New Mexico Supreme Court effectively ends religious liberty for individuals

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posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 05:39 PM
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Okay, the thread title is probably a little hyperbolic, but this is serious, whether one has an interest in the constitution being upheld, or is interested in real separation of church and state, and the Establishment Clause.

In 2006, Elaine Huguenin, co-owner of Elane Photography in Albuquerque, declined to photograph a lesbian wedding, telling the couple that she was religiously opposed to same sex marriage. The couple found another photographer (less expensive, one story I read reported,) but reported Huguenin to the state of New Mexico for violating the state's anti-discrimination laws, even though Huguenin said that she had no objection to photographing the couple, together or individually, she just wouldn't photograph the ceremony.

The New Mexico Human Rights Commission found that she had, indeed, violated the law, and levied a hefty fine, which led Huguenin to appeal the case into the courts, on the basis of a First Amendment right to Free Speech and the free practice of religion.

Today's decision is that by offering wedding photography services, Elane Photography is required to photograph all weddings and not refuse any client, regardless of whether to do so violates one's religious principals. It says, in effect, that Huguenin can either compromise her beliefs, or find another career.

This is troubling from a number of standpoints, but I'll let the court's decision speak to the worst of it:
www.bjconline.org...

But of course, the Huguenins are not trying to prohibit anyone from marrying. They only want to be left alone to conduct their photography business in a manner consistent with their moral convictions. In their view, they seek only the freedom not to endorse someone else’s lifestyle.

The New Mexico Legislature has made it clear that to discriminate in business on the basis of sexual orientation is just as intolerable as discrimination directed toward race, color, national origin or religion. The Huguenins today can no more turn away customers on the basis of sexual orientation—photographing a same-sex marriage ceremony—than they could refuse to photograph African-Americans or Muslims.

All of which, I assume, is little comfort to the Huguenins, who now are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives. Though the rule of law requires it, the result is sobering. It will no doubt leave a tangible mark on the Huguenins and others of similar views.

Source: Court decision of Elane Photography -v- Vanessa Willock

Earlier this year, I got into a somewhat heated discussion on this subject, because I pointed out then, and I'll point it out again now, that the end game of this is the end of religious marriage in the United States. There are sufficient activists out there, like Vanessa Willock, to assume that it is only a matter of time before a gay couple demands to be married in a Roman Catholic or Baptist church, only to sue for discrimination when they are told "no".

This decision paves the way for the government to tell those churches "If you want to marry anyone, you have to marry everyone."
edit on Thu Aug 22 2013 by DontTreadOnMe because: link added




posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 05:49 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


I have to agree with you 100% and I'm gay btw. I would have never sued the photographer and I think it is absolutely wrong of them to do so.



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 05:50 PM
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Though I am usually on the side of government over business, this ruling is not good at all. Private businesses have always been able to decide if they want to serve someone or not. I fear this case will have far-reaching consequences and not all for the better. It basically says the government can force you to do the business it wants, even if your business is private.



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 05:52 PM
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Lets see them say the say thing to a muslim photographer.... or I can make them photograph my girl and I having a romp in the bed?

I think the need the sign in the window that says we have the right to refuse service to anybody.

What I find incredible is that the married couple actually took the time and resources to sue....just move on people



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 05:52 PM
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Seems to be much like that other 45 page thread here...
www.abovetopsecret.com...
...in which a baker didnt wish to make a wedding cake for a gay wedding.

Result is the same - they got sued.



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 05:52 PM
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These folks have a particularly difficult decision ahead of them. They need to decide what is more important to them. Adherence to the law of man, or the rule of conscience. Is the $$$ going to be so important that they compromise their beliefs. This, I feel, is going to be the ultimate decision that ALL of us is going to have to make eventually.

I often wonder if all this could have been avoided by the display of a simple sign.



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 05:57 PM
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Originally posted by tinner07
I think the need the sign in the window that says we have the right to refuse service to anybody.

Don't you get it? You no longer have the right to refuse service to anyone, the state has just taken that right away.



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 06:06 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Its simple: if you have a tax id, then you are bound to execute your business in good faith. So her business is required to offer the service. She doesn't have to be the one to do it....but someone in her business needs to.

Its the same thing as the "gay cake" in colorado last month. Individuals have rights, businesses don't.



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 06:08 PM
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Originally posted by occrest
These folks have a particularly difficult decision ahead of them. They need to decide what is more important to them. Adherence to the law of man, or the rule of conscience. Is the $$$ going to be so important that they compromise their beliefs. This, I feel, is going to be the ultimate decision that ALL of us is going to have to make eventually.

I often wonder if all this could have been avoided by the display of a simple sign.



To an ethical businessman, that sign would be relative to behaviors within the store. Essentially, if you act like an a-hole, you will be sent away.

