Discrimination | New Mexico | Photography

New Mexico Wedding Photography Anti-Gay Discrimination Case Now At The Supreme Court

New Mexico Supreme Court

In September we told you the story of a New Mexico photography studio who refused to photograph the commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple, claiming that doing so would be a violation of their religious beliefs.

ElanephotographyThe New Mexico Supreme Court originally ruled that Elane Photography was violating the anti-discrimination provisions of the New Mexico Human Rights Act, but Elaine Huguenin and her husband John Huguenin, the couple who owns Elane Photography, have filed a new petition with the argument that the original ruling "will interfere with the expressive activity of photojournalists in general, who engage in the same kind of expression."

Further, the couple claims that not being allowed to turn away a gay couple and having to pose, edit, and present a story through photographs of a homosexual couple that wished to pay for their services would be a form of compelled speech which would be in violation of the First Amendment guarantee of free speech.

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  1. Oh! Now they're "photojournalists," not merely "wedding photographers," and can cloak themselves in the First Amendment appropriation of "Freedom of the Press." Yep, they are good, upstanding, lying homophobic Christians who want the legal ability to discriminate.

    Posted by: Tim | Nov 10, 2013 10:53:54 AM

  2. Then they should be refused the right to do business, have their business license revoked and any further livelihood derived from their business curtailed. If you are going to do business with the general public then you are going to serve the entire general public. You cannot 'pick and choose' based upon your personal religious beliefs. (Somebody slap this couple upside the head.)

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Nov 10, 2013 11:13:09 AM

  3. Swap 'gay' for any other minority group and the absurdity of their position becomes so obvious it's laughable.

    They must have some pretty amazing lawyers working on this for it to go this far.

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Nov 10, 2013 11:20:22 AM

  4. Oy Vey! These people need to get a life! They are in business, they are suppose to want customers. It's just beyond ridiculous.

    Posted by: Gerry | Nov 10, 2013 11:22:05 AM

  5. Frightened, insecure people do really dumb things. Stanley Marcus said it best: Never stand in the way of someone trying to give you money.

    Posted by: Onnyjay | Nov 10, 2013 11:24:05 AM

  6. "will interfere with the expressive activity of photojournalists in general, who engage in the same kind of expression."

    Actual photojournalists are professionals, and would do the job they were hired to do.

    I also don't recall the Bible passage that talks about photographers not taking pictures at a commitment ceremony.

    Posted by: David in the O.C. | Nov 10, 2013 11:25:01 AM

  7. Anthony Scalia to the rescue:

    "To make an individual's obligation to obey such a law contingent upon the law's coincidence with his religious beliefs, except where the State's interest is "compelling" -- permitting him, by virtue of his beliefs, "to become a law unto himself," Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. at 167 -- contradicts both constitutional tradition and common sense."

    Posted by: Steve | Nov 10, 2013 11:26:15 AM

  8. That's a pretty complicated way of saying, "we're bigots and we hate you."

    Posted by: David | Nov 10, 2013 11:27:07 AM

  9. Ughhh.... I totally agree with the proposition that if you're going to serve the public, you have to serve the entire public, not just people whom you like. That said, WHY did this couple have to sue them?!

    This has been bad PR from the get-go for our side. And yes, I know if it wasn't this, it'd be something else, but still, the religious right-wingers have used this as scare-tactic to get straight-people to be worried about what could happen- and it does work! Now, if they had been a bakery, or a grocery store, or even just a community hall unwilling to let out their place to a gay couple- those would be great cases, cuz thats just either creating aproduct and giving it to someone, where they don't even have to see the wedding, or like a hall rental, where the product/service is already created, and they don't have to witness the "awful, sinful" ceremony.

    With this case, they do. Just wish they had boycotted them, and let their dumbasses be driven into bankruptcy or changed their minds. Optics are important.

    Posted by: scott | Nov 10, 2013 11:28:56 AM

  10. In 6 months or less they'll be back crying about how they were "driven" out of business because people decided not to use them due to their beliefs.

    Posted by: jeffg166 | Nov 10, 2013 11:39:25 AM

  11. He is a closeted queen and married because god says he must marry a woman and procreate and all than bull sh**. HE is SO afraid of homosexuality, because he is in fact gay.

