Main | Saturday, September 14, 2013

NEW MEXICO: Anti- Gay Wedding Photographer Petitions US Supreme Court

The New Mexico state Supreme Court ruled against them in August, but the wedding photographer whose case has inflamed the wingnuts for years is heading to the US Supreme Court with the backing of Alliance Defending Freedom. SCOTUSblog reports:
An Albuquerque couple who operate their commercial photography business on Christian religious principles will ask the Supreme Court to give them constitutional protection for their views favoring traditional marriage, their lawyers said on Wednesday. The case, if accepted by the Court, would give the Justices a chance to sort out how gay rights laws passed by states are enforced against those who hold the view that marriage is only for a man and a woman. Although the case does not involve state authority to allow or deny same-sex marriage, it could be the first new case related to that issue to reach the Court since its first foray into that constitutional controversy last Term. The case, from the New Mexico Supreme Court, is Elane Photography v. Willock.

Their planned petition to the Supreme Court will seek to convince the Justices that their photographic work is a form of artistic expression that conveys messages, and it will argue that enforcing the New Mexico “public accommodation” law in ways contrary to their views compels them to express messages they do not embrace and interferes with the free exercise of their religious beliefs.  The state law at issue in the case bars discrimination against sexual orientation in providing access to businesses that are open to the public in general.
MSNBC has more:
“We have to guard the right to not be compelled to speak for everyone, especially those who have disfavored points of view, or else the government can compel people to advance messages they don’t agree with,” said Jordan Lorence, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative law firm representing Elane Photography. “They also couldn’t force a gay photographer to photograph a wedding at Westboro Baptist.” Could they also refuse to photograph an interracial marriage for religious reasons? “I think that they could,” he added, “because the government cannot force people to communicate messages they don’t agree with.”

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