To someone less ethical, it would be fore warning that you are a bigot.



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 06:09 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by tinner07
I think the need the sign in the window that says we have the right to refuse service to anybody.

Don't you get it? You no longer have the right to refuse service to anyone, the state has just taken that right away.


Yep people don't get to refuse service to anyone anymore, especially the state.

The government is no longer the servant of the people, but it's sole master.



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 06:11 PM
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What about bars, restaurants, stores, et al... with the "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" signs posted? How is that any different?



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 06:13 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen
There are sufficient activists out there, like Vanessa Willock, to assume that it is only a matter of time before a gay couple demands to be married in a Roman Catholic or Baptist church, only to sue for discrimination when they are told "no".

This decision paves the way for the government to tell those churches "If you want to marry anyone, you have to marry everyone."


They already have a lawsuit in the works over in England.


Gay Couple Set to Sue Church of England Over Refusal to Offer Same-Sex Nuptials

With Britain's legalization of same-sex marriage will likely also come a legal battle for the Church of England. Following the queen's blessing of gay nuptials, one couple is going to challenge at least one religious denomination that refuses to marry homosexuals.

With the Church of England and the Catholic Church refusing to opt-in to officiating same-sex marriages, Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, a well-known gay advocate, told the Essex Chronicle he is planning to challenge the former institution in court.

Yahoo News

With the Anglican church being the officially recognized religion of England, they may not be able to fall behind the policy of separation of church and state and many fear the EU court could favor forcing the church to perform the marriages.


In June, an openly homosexual Government Justice Minister, Crispin Blunt, admitted to the BBC that the attempt to proscribe Church of England participation in “gay marriages” “may be problematic legally.”

The government’s proposal, he said, “is that marriage should be equal in the eyes of the state whether it’s between a same-sex couple or whether it’s between a man and a woman.” Thus, the opposition to the law by churches would fall under the provisions of the Equalities Act, the same act that resulted in the forced closure or secularization of every Catholic adoption agency in England and Wales.

‘I am still not getting what I want’: Gay couple suing church for refusing ‘wedding’



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 06:18 PM
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reply to post by neo96
 



While i agree that an individual business owner should be able to refuse service, the concept of "protected classes" keeps that from happening.

The old "We don't serve your kind 'round here".

Which is basically what refusing service for gay weddings is, isn't it?



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 06:19 PM
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there's 10 ways around what the bigger government has become. "Refuse to be a victim" sends a message...they stop public photography and do private work....trade forex for income using my "London Open" system.....stiff the lawsuit judgement....make allowance for the big government end times we have now, and also....be prepared to have to submit at some point....have fun till then seeking freedom however and whenever you see it......Ndew Mexico, huh! build lodges using the trees onsite, concrete, steel and natural stone....sounds like fun
and maintenance free


+3 more 
posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 06:26 PM
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No shoes, no shirt, . . . . never mind.

and

So I can hire a muslim chef and force him to make me bacon. . . . . all day long.

Hmm.



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 06:28 PM
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reply to post by beezzer
 


Beezer, you are a genius, I swear....good point



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 06:30 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


I found this quote by the judge interesting and I would like to get your opinion on it.


The New Mexico Legislature has made it clear that to discriminate in business on the basis of sexual orientation is just as intolerable as discrimination directed toward race, color, national origin or religion.


So I have to ask what about sexual orientation is different from race, national origin, or religion?

Furthermore it says in the court documents...


{3}
Second, we conclude that the NMHRA does not violate free speech guarantees because the NMHRA does not compel Elane Photography to either speak a government-mandated message or to publish the speech of another. The purpose of the NMHRA is to ensure that businesses offering services to the general public do not discriminate against protected classes of people, and the United States Supreme Court has made it clear that the businesses that choose to be public accommodations must comply with the NMHRA.


I have always thought that if you choose to do business in the public sphere that service should be available to all law abiding citizens. The business is not obligated to condone the activity of their clients. What about this do you disagree with?
edit on 22-8-2013 by Openeye because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 06:31 PM
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reply to post by beezzer
 


Sure, and Catholics can go to a Mosque and demand to be married there
in a Christian Ceremony, while the woman wears a low cut dress and no burka.

edit on 22-8-2013 by burntheships because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 06:31 PM
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Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
reply to post by neo96
 



While i agree that an individual business owner should be able to refuse service, the concept of "protected classes" keeps that from happening.

The old "We don't serve your kind 'round here".

Which is basically what refusing service for gay weddings is, isn't it?


We do it all the time.

When we argue with someone we are 'refusing' service LOL.

Our bigoted views, and all that jazz.
edit on 22-8-2013 by neo96 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 06:33 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


This was the one issue I had with gay marriage.

We were all assured, however, that no church/priest would be forced to marry a gay couple.

Another, hmmmmm. . . .





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