On Thursday, the New Mexico Supreme Court issued a ruling that could have national implications. The court decided a Christian wedding photographer violated the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NMHRA) by refusing to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony.
“Interesting that happened in court in New Mexico,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “The New Mexico Supreme Court on Friday handed down a decision against a Christian couple who simply wanted to live their faith. That’s it. The language that the Supreme Court handed down should send a chill down your spine.”
In his concurring opinion, New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Bosson said photographers Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin “are free to think, to say, to believe, as they wish,” but they “must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others.” Bosson explained that this is “the price of citizenship.”
The Albuquerque-based photography studio Elane Photography did not want to photograph the ceremony between Vanessa Willock and Misti Collinsworth because studio co-owner Elaine Huguenin said it would violate her Christian beliefs and that the company only photographs traditional marriages.
The majority opinion for the court stated that the studio violated the rights of the lesbian couple “in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of two different races.”
The state of New Mexico does not recognize gay marriage or civil unions, hence the couple was having a “commitment ceremony.”
The opinion further stated that the New Mexico Human Rights Act does not violate the photographer’s First Amendment because it “does not compel Elane Photography to either speak a government-mandated message or to publish the speech of another.”
“What is this story about,” Glenn asked. “Well, they decide that their right to have this couple photograph their wedding trumps this couple’s right to disagree…. It is the price of citizenship according to New Mexico Supreme Court now.”
This ruling will, more than likely, end up before the U.S. Supreme Court. Sadly, Glenn, Pat, and Stu were not convinced Chief Justice John Roberts would draw a different conclusion.
“This goes to the Supreme Court. Do you know that they will decide otherwise,” Glenn asked. “You know you’ll have John Roberts come out, he’s been crying himself to sleep all night. ‘I don’t want to be called names. I don’t to go down as a guy who was a bad guy of the Supreme Court. I don’t want that.’ He’ll come out with red eyes and he’ll be like, ‘Yeah, I guess there’s no religious liberty anymore.’ That is exactly how it will turn out.”
“Think how insane that is, to not be able to choose what job you go on? To be able to choose, as you would think as a photographer, essentially choosing the subject of your art,” Stu reasoned. “You’re not now allowed to choose the subject of your art? These are liberals advocating this? Let me make sure I understand.”
“I guess now the signs that say we reserve the right to refuse anyone at restaurants are completely out the window because you can’t refuse service to anyone,” Pat added. “This is a private business being forced to do something against their religious liberties.”
Americans often have the attitude that if it doesn’t pick my pocket or break my leg, what difference does it make to me. But this ruling has implications far beyond New Mexico that should frighten any American who believes in religious freedom.
“That’s what we came here for: religious freedom,” Glenn said emphatically. “And now the Supreme Court of New Mexico has just said, ‘there’s a price to your citizenship.’ Look out. You don’t want to pay for abortions? You’re going to be soon, if this stands.”