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.



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  • Chris

    Engaging a photogtrapher is not the same as going to Target. By opening its doors to the public, there is an implied contract. With the photographer, a contract has yet to be negotiated. This shows how poorly ‘human rights’ and ‘hate’ legislation is usually crafted, full of little time bombs and unintended consequences, and why it is resisted by thinking people.

  • Yewsernaim

    This argument always amazes me. Its all about freedom and fairness and yet is completely immasculates another human being for not thinking or believing the same way. I don’t care what you believe, this is a wonderful country for a reason. Get a different photographer. I too believe that the photographer should refuse. If she was Jewish and forced to do anything for a nazi what conversation would be having? This is nonsense. If you want the right to marry, vote, put money into it, etc, but this is wrong. This is hurtful.

  • AuntieD

    You say the photographer is being sued because she discriminated according to sexual orientation? Well, have her insist that HER rights as a person with a heterosexual orientation are being discriminated against by being compelled to photograph a homosexual event. And, further more, the photographer should insist that the suit against her is discrimination solely because of her own heterosexual orientation.

    “Sexual orientation” is not synonymous with “homosexual”.

  • G.O.B.

    This is not a case against same-sex marriage; it is exactly as it appears. It’s simply a court taking it way too far with a subjective notion of “equality.” In fact, this is what I feared years ago with the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality. We’ve been pushing so hard against something so trivial (letting homosexuals do what they want and then making non-coercive moral statements about them) that there was bound to be pushback. This is them pushing back. It’s ridiculous, but it’s no more ridiculous than Catholics saying that the government may deny two people their right to make a contractual agreement (marriage in a strictly legal sense).

  • Bruce

    The push for same-sex “marriage” (which doesn’t exist) is not about equal rights, but rather forced approval (which they’ll never get). Must be frustrating for them.



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