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New Mexico anti-discrimination case headed to US Supreme Court

LGBT Legal Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution:Jeff Kubina
The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution:Jeff Kubina
Elane Photography v. Willock is headed to the United States Supreme Court. The case involves New Mexico’s Human Rights Act, which was found to have been violated when a photography business refused to photograph a same-sex wedding. The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled against the business in August, disagreeing that a photography business constitutes pure speech, among other things.

SCOTUSBlog reports:

An Albuquerque couple who operate their commercial photography business on Christian religious principles will ask the Supreme Court to give them constitutional protection for their views favoring traditional marriage, their lawyers said on Wednesday. The case, if accepted by the Court, would give the Justices a chance to sort out how gay rights laws passed by states are enforced against those who hold the view that marriage is only for a man and a woman.
[…]
The petition in the case is due at the Supreme Court by late November[…]

The report says the photography business owners, a couple, say they aren’t “hostile” to gays and lesbians, but are only opposed to photographing same-sex weddings. The New Mexico Supreme Court opinion tells a different story about what exactly the business won’t allow:

Elane Photography argues that it would have taken portrait photographs and performed other services for same-sex customers, so long as they did not request photographs that involved or endorsed same-sex weddings. However, Elane Photograph’s owners testified that they would also have refused to take photos of same-sex couples in other contexts, including photos of a couple holding hands or showing affection for each other. Elane Photography also argues in its brief that it would have turned away heterosexual customers if the customers asked for photographs in a context that endorsed same-sex marriage.

The petition will be filed by their lawyers, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

3 Comments

  • 1. Policy and Legal Update &&hellip  |  September 30, 2013 at 7:02 am

    […] NEW MEXICO  •  On 11 September 2013, in Elane Photogaphy v. Vanessa Willock, after losing at the NM Civil Rights Commission, NM district court, NM appeals court, and NM Supreme Court, lawyers from Alliance Defending Freedom announced that they now are seeking U.S. Supreme Court permission to discriminate against same-gender couples as a religious practice.  The photographer was fined $6,638 for refusing to photograph a lesbian civil commitment ceremony.  More than any other case, equality opponents cite this one as evidence that marriage equality for all discriminates against religious freedom for a few.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source […]

  • 2. Marriage Equality Policy &hellip  |  October 2, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    […] NEW MEXICO  •  On 11 September 2013, in Elane Photogaphy v. Vanessa Willock, after losing at the NM Civil Rights Commission, NM district court, NM appeals court, and NM Supreme Court, lawyers from Alliance Defending Freedom announced that they now are seeking U.S. Supreme Court permission to discriminate against same-gender couples as a religious practice.  The photographer was fined $6,638 for refusing to photograph a lesbian civil commitment ceremony.  More than any other case, equality opponents cite this one as evidence that marriage equality for all discriminates against religious freedom for a few.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source […]

  • 3. Equality On TrialSupreme &hellip  |  March 19, 2014 at 8:15 am

    […] commitment ceremony would force them to create speech with which they disagree. The business argues that it would have performed “other services” for gays and […]

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