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:
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
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
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