A restaurant owner can’t refuse to serve people based on their race or gender. It is considered a public business. But how about a photographer? Not just one with a studio open to the public, but one who you would hire to come out and photograph your wedding?
A New Mexico judge now says that they can no longer pick and choose which weddings they will work at.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A professional photographer who refused to take pictures of a gay couple’s commitment ceremony violated state anti-discrimination laws, the New Mexico Court of Appeals has ruled.
The court on Thursday agreed with a previous ruling, in which a district court judge said the photo studio is considered public, similar to a restaurant or store, and cannot refuse service based on sexual orientation, the Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/JSAdE5 ). The photography studio had argued that its refusal was not an act of discrimination but a reflection of the owners’ religious and moral beliefs.
The state (New Mexico here, but all over the country) is trying to freeze out businesses that don’t toe the liberal line. Catholic adoption agencies who have the same religious objection, in many places, now have to either violate their principles or shut down to avoid lawsuits. Now we have photographers who have to do much the same thing. Sensing a trend here?
The Alliance Defense Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based legal alliance of Christian attorneys and others that represented the studio, plans to appeal. Elane Photography argued that it provided discretionary, unique and expressive services that aren’t a public accommodation under the Human Rights Act.
The studio asked hypothetically whether an African-American photographer would be required to photograph a Ku Klux Klan rally.
The court responded: “The Ku Klux Klan is not a protected class. Sexual orientation, however, is protected.”
So, you have human rights only if you’re one of the classes with special rights. Don’t we always hear how homosexuals just want equal rights, not special rights? Watch what they do, however. If you’re a Christian photographer, you can now be targeted, even if there is a photographer right next door who is more accommodating and doesn’t have the same moral qualms. This is fair?