NM Supreme Court Rules that the Last Living Wedding Photographer in the State Must Photograph Gay Weddings

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In a move that should surprise no one, the New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled that Elaine Hugenin and her husband Jon must do wedding photos for same-sex marriages.

The couple, who own Elane Photography, declined to do wedding photos for a two-woman commitment ceremony in 2006, saying that their Christian beliefs conflicted with the message of the ceremony. The state’s supreme court ruled earlier this month that New Mexico’s non-discrimination laws trump the couple’s right to freedom of conscience.

This, once again, tosses the slogan bandied about by gay marriage supporters, If You Don’t Favor Gay Marriage, Don’t Get Gay Married in the ash can, alongside, the Who Does It Harm? canard.

In truth, forcing people to do things that are against their faith is not a benign action. Using the law to coerce people to violate their deepest moral beliefs — beliefs which have been standard throughout the Western world for 2,000 years — based on what is essentially a social fashion, should be repugnant to anyone who believes in the dignity of the individual human being and their right to free will.

The only other explanation I can think of for going to such extremes to compel this couple to violate their faith is that the Hugenin’s must be the last living wedding photographers in the state of New Mexico.

According to Catholic News Agency:

Scholar Ryan T. Anderson, writing in National Review Online, said the Aug. 22 decision “highlights the increasing concern many have that anti-discrimination laws and the pressure for same-sex marriage will run roughshod over the rights of conscience and religious liberty.”

“If marriage is redefined, then believing what virtually every human society once believed about marriage — that it is the union of a man and a woman ordered to procreation and family life — would be seen increasingly as an irrational prejudice that ought to be driven to the margins of culture. The consequences for religious believers are becoming apparent.”

Read the whole story here.

  • FW Ken

    Interesting that “marriage” for same-sex couples doesn’t exist in New Mexico, but these folks are required to photogragh said marriage… which does not exist.

    • Dale

      I guess New Mexico law doesn’t prohibit same-sex marriages, and some counties have been issuing marriage licenses. This has resulted in controversy and confusion.

      The state Supreme Court recently agreed to rule on the matter. The hearings will begin Oct. 23rd.
      http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/09/06/20366530-new-mexico-supreme-court-to-hear-same-sex-marriage-case?lite

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

        Wanna bet how they will rule?

        • Dale

          You may be right. If New Mexico truly lacks any laws which define marriage as only between a man and a woman, then they may well say that same-sex marriage is permissible. And since the Supreme Court is ruling for the entire state, I guess that would compel all the counties, even those who currently refuse, to comply.

          If so, the question would be whether the door would be left open for future legislation or constitutional amendment.

      • FW Ken

        Why would the law forbid something that 20 years ago was unthinkable?

        And since it’s going to the court, the result can be predicted. I believe 3 of the 13 states that have same-sex marriage did it through popular vote.

        • Dale

          According to the National Council of State Legislatures, 35 states prohibit same-sex marriage by statute or by constitution. 13 states allow same-sex marriage, which leaves only two states up in the air. New Mexico is one of those two states, but surely they were aware of the actions being taken around the country.

          The federal Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996, 17 years ago. It was drafted because many feared that Hawaii was about to legalize gay marriage, so the issue has been debated in the public square for quite some time. Why New Mexico did not take action before this, I don’t know. Perhaps because the state is divided on the issue?

          • FW Ken

            Interesting website. Thank you. Here’s the link to the article I assume you are referencing:

            http://m.ncsl.org/issues-research/human-services/same-sex-marriage-laws.aspx

            A couple of points. The state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage are all passed in the last 20, so I’ll give it that far back. But I’ve been following this debate since the mid-70s, when I was at U.T. Austin in grad school, and I truly don’t recall “marriage” being an issue that far back. I suppose that’s another google. Second, I overstate the number of states where same-sex marriage came about by referendum. I had thought Maryland and Minnesota voted it in, as well as Maine, but apparently not.

