Gay couple gets court to force photographer to cover their wedding

Have this story handy when somebody says: “How does same-sex marriage have any impact on you?”

The Albuquerque Journal reports:

A photo studio’s refusal to photograph a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony violates the New Mexico Human Rights Act, the Court of Appeals has ruled, rejecting the Albuquerque studio’s argument that doing so would cause it to disobey God and Biblical teachings.

Vanessa Willock asked photographer Elaine Huguenin to take pictures of a “commitment” ceremony between her and her lesbian partner. The photographer said to do such would violate her moral and religious beliefs.

Vanessa could have easily used a smartphone or found a phone book and got the names of about a dozen other photographers who had no problem with this at all. (If a doctor was repulsed by the fact that my wife and I accepted Catholic teaching on contraception, I would simply find another doctor. I wouldn’t take him to court.)

Elaine Huguenin has been ordered by the courts in New Mexico to photograph a lesbian 'commitment' ceremony.

But Vanessa wanted a photographer at her ceremony who thinks what she is doing is immoral. I know. That seems odd, doesn’t it. But the reason is simple: She want this photographer to be compared to restaurants and hotels in the 1950s who refused to serve black customers.

Now let’s review: Same-sex marriage is not legal in New Mexico. Even same-sex civil unions are not recognized in New Mexico.

So on what legal basis was Vanessa Willock able to sue Elaine Huguenin of Elane Photography when she refused to photograph the “commitment” ceremony of Willock and her partner? The New Mexico Human Rights Act, which covers “sexual orientation.” Pro-family groups, including CatholicVote, have long argued that these laws are not just a “shield” protecting the rights of gays against unfair discrimination, but will be used as a “sword” to deny the rights of Christians.

Guess we were proven right on that.

From the ABQ Journal:

Elane Photography argued that categorically refusing to photograph same-sex commitment ceremonies did not constitute discrimination, but rather reflected its owners sincerely held religious and moral beliefs that prohibit the practice. Could an African-American photographer, under that rationale, be required to photograph a Ku Klux Klan rally? Elane asked hypothetically.

“The Ku Klux Klan is not a protected class,” the court noted. “Sexual orientation, however, is protected.”

The rights of conscience and religious liberty are slipping away more and more every day.



  • Michael

    Can someone help me understand this? If I’m in business and I choose NOT to serve a segment of the society let’s say everyone with blue eyes isn’t that my business? Then, if my business fails because of my decision I have received my reward for my decision. No? How can a business owner be forced to sell a good or service if they choose not to? I’m sure my Mid-western common sense is somehow flawed in our current PC world.

    Any thoughts?

  • Annette

    I’d take the lousiest pics possible and then overcharge, hehe. But that’s me.

  • Anna

    Ah the hypocrisy of the Church. The photographer is already breaking one of God commandments, the Second Commandment “of not making graven images (idolatry). The argument that since we are all made in God’s image, any photo of a human is in fact a photo of the Lord.

    Then there is the blatant ignoring of Mathew 22:36-39 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

  • Ryan

    How does taking pictures at a lesbian “commitment” ceremony violate one’s religious and moral beliefs? The couple isn’t getting married and it’s not even a civil union. Let’s say you’re a realtor and a lesbian or gay couple ask you to show them a home, do you show it? Let’s say an unmarried couple asks you to show them a home that they want to live in together, do you show it to them? Heck, let’s say a single guy who is narcissistic, greedy, and covetous wants you to show him a home, do you do it? Let’s say a heterosexual unmarried couple who’s been living together for years wants you take some pictures of them at the park, do you do it? Would saying yes to any of these scenarios violate one’s religious or moral beliefs? Just wondering

    • Yewsernaim

      I completely get what you’re saying. It does make sense. But at the same time, no matter where you stand in this or any issue, forcing a person in this way in order to make a point seems ugly.

  • Ella

    Sodomite activists will never stop until they force everyone to fully accept their chosen lifestyle. Every time we capitulate they gain strength. Their idea of “tolerance” has been clearly shown to mean “unconditionally accept everything we do while we denigrate everything you hold dear.”

  • Evelyn Milne

    Why didn’t countersue on the grounds of violation of her human rights and religious liberty?



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