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(47,953 posts)
Sat Aug 24, 2013, 04:23 PM Aug 2013

NM Court Says ‘Religious Liberty’ Doesn't Justify Photographer’s Refusal To Shoot Same-Sex Ceremony [View all]

There’s a lot of talk these days about the meaning of “religious liberty” and whether or not an individual or corporation may be exempted from various laws if those statutes conflict with their sincerely held religious beliefs. Yesterday, however, the New Mexico Supreme Court took a step toward ending that debate when it said a photographer didn’t have the right to refuse to shoot a same-sex commitment ceremony.

Back in 2006, Elaine Huguenin, who owns Elaine Photography along with her husband, refused to take photos of a commitment ceremony for Vanessa Wilcock and her partner. (New Mexico law neither permits nor prohibits same-sex marriage, though the state now issues marriage licenses for same-sex couples.)

Wilcock was able to find another photographer, the Associated Press reported, but she sued Huguenin anyway, claiming a violation of New Mexico’s Human Rights Act.

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an Arizona-based Religious Right legal outfit founded by radio and television preachers, said Huguenin had every right not to shoot Wilcock’s ceremony because of her religious beliefs.

But the New Mexico high court didn’t buy that argument, saying in a unanimous decision that Huguenin’s action was the equivalent of refusing to photograph an interracial wedding, the AP reported.



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