            I did the other google, and about the only SSM discussion before Hawaii in 1993 was a lawsuit in 1972, lost by the SSM advocates.

  • jenny

    Where should we go from here? God , please help us, NOW, before we perish….
    We need a job to put bread on the table for our children… but how ?
    What does it mean to be wise like a snake and innocent as a dove ?
    I love those people, but I disagree with what they do.

  • pagansister

    In the entire state of NM there is only ONE wedding photographer? Seriously? that seems hard to believe.

    • hamiltonr

      That was a joke, Pagansister.

      • pagansister

        Obviously I totally fell for that headline Rebecca! :-) Was tired last time I was on. It didn’t seem to make sense, but it had been a hard day, so I just took the headline (and even in reading didn’t get the joke) as “real”.

        • hamiltonr

          :-)

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    In political terms Rebecca we are being steamrolled on the SSM issue. There will be no carve outs for conscientious objectors. Well, I guess that’s a judgement on my part, so I hope I’m wrong. But just look at how Cuncinelli (sp?) is losing in Virginia, mostly on the cultural issues. It’s going to be hard for most Republicans to support them in the near future.

    • hamiltonr

      I agree Manny, on all of your points here. The Rs who don’t support them were just doing it for political purposes all along, btw. As I’ve said repeatedly, political parties are about getting and keeping power, nothing else.

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        Maybe some R’s were just doing it for political purposes. I have a more positive view of human nature. There are at least a dozen reasons to be a member of a particular party. If one of those reasons prevents you from advancing the others, then reality is you have to minimize or drop that issue. If you can’t win, you can’t advance anything.

        • hamiltonr

          But Manny, if they stop advancing the moral values I believe in, then all their advancing is corporatism. You may agree with that, but I don’t. Without its support for pro life and family, I don’t see any reason to want the Republican Party to win.

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            Yeah, but your Democratic party stopped advancing those values a long time ago, and you’re still with them. By the way, Pro-Life is going to hold on since it’s actually gaining, but SSM and contraception are losing issues. The moral component to the abortion issue is a lot simpler to articulate than SSM and contraception.

            • hamiltonr

              I agree with you about the Dems. My feeling is that we’re all going to have to take long look at ourselves and our political fealties. This is too long for a combox discussion. In fact, it’s too long for a post. But, as politics is one of the major ways that Americans act on their beliefs, it is important for us to think it through, and to think it through without undue loyalty to either party. Never excuse your party when they are wrong Manny. I don’t, and you shouldn’t. None of us should.

              • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                Sure. But unfornately our options are limited. And it doesn’t make sense to vote third party.

                • hamiltonr

                  I know. That’s why I keep hammering at this. I think we need to push hard to convert the Ds (I know how difficult that is, probably better than you) because I am convinced that if we change the Ds, we change the country. At the same time, we can’t let up on pushing the Rs to not abandon the good things they do. Then, we need to cross and convert the Rs where the fail to follow the Gospel. All this of course is work for those of us who are called to political engagement. We are losing this culture war Manny. I care about that; not the R and the D. Strange thing for someone like me to say, but true.

                  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                    I deeply care about the culture too. That’s what makes me a Conservative and not a Libertarian.

          • Dave

            Yeah, I’d rather go down in flames with a party that actually has principle and stands up for what is right, than win with a party that treats its “principles” as features to be offered if the consumers want them and discarded if they don’t.

            • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

              So which party goes down in flames on principle? All political parties make calculations. And what exactly would be the difference if you lose on principle or you acknowledge the loss and move on? Either way you lost, and by moving on you live to fight on other issues or moderate the loss somehow. I don’t see what you gain by “going down in flames.”

              • hamiltonr

                I’m not suggesting the parties go down in flames on principle Manny. I know they will never do that. I’m suggesting that we do; you and I and all Christians.

                • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                  Absolutely. I’m not changing my views. Politicians can float with the wind, and when they have to they have to, but I don’t. That’s one of the reasons i will never be a politician. ;)

                  • hamiltonr

                    We have to have Christians in all walks of life, including politics. But I can tell you that it doesn’t matter which party you chose, you will be challenged for disloyalty to the party if you put Christ first. (I’m using the journalistic you here, not referring to Manny; although maybe to myself, now that I think about it.)

                    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                      I definitely agree with that. Yes we are challenged.

  • Dave

    It just boggles my mind that a business can be forced to travel somewhere to provide a service. That is very strange. It is a different situation than refusing to serve someone who comes into a public place of business.

    I like the idea someone had of just putting up a sign that “all proceeds from gay marriage sales go to NARTH (or some similar group that is anathema to gay activists)” That would probably solve the problem.

  • Sus_1

    I don’t understand this. Everyone that was involved with my wedding had a contract with me, my husband or my parents. It is illegal to force someone into a contract. Nevermind, their religious beliefs, what if they already have an event booked for someone else on the day the same sex wedding is scheduled?

    I wouldn’t want a photographer photographing my wedding when they didn’t want to be there. What kind of pictures are they going to get?

    Same thing with the cakes. I don’t think a store can refuse to sell you a cake if you walk in and want something from the case because you are gay. But I do think that they can refuse to bake a wedding cake because again, there’s a contract.

    • Dave

      It’s too bad that people can’t use common sense as you have just done, Sus. It’s not really that complicated in cases like this.

    • FW Ken

      Sus -
      Welcome to 2013. Personally, I would hope that a Christian service provider would do the best job possible, even if bullied into doing it. But the state should be allowing these bully tactics.
      I do like the sign Dave mentioned: All Proceeds Go To…

    • Dale

      Sus, I think the issue at stake is refusal to issue a contract, rather than forcing someone into a contract. A landlord can not refuse to issue a lease to a couple because they are African-American, or Jewish, or gay. He might decline to issue the lease because the apartment is to be renovated, or someone else has already leased it, etc. Similarly, a photographer could decline a wedding shoot if he had already committed to that date for a different customer. What he can not do is refuse to photograph a wedding because the couple is African-American, or Jewish, or gay.

      It is a tough call. Like you, I wouldn’t want to use a service provider who didn’t like me or didn’t want my business. On the other hand, just because I would prefer a different, say, house painter, doesn’t mean that he should be allowed to openly discriminate against an entire class of people.

      On the other hand, I understand why a photographer or baker would feel like they are participants in the wedding. And if they have religious objections, that is unfair to them as well.

      I think the answer is tolerance and respect for each other. If an alternative photographer is available (as it was in this case) and the photographer is polite in referring the couple to another business, shouldn’t that be enough?

      • FW Ken

        I agree that the issue is tolerance and generosity, which I don’t expect to be forthcoming from the gay rights advocates. Of course, on a day to day, one to one basis, life will go on and people will relate to one another as they always have. But the advocates will push the envelopes to punish those who oppose them.

        It is funny: my boss is an out lesbian and walked in with lunch from Chik-fil-a yesterday. I commented that I love Chik-fil-a and she muttered something about them being “against my people”. Then she went and ate.

        And of course, this is where I chime in and note that being black and being gay are categorically different, making discrimination law fundamentally unjust.

        • Dale

          I am concerned about the ruling in the Elane Photography case specifically because it seems discriminatory. I assume the lawyers for the photographers argued that the anti-discrimination law was vaguely written and pitted the First Amendment rights of the photographers against the 14th Amendment rights of the engaged couple. If so, I wonder how the Supreme Court responded to that argument.

          The lawyers representing the photographers has vowed an appeal to the US Supreme Court. I think resolving such inherent conflicts in anti-discrimination laws is weighty enough that SCOTUS may consider the case. On the other hand, only a minute fraction of the cases submitted to the Supreme Court are actually taken up, so who knows.

      • Sus_1

        Thank you for clarifying the contract issue. I understand a little better now.

        However, what about all the service providers that I called and never returned my calls or said no when I got married. I had a photographer leave a message on my machine saying no. He didn’t give me a reason. Could I have sued him for not issuing a contract?

