In 2006 a pair of lesbians wanted Elane Photography to do the photos of their commitment ceremony. At the time, same-sex marriage and civil unions were not legally recognized. The owners of Elane Photography, Elaine Huguenin turned down the request because of her strong Christian faith. In typical gay privileged mentality, Vanessa Wilcox, one of the lesbians, filed a complaint the New Mexico Human Rights Commission claiming that she had been discriminated because of her sexual orientation.
In 2008, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission ruled in Wilcox favor and ordered Huguenin to pay Wilcox $6,639.94 in legal fees. The Christian photography appealed and the case was heard the same year and the court upheld the commission’s ruling.
In 2009, with the aid of the Alliance Defending Freedom, the case was appealed to the New Mexico Court of Appeals. The appeals court also upheld the commission’s ruling against the photographer saying:
“The owners of Elane Photography must accept the reasonable regulations and restrictions imposed upon the conduct of their commercial enterprise despite their personal religious beliefs that may conflict with these governmental interests.”
After the ruling of the appeals court, Jordan Lorence, Senior Vice President of the Office of Strategic Planning and Senior Counsel for ADF commented:
“Americans in the marketplace should not be subjected to legal attacks for simply abiding by their beliefs. Should the government force a videographer who is an animal rights activist to create a video promoting hunting and taxidermy? Of course not, and neither should the government force this photographer to promote a message that violates her conscience. Because the Constitution prohibits the state from forcing unwilling artists to promote a message they disagree with, we will certainly appeal this decision to the New Mexico Supreme Court.”
What is at stake in this case is the right of every Christian business owner to abide by their faith in the business world. If the NM Supreme Court and US Supreme Court uphold the commission’s ruling, it would set the precedent that would allow every gay person to intentionally target Christian businesses and business owners to force them to go against their faith or be sued in court and pay dearly for their faith. Some gays could see this as a means of getting money without really working for it, which is the Democratic way these days.
The New Mexico Supreme Court just made their ruling and they upheld the commission’s ruling. In the court’s ruling, Justice Richard C. Bosson stated that Elane Photography should have taken the photos of the lesbian ceremony because that is the price of citizenship. He also wrote that at times like this, people:
“…must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others,” in what he referred to as a “multicultural, pluralistic society.”
Notice that it is always the Christians who are being ordered by the courts and government to compromise their faith and not the other way around. Christians are told that they need to respect the values of others, but I’ve yet to hear any judge say that others need to respect the values of Christians.
Lorence responded to the disappointing decision of the NW Supreme Court, telling OneNewsNow:
“Government-coerced expression is a feature of dictatorships that has no place in a free country. This decision is a blow to our client and every American’s right to live free.”
“The discrimination laws simply cannot be applied in this manner to force people to present messages that they don’t agree with.”
“Decisions like this undermine the constitutionally protected freedoms of expression and conscience that we have all taken for granted. America was founded on the fundamental freedom of every citizen to live and work according to their beliefs and not to be compelled by the government to express ideas and messages they decline to support.”
Lorence and the ADF are now contemplating on whether or not they will appeal to the US Supreme Court. If they don’t appeal and allow the NM Supreme Court ruling to stand, every Christian business and business owner will be targeted by gay activists who only want to ruin their business and reap lots of money in the process. The case needs to be appealed to the US Supreme Court where the rights of Christians need to be upheld and others are told that they need to also compromise their values sometimes. It’s unconstitutional for one group of people to be forced to compromise their values and beliefs for another group that doesn’t have to compromise their values or beliefs. That’s not freedom or equality, it’s tyranny and dictatorship.
There is an awful lot riding on this case for Christians throughout America and we all need to be praying and supporting the Alliance Defending Freedom in their efforts to fight for all of us.