We have truly reached a turning point in this country. Remember growing up and teasing with your friends? You might have said something that annoyed them, and after they told you to stop, your response would be, “It’s a free country!” But is it? It’s clear that Christian views are increasingly under attack, and the New Mexico Supreme Court has stepped in and added fuel to the fire.
As noted in the Wall Street Journal, the New Mexico Supreme Court has just ruled that a Christian photographer violated the rights of a lesbian couple by refusing to be hired to photograph their “commitment” ceremony.
Upholding a lower-court ruling, the New Mexico Supreme Court held that the company’s refusal was an act of discrimination. They rejected the argument of the devout Christian owners of Elane Photography who claimed they had a free speech and religious right not to shoot the ceremony.
Under the New Mexico Human Rights Act, it’s unlawful for a public accommodation to refuse to offer its services to someone because of the person’s sexual orientation. The same law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry and gender.
“When Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the NMHRA in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races,” the court stated in its opinion.
This is absolutely outrageous, and it is a clear example of government overreach that we see more and more of in today’s society. It is also an attack on the Christian faith, and sadly, we see more of that in today’s society as well.
Here’s an interview with an member of the organization that was representing Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin, the owners of the photography business:
The points raised by these judges defy all common sense. There is no constitutional right to photography. There certainly is a constitutional right to practice one’s religion. How could these judges make such an error?
As the Christian Post reports, one judge wrote that Elane Photography MUST be forced to violate their religious beliefs because of “the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. … it is the price of citizenship.”
“The idea that free people can be ‘compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives’ as the ‘price of citizenship’ is a chilling and unprecedented attack on freedom,” said Jordan Lorence, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom and one of the lawyers for Elane Photography. “Americans are now on notice that the price of doing business is their freedom. We are considering our next steps, including asking the U.S. Supreme Court to right this wrong.”
According to a recent Rasmussen Reports poll, 85% of those surveyed agree that the photographers should be able to turn down the job. And yet, the court ruled otherwise. What is going on in this country?