        I have a friend that was told by a photographer that he wouldn’t work with her because the he didn’t like the priest who was marrying her. He said the priest was a pain. I remembering giggling with her about it. Did she have a law suit in the making?

        I do think this issue will settle as gay marriage becomes legal across the states. It will take a while though. Probably a decade or more.

        • Dale

          Sus, I am not a lawyer and the exact application may depend upon the laws of the state and/or locality where you live. However, as I understand it, the photographer who turned you down did not say he was doing so because of your race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. If so, then there would not be a basis for a lawsuit. Similarly with the photographer who didn’t like one particular priest. As long as he was willing to work with other priests of that faith, then there wouldn’t be grounds for a lawsuit.

          I agree with you that the matter of protecting the religious freedom of individuals vs other public concerns will take some time to sort out. We are already seeing contradictory rulings to the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare.) The same is likely to be true with regard to the inherent conflict in many anti-discrimination laws. Eventually, I think the US Supreme Court will need to weigh in.

        • oregon catholic

          With regard to your question about a lawsuit (tongue-in-cheek- I’m sure) over the photographer disciminating against her choice of priest. The BIG difference is that her choice of priest (or Catholics in general) are not a protected class like gays are. Which means a photographer can openly discriminate against individual priests, priests in general, and Catholic weddings all day long and for any reason he wants including hatred of Catholics, and not break any laws. A landlord can refuse to rent to a smoker because smokers are not a protected class. But if he chooses not to rent to a gay smoker he better make clear it is the smoking and not the sexual preference for his refusal. This is the big problem with anti-discrimination laws – they are often unfair and discriminatory unless you are one of the included classes.

          I think the legal cases are all going to boil down to whether state anti-discrimination laws and public accomodation laws for businesses will be allowed to trump Constitutional rights. In other words, will the Supreme Court say it is legal to force a private business owner to give up some Constitutional rights in order to operate a public business. That’s why I remain optimistic. But if the Supreme Court ever rules that they can, that is when I will have a huge moral decision to make.

  • pagansister

    If they are willing to turn down a job and the money it would earn, because they disagree with the gender combination of the couple, then that should be their choice. It is a privately owned business, but what about those that are not privately owned? However, if all businesses were allowed to turn down business from folks they disagreed with for whatever reason, then there would be a lot more folks not getting services. At one time, Black folks couldn’t eat in “white” restaurants, or stay in certain hotels,motels etc. Expect that at that time, a white photographer would refuse to photograph a Black wedding and a white baker wouldn’t make the cake for a Black couple. Or girls couldn’t play sports that were considered only for boys etc. Those that were gay or lesbian, until recently, were afraid to “come out” because sports figures were supposed to be only straight. I know that some think there is no comparison between racial discrimination and that of SS couples wanting to marry/commit in a public ceremony. If this was a chain burger business, are they allowed to not make a hamburger for a person of color or cater a SS wedding? Where is the line drawn? I do agree that a church or religious institution shouldn’t be forced to “marry” a couple, but in the case of a photographer/cake baker they are NOT doing the joining, they are just feeding or taking picture of the affair.

    • Dave

      Yes, but I see a big difference between, say, selling a cake or a burger that is offered in-store, and forming a contract to create a wedding cake or cater for a wedding. This law is saying that not only must the business sell the product which is in-store to them (which to me is fine) but they also MUST enter into a contract to provide a service to a private event (which seems insane to me.)

      As Sus says, isn’t it illegal (not to mention immoral) to force someone to enter into a contract?

      • FW Ken

        Not just in-store. At least in the case of the baker in Oregon, she often served the gay couple, she just didn’t want to affirm their “marriage”.

      • pagansister

        Could, say, a Burger King or Mickey D’s (if they actually did catering of an event—not serving it in the establishment) turn down a SS couple’s reception (if one really wanted that for food :-) ) since they are not a “private” business, but a large corporation—yes, there is a a person operating the franchise. Just a thought. Would/should the government force that franchisee to cater that SS couples reception? Is that a contractual agreement or does that only apply to privately owned businesses?

