The sound and fury emanating from the Christian right over the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear an appeal of a New Mexico case where a photography business refused to shoot a lesbian wedding is music to my ears. The American Decency Association says we’re now like North Korea!
And even though the lesbian couple found a less expensive photographer, they filed a complaint with New Mexico’s Human Right Commission and Elaine Huguenin’s photography business was ultimately found guilty of violating state anti-discrimination laws by the New Mexico Supreme Court because she wouldn’t comprise her deeply held Christian convictions.
With the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to hear this case and weigh in on the constitutional issue of religious rights vs. “gay rights” the justices have, in essence, spoken by their silence. And the verdict is that “gay rights” wins and the First Amendment loses.
The appalling New Mexico ruling will stand. A ruling where one justice actually stated that Christian business owners are “now compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives.” The ruling by this court went on to state that such coercion is “the price of citizenship.”
The “price of citizenship”?? Have we been transported to North Korea? Since when do we have to check our First Amendment freedoms at the door in order to live and work as a citizen of the United States? What happened to the land of the free where we have the free exercise of religion?
The free exercise of religion has limits, as it has always had. And half a century ago, the nation came to the conclusion that one of those limits was that religion could not be used as an excuse for a business to discriminate against people. At that time, millions of Americans had “deeply held Christian convictions” that they had to refuse to hire or serve black people and the result was a massive injustice. New Mexico is one of 21 states that now extends that protection to gays and lesbians as well. You lost. Get over it.