A case we’ve followed over the years has finally come to the highest court in New Mexico and the ruling from this court violates the very essence of the first amendment. The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that Elane Photography, or any photographer, cannot refuse a gay wedding. It is considered discrimination:
In a closely watched case on gay rights, religious freedom, artistic freedom, the speech rights of businesses, and a host of other legal hot button issues, the New Mexico Supreme Court today ruled that wedding photographers could not refuse to shoot gay ceremonies.
“When Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the [New Mexico Human Rights Act, or NMHRA] in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races,” the court said in a unanimous verdict.
In 2008 Elane Huguein, who runs Elane Photography, refused a gay ceremony on the basis that she only photographed traditional weddings and she has been fighting for her freedom in court ever since. Now, unless the Supreme Court will take up the issue, it appears that all photographers in New Mexico will be compelled to photograph gay weddings or risk being sued for refusing.
One of the judges even wrote in their concurring opinion that this ruling is the “price of citizenship”:
In the smaller, more focused world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different. That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship.
So we have to divorce our conduct from our beliefs once we enter the ‘world of the marketplace’? What do they think we are, politicians? My conduct is based on my beliefs and if I divorce the two then I have ripped apart the very integrity that makes me who I am.
If this is indeed the cost of citizenship, we need to change our country’s name to the United Socialist States of America. Because we are no longer a constitutional republic.