        • FW Ken

          Full-scale wedding receptions are new down here in Texas, and you are scaring me, PS. Actually, what scares me is that I can imagine some places where BK just might be the preferred meal.

          To address the issue, remember that I consider the law inherently unjust, but you could make a distinction between a private company (even a large one like Hobby Lobby) and a publicly held corporation. But what about franchises of a public corporation? Terms could probably be written into franchise agreements, I suppose.

          It’s worth remembering that none of the sued vendors refused to serve gay persons, only participate in gay weddings.

          • Dale

            Ken, earlier this year a young couple in Illinois got married inside of a White Castle restaurant, so burger themed wedding receptions seem rather tame!
            http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/377900/16/Carla-Parris-and-Bob-Watson-exchange-vows-at-White-Castle

            You mentioned Hobby Lobby, which got me wondering about the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling this summer. The 10th Circuit includes New Mexico. Since the Elane Photography case concerns US Constitutional concerns, I wonder if the appeal of the state Supreme Court ruling would mean the US District of New Mexico would next court to consider the case. If so, the Hobby Lobby decision could be very relevant.

          • pagansister

            How is a person/business “participating” in a gay wedding by serving food? (unless in the case of Mass, the wine/wafer is considered “food” ). They are a business, and businesses are all about making money. Just a thought.

            • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

              I shall be brutal. This is sophistry of the worst sort, and you are being sophistical in the full knowledge that you are being sophistical, in order to defend a brutal injustice. In every part of the world and in every culture where weddings are celebrated – and that means in every part of the world and in every culture – the wedding banquet is an integral part of the ceremony. It is part of the expense, it is part of what people are invited to, and it is almost as representative as the religious ceremony (if there is one). Nobody, except for elopers, marries without a wedding banquet. These people were asked to lend their specialist skills in the celebration of something they regarded as wrong. I told you a few months ago that I was certain that the moment you really came across some act of brutal suppression and persecution against us, you would find some sophistical reason to find it our fault and decide that we were rightly and properly punished by a just and righteous state. I regret to have to say that you have just done it.

              • pagansister

                No blame being given to anyone, just tossing out questions. Obviously those folks won’t be taking pictures of that wedding because they object to SS weddings. In a post somewhere up there I said that they shouldn’t be forced to do so. I mentioned different circumstances that came to my mind as to perhaps ones that could be considered a problem legally. Brutal? Really? I’ve read you as “brutal”. Don’t consider your statements above that.

            • FW Ken

              You might get the answer to that question by talking with a Christian owner of a small business.

              For myself, I think that the notion that a business is “all about making money” is a source of much mischief in modern life. It’s used to justify polluting the environment, sending jobs to countries for people to work at slave wages, and I suspect you could continue the list.
              A business is for the purpose of providing a service or product. Ideally, the service/product contributes to the common good and builds up the community. Making money is a by-product of that. I think of the shoe making company that burned some years back. The owner could have taken the insurance money and retired, but he felt and obligation to his employees and the town, so he rebuilt. Here’s a similar story:

              http://centralny.ynn.com/content/news/583363/owners-vow-to-rebuild-wire-factory-destroyed-by-fire/?ap=1&MP4

              • pagansister

                FWKen, point taken with your comment(s) regarding my statement of businesses are all about making money. :-)

  • Bill S

    Pope Francis has to grant a general dispensation for professionals and businesses that are not allowed to discriminate under the law. Providing their goods and services for something that they themselves wouldn’t be able to do according to their religion should be viewed as a lesser evil than discrimination, which is also illegal.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      A general dispensation for complicity in state-sponsored baby murder. You never even try, do you?

      • Bill S

        Who said anything about murdering babies?

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          Anyone who ever said anything about abortion.