    Posted by: Stephen | Nov 10, 2013 11:45:24 AM

  12. I don't understand something here..is the aggrieved couple who were discriminated against lawyers, or filthy rich? In any event, what does this do, other than prove a point, at likely great expense to themselves?
    Surely there are other wedding photographers in Albuquerque who are just as competent, if not more so, then these clowns. Seems to me that the negative newspaper publicity would be enough (and a heck of a lot cheaper).
    Supposing that the couple were compelled by court ruling to not discriminate based on sexual orientation...would YOU want them at your wedding? I think not..

    Posted by: Burt | Nov 10, 2013 12:12:12 PM

  13. I just took a look at their website. The most uninspired, point-&-click kind of stuff.

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Nov 10, 2013 12:20:35 PM

  14. doesn't this fall under the category of personal services? if a particular photographer's work can be considered unique in that way i don't think you can force them to agree to accept work from anyone if they don't want to. so the first amendment defense seems to be overkill. and the other thing is do you really want to force someone to take pictures of your special day if they wont put their best effort behind the work? you can hire the most talented person but you can't make them care about what they're doing. i have to wonder if there weren't equally if not more talented photographers who would have been happy to accept the work. sometimes its just a common sense thing. yeah it might suck to be rejected. but they would have done a bad job anyway. sometimes it just isn't about dragging everyone to court.

    Posted by: m | Nov 10, 2013 12:20:52 PM

  15. I can't believe there are some people arguing they shouldn't have been dragged into court. It's like telling a black person back in the days, "Hey, why are you so upset you have to sit at the back of the bus? I'm sure the next bus will let you sit wherever you want."

    Posted by: Michael | Nov 10, 2013 12:31:52 PM

  16. lol; I ain't no lawyer and these folks are full of it...........their defense is so weak...........

    Posted by: Bernie | Nov 10, 2013 12:33:03 PM

  17. Love the photograph of Mrs.(Bigoted and Controlling) Church Evangelist and Mr. "I have a little beard so NO one will know." super GAY FACE. Guess that sometimes you CAN tell a book by its cover! Thanks for the good laugh . . .

    Posted by: Mike | Nov 10, 2013 12:40:21 PM

  18. Did they also refuse to shoot weddings of gluttonous or divorced people? What about weddings where there'd be alcohol served?
    Lev 19:27 "Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard." They must have refused to shoot weddings with grooms with shaved heads, right?

    The anti-discrimination laws in states like New Mexico protect us all. We cannot allow people with "deeply held religious beliefs" to pick & choose who them deem worthy of their time.

    Posted by: Gigi | Nov 10, 2013 12:43:36 PM

  19. Why would this couple, or anyone, want to give their business to someone who hates them?

    Posted by: Joseph | Nov 10, 2013 12:46:11 PM

  20. Bigots. Not sure if I can think of a better word.

    Posted by: Reality | Nov 10, 2013 12:47:59 PM

  21. I still say they should be allowed to say no as a business owner...HOWEVER if they are going to claim religious beliefs as their motivation they should be required by law to state this in every advertising, marketing, and placed in their shop in the windows that they do not cater to gays and lesbians. Then let the market do the rest.

    Posted by: voice | Nov 10, 2013 12:57:05 PM

  22. It's more than a little strange that there are people who saying that the couple that experienced discrimination were wrong to take action against a business that discriminates. Has the Repulican dumbing-down of the US been so successful that people don't even understand how fighting discrimination works? That's scary.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Nov 10, 2013 12:58:59 PM

  23. @michael

    these photographers are idiots. do you want to trust morons with memories of wedding? because what remedy would you want here? yeah you can make an example of them. will that boost their iq or make them more open minded? probably not. you can also have the best doctor in the world but if for some reason they don't like you can you expect the best outcome? would you put your life in their hands? what's more important? getting the best and most talented who are willing and able to help or suing a hack or a jerk because you can?

    Posted by: m | Nov 10, 2013 1:00:04 PM

  24. @oncemorewithfeeling

    sometimes it seems to be a knee jerk reaction to use the courts to solve problems. it might not be the best or only option. it makes sense in the case of prop 8. and for marriage equality. of course. then its about legal rights. hiring an individual for a personal service is more like dating. maybe you hit it off maybe you don't but if the person you're after doesn't agree do you sue them?

    Posted by: m | Nov 10, 2013 1:07:43 PM

  25. I can hear the question of the court now: "Do you make similar judgements of the way your other potential clients live their lives?" Do you beat your fiancé? Do you drink or take drugs? Do you love Jesus? " If you don't, then why are you making this kind of judgement of this couple. OH, thats right, it ALL comes down to them being gay. Which is the definition of discrimination.

    Posted by: jeff | Nov 10, 2013 1:14:24 PM

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