Court Rules Bigot Jagoffs Can't Refuse to Photograph Gay Weddings

First, apologies for the double negative in the headline about this positive development: the Supreme Court of New Mexico has ruled that a photography business can't refuse to photograph a same-sex wedding on the grounds that the photographers find same sex marriage so, so, so gross. To paraphrase the ruling: the Constitution does not guarantee life, liberty, and the right to be a dick about your stupid beliefs.

Elane Photography's owners Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin refused to work for Vanessa Willock, stating that photographing her touching another woman on the feelings would force them to represent themselves to the public in a way that violated their religious beliefs that only the sort of love enjoyed between Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin is the sort of love The Lord enjoys watching from his pervy god-cloud. God HATES girl-on-girl. In essence, posting the pictures from that sinful hell-union would imply to other homophobic fossils that Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin personally endorsed Vanessa Willock's lifestyle, sort of like how photographing an enormous bridal party wearing dresses festooned with giant bows would mean that they thought everything in the world should be covered in giant bows.

A lower court in New Mexico heard Elane Photography's arguments and was like, nope, sorry, you're a business offering services to the public, and you can't just refuse to serve people based on their status as gay.


Yesterday, the state's Supreme Court issued a ruling that agreed with the lower court's, comparing Elane Photography's protestations to a refusal to photograph an interracial wedding. Justice Edward L. Chavez authored the ruling, and Justice Richard C. Bosson concurred with a pretty badass judicial screed. I bolded the really tasty parts, but the whole thing is pretty great.

In a constitutional form of government, personal, religious, and moral beliefs, when acted upon to the detriment of someone else’s rights, have constitutional limits. One is free to believe, think and speak as one’s conscience, or God, dictates. But when actions, even religiously inspired, conflict with other constitutionally protected rights—in Loving the right to be free from invidious racial discrimination—then there must be some accommodation. Recall that Barnette was all about the students; their exercise of First Amendment rights did not infringe upon anyone else. The Huguenins cannot make that claim. Their refusal to do business with the same-sex couple in this case, no matter how religiously inspired, was an affront to the legal rights of that couple, the right granted them under New Mexico law to engage in the commercial marketplace free from discrimination.


The Huguenins today can no more turn away customers on the basis of sexual orientation—photographing a same-sex marriage ceremony—than they could refuse to photograph African-Americans or Muslims.


On a larger scale, this case provokes reflection on what this nation is all about, its promise of fairness, liberty, equality of opportunity, and justice. At its heart, this case teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our nation’s strengths, demands no less. The Huguenins are free to think, to say, to believe, as they wish; they may pray to the God of their choice and follow those commandments in their personal lives wherever they lead. The Constitution protects the Huguenins in that respect and much more. But there is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life. {92} In the smaller, more focused world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different. That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship.

(sound of fireworks exploding. bald eagle sheds tear)

But this isn't all technicolor wigs and joyous listicles; conservatives are already freaking out about the ruling, claiming that this is EXACTLY THE KIND OF ICKINESS that silly "Gathering Storm" ad warned about. The gays are going to gay all over everyone's lifestyle.

Others are trying to use the case as a rallying cry for other conservatives. Like our buddy Potatoface Erickson over at RedState,

A small band of gay rights activists will not stop on the one way street of tolerance. My friends, whether you want to believe or not, you will be made to care. New Mexico shows again that gay marriage and religious freedom are incompatible. You will not be allowed to opt out.

How scawy! They won't stop until everyone gets along! Ooga booga tolerance!

It will be interesting to see how much further this case proceeds through the legal system, and fun to watch jerks get mad about it every step of the way. Schadenfreude party at my house. Everyone bring snacks.

[National Review]