    • FW Ken

      Yes, that’s the ticket. The pope will issue a dispensation for Christians to offer Caesar his pinch of incense. The law must be followed, after all.

      • Bill S

        All I am saying is that a Catholic business owner or professional should not have to feel complicit in someone’s sin if it is not a sin for the people involved. A friend of mine has a sub shop and he sells steak and cheese and other meat containing subs on Fridays during Lent. He does not feel complicit in causing people to go against his religion.

        • Dave

          Well, it’s not a sin to eat meat on Friday’s during Lent, unless one is Catholic, so it can’t be a sin to provide meat to someone. I’m not sure if it is really a sin to bake a cake for a fake wedding either, but I can understand that someone might not be able to do that, out of conscience.

          Honestly, as Sus says, if someone says that they are uncomfortable doing it, why force the issue? Don’t people want the best possible photos and cake for their wedding? If someone is uncomfortable, the services might not be as good.

          • FW Ken

            The issue gets forced because it’s about unconditional affirmation/normalization of same-sex relationships and social identity.

            But it is an interesting issue. My gay friends and associates are not interested in marriage, but if they were, what would I do? Can I offer private support without public affirmation? Show them personal care that doesn’t affirm destructive behavior?

  • Dagnabbit_42

    Time for (serious) Christians to leave New Mexico, I should think.

    • Bill S

      Leaving the state because it has laws against discrimination is taking your religion way too seriously. The only grave matter here is the discrimination.

      • Dale

        I disagree. If a state passes a law or constitutional amendment which clashes with my core beliefs, which I find unacceptably discriminatory, I have two choices. Stay and try to change the law, or move. If change is impossible, then the alternative is to vote with your feet. Would you expect African-Americans in the Jim Crow South to remain in state, or to move when the opportunity became available?

        • FW Ken

          What’s interesting is that many African-Americans stayed in the south, Jim Crow and all. You can argue that they didn’t have the opportunity to leave; you can argue that the north was not that much of an improvement. But there is something about home… God help me, I’m a Texan. It’s a crazy place. But as much as I’ve talked about moving when Mother passed, I’ll stay here. I’ll probably die in the same hospital in which I was born.

          Which is to say that ideology goes so far, then more primal instincts kick in.

        • Bill S

          Would you expect African-Americans in the Jim Crow South to remain in state, or to move when the opportunity became available?

          That comparison is an insult to people who truly had to move for their true freedom. It’s just silly to think that someone would move to get away from “oppressive” laws against discrimination. All you have to do is stop discriminating. Is that so terrible?

          • Dale

            Bill, I realize you are an atheist, but do you have no respect for religious liberty? Would you support an atheist being compelled to recite Christian prayers in school? Why do you support the state compelling a Christian photographer to do what is contrary to his religion?

            I think the entire situation could have been resolved by mutual respect and tolerance. A simple explanation, along with a referral to another photographer, known to have shot same-sex weddings, should have sufficed. I do not see the need to demand that anyone violate their religious principles.

      • FW Ken

        Says you.

        But I do admire your god-like discernment of what constitutes “grave matter”.

  • Sven2547

    When did discrimination become the Christian thing to do?

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      From the beginning. To discriminate means to be able to tell the difference. “Test all the spirits, hold fast to what is good.” People like you, of course, would love to be told that there is no such thing as an evil spirit.

      • Sven2547

        Oh I believe there’s “evil”. I just don’t consider consenting love among adults to be evil.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          That’s because you utterly refuse to think about the meaning of the word love.

          • oregon catholic

            How true. I suppose if a couple into BDSM wanted to call it love for the man to mutilate and maim his consenting partner, Sven would call it a match made in heaven.

    • Dave

      You mean discrimination between truth and error? It started pretty early on…actually way before Christianity.

      • Sven2547

        They’re not discriminating against the abstract concepts of “truth and error”, they’re discriminating against human beings.

