenins are free to … pray to the God of their choice … But there is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life.

    Bosson goes on to say having to violate your religious beliefs when they conflict with social issues like gay marriage “is the price of citizenship.” 


    In response to today’s decision, Lorence said in an ADF statement:

    Government-coerced expression is a feature of dictatorships that has no place in a free country. This decision is a blow to our client and to every American’s right to live free. Decisions like this undermine the constitutionally protected freedoms of expression and conscience that we have all taken for granted. America was founded on the fundamental freedom of every citizen to live and work according to their beliefs and not to be compelled by the government to express ideas and messages they decline to support. We are considering our next steps, including asking the U.S. Supreme Court to right this wrong.

    A recent Rasmussen poll showed that 85% of Americans support the right of a religious photographer not to participate in a gay-marriage ceremony.

    A petition to the U.S. Supreme Court asking for review is due by mid-November.




    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Governm...-Supreme-Court
     
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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    If true, this is wrong. I'm in favor of gay marriage. People shouldn't be forced to perform or support the ceremony, however.

  3. #3
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    This is a very concerning ruling.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    I'm sure gay couples will get her best efforts as a photographer in the future:

    "Oh, all the pictures are supposed to be out of focus. It's a symbolic representation about the future you two will share: you don't know what it's going to look like, but you will both be there."
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  5. #5
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsbll4 View Post
    I'm sure gay couples will get her best efforts as a photographer in the future:

    "Oh, all the pictures are supposed to be out of focus. It's a symbolic representation about the future you two will share: you don't know what it's going to look like, but you will both be there."
    the photographer will just not book gay couples and not tell them that's the reason in the future.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    Let's try something.

    Replace "Gay" with "Interracial".


    Annnnnnd go!
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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Default New Mexico Court:Christian Photographer Cannot Refuse Gay Marriage Ceremony

    Quote Originally Posted by LLFHS View Post
    Let's try something.

    Replace "Gay" with "Interracial".


    Annnnnnd go!
    You have 2 pretty distinct types of people. One thinks businesses should be forced to associate with people they wouldn't want to privately. The other thinks businesses shouldn't.

    You won't find anyone who thinks racism is more abhorrent than I do. If a photographer didn't want to do interracial marriages, I say that's called freedom. That doesn't mean I think it's sad, and I'd be one of the people pointing it out and shaming the business.

    What this is, though, is one step away from fining churches for not performing gay marriage ceremonies. IMO, if you're for gay rights but also for forcing churches o do things against their beliefs, you're not really for rights at all.

    The Affordable Care Act decision will have consequences. Congress absolutely now has the power to t̶a̶x̶ fine someone for non-compliance of any rule they make. Today it's perform equally for gay marriage ceremonies or face a fine. Tomorrow it's hire only union workers for private jobs or contribute only to the Republican Party or face a fine.

  8. #8
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    the issues with a case like this is precedent. If the photographer is allowed to refuse this couple, then is a gas station within it's rights to hang a "no blacks allowed" sign outside their door? is a grocery store allowed to hang a "no dogs or irish" sign outside their door?

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    Well, those Irish are a damn surly lot. And don't get me started on their dogs.
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  10. #10
    Baluchitherium Ted Van Halen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    the issues with a case like this is precedent. If the photographer is allowed to refuse this couple, then is a gas station within it's rights to hang a "no blacks allowed" sign outside their door? is a grocery store allowed to hang a "no dogs or irish" sign outside their door?
    The difference would be that according to scripture, being black, Irish, or canine is not a sin. Being homosexual is.
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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    And what if you don't believe in scripture? There are some cwazy-ass folk out there who don't.
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  12. #12
    Baluchitherium Ted Van Halen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLFHS View Post
    And what if you don't believe in scripture? There are some cwazy-ass folk out there who don't.
    Find a photographer who doesn't.
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  13. #13
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Van Halen View Post
    The difference would be that according to scripture, being black, Irish, or canine is not a sin. Being homosexual is.
    As a Catholic, I understand this. But the courts can't take this into consideration. I think they'd set a dangerous precedent if they ruled against this couple but I'm uncomfortable with this photographer being fined. I really wish the couple would have just found another photographer and just slapped a message on facebook and twitter telling all their friends to avoid this business.

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    I'm not going to have a very popular opinion on this. I would not patronize a business that discriminates, and I think the market would be brutal to a business that does. But I do not think it should be illegal to do so. This is something tat truly separates libertarians from almost everyone else.

    At its heart, though, this decision is fining someone for what they think and what they say, right? Is this really a precedent we want to set? What did this person do other than think something (because of religion) and say something? Doesn't the first amendment exist precisely to protect religious thought (As long as it doesn't trample on someone else's rights) and unpopular speech? Popular speech doesn't need protection, and are we really saying that this photographer's religious beliefs trample on this couple's right to have this particular photographer work their wedding?

  15. #15
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    I'm not going to have a very popular opinion on this. I would not patronize a business that discriminates, and I think the market would be brutal to a business that does. But I do not think it should be illegal to do so. This is something tat truly separates libertarians from almost everyone else.

    At its heart, though, this decision is fining someone for what they think and what they say, right? Is this really a precedent we want to set? What did this person do other than think something (because of religion) and say something? Doesn't the first amendment exist precisely to protect religious thought (As long as it doesn't trample on someone else's rights) and unpopular speech? Popular speech doesn't need protection, and are we really saying that this photographer's religious beliefs trample on this couple's right to have this particular photographer work their wedding?
    you're not wrong LM. Either way I think they set dangerous precedent. This is one of the reasons i don't like these human rights boards we have set up. I think things like this are best to be handled outside of the courts/quasi-courts. And you know the only lesson that will be learned here? Shut up. If you don't want to do photography for a gay couple just come up with another reason to decline the gig.

 

 

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