        • Dave

          Not really…see, as I understand, in most of these cases, the customers have been served every time they have come into the store without a problem. If they asked for a cake to celebrate almost anything else, I’m sure most business owners would provide the cake without a problem. But, in the SPECIFIC case of being asked to provide a cake for the celebration of an action that they believe to be gravely immoral, they demur. To me, that sounds like discrimination based on truth/error, not against the people themselves.

          • FW Ken

            In other words, it’s not discrimination based on sexual preferences, but discrimination against sham marriage.

        • Dale

          Sven, would the couple who insisted Elane Photography serve their wedding be committing religious discrimination against the photographers. Would you expect a kosher or halal butcher to sell pork, simply because a customer demanded it?

          • Sven2547

            A poor comparison: Elane photography already did weddings… they just refused to do this particular one.

            • Dale

              Sven, I think my comparison is appropriate. The kosher butcher already sells meat. He just doesn’t sell pork, which he considers forbidden for religious reasons. I think Elane Photography has the same approach: they do weddings, but they consider same-sex weddings forbidden for religious reasons.

            • FW Ken

              This particular “wedding” was not in accordance with the laws of New Mexico. It’s a sham as a wedding.

            • oregon catholic

              Your analogy doesn’t stand up. Jewish delis already sell meat sandwiches, just not ham sandwiches. Are you going to advocate suing one for not filling a customer request for a ham sandwich? If you say, it’s OK because it’s not on the menu then you’ll need to show me where photography for same sex couples is in this photographer’s advertising.

              What it boils down to is special rights for special groups not protected by the Constitution vs discrimination against religion which is protected by the Constitution.

          • jenny

            ..good point Dale….

  • islandbrewer

    Really, how this any different from refusing to sell a gay couple gasoline if the station owner religiously objects to the existence of gay married people?

    • Dave

      The gas station owner is not being asked to participate in their “wedding” and so would have no good reason to deny them fuel.

      • pagansister

        Gas for the limo to take them to the wedding location? :-)

        • Dave

          Well, as long as they don’t make a point of it… :-)

          Seriously, it’s the difference between what theologians would call “material cooperation” and “remote material cooperation”.

          Anyway, a gas station isn’t the greatest example as it is usually dispensed automatically.

    • FW Ken

      Are there any documented instances of self-identified gay people being refused gasoline based on their sexual preferences? In fact, the baker in Oregon regularly served the gay people who sued her for not catering their wedding. Of course you know that it’s not “being gay”, but demanding participation in their sham ceremonies.

      • islandbrewer

        The ceremony is the same. What does any legal or theological status have to do with the logistics of photographing the event? What would you bet that the photographer also photographs non-wedding events?

        Trying to label it as a “sham wedding” is just trying to disguise it as “not really discriminating against gay people,” when that’s really what it is. Are you trying to say that the photographer wouldn’t object to photographing a gay couple’s “commitment ceremony” that was explicitly not a marriage?

        Edit: On another note, Public Catholic takes hours and hours on which to post comments. A conversation that should take a few minutes takes days. Only a few of my comments have gone through, and the ones that didn’t certainly weren’t vitriolic or aggressive or profane. Kind of not surprised, however.

        • FW Ken

          Learn to read. I didn’t try to label it anything, I did label it a sham wedding, which is what it is by the laws.

          Says you. Refusing to serve people who call themselves gay is one thing, affirming their pretend marriages is another issue. If you refuse to see that, then you do.

          There really should be no confusion about what I said.I didn’t use big words in my last post. If you don’t understand them, use a dictionary. If you just have a different opinion, then you do. I’m sure your opinions are important to you.

        • Dale

          Islandbrewer, from a Catholic point of view, the ceremony is not the same. According to Catholic teaching, same-sex marriage is an impossibility. The Church holds the same view of female priests.

          Let’s say someone wants to hire a photographer to shoot a ceremony which is intended to confer the priesthood on a woman. If a Catholic photographer refused, is he discriminating against women? I suppose some might claim that, however his real motive is that the act is religiously forbidden and he doesn’t want to be part of it. That is basically the situation in New Mexico involving the photographers.


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