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NM court rules against Christians’ religious faith

Posted by Lech Dharma on June 5, 2012

Court: Christians can be ordered to violate beliefs
Refuse to photograph lesbians, get fined $7,000

by Bob Unruh

A ruling from Judge Tim L. Garcia in the New Mexico Court of Appeals says states can require Christians to violate their faith in order to do business, affirming a penalty of nearly $7,000 for a photographer who refused to take pictures at a lesbian “commitment” ceremony in the state where same-sex “marriage” was illegal.


“Americans in the marketplace should not be subjected to legal attacks for simply abiding by their beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence. “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…”

via–> Court: Christians can be ordered to violate beliefs.

Unless this Christian couple were the ONLY wedding photographers in town, why did this lesbian couple bother to file a legal complaint?  If someone doesn’t want to do business with me—for whatever reason—I’ll simply go someplace else for the product or service: it’s called taking advantage of a competitive marketplace.  Surely another local wedding photographer would take the assignment.

Even crazier than filing a trivial complaint—that was obviously politically-motivated—-was the written opinion of the court:

The judges wrote that the photography company’s claim of protection under the state constitution’s requirement that “no person shall ever be molested or denied any civil or political right or privilege on account of his religious opinion” was not applicable.

The judges suggested the interesting scenario of the photographer accepting the job, and vocally condemning the women while taking pictures.

“The owners are free to express their religious beliefs and tell Willock or anyone else what they think about same-sex relationships and same-sex ceremonies,” they said.

It would seem that the NM Court of Appeals is suggesting the use of “hate speech” in those business situations where the law compels you to act against your religion.

Personally, I’d love to be present at a “wedding” where the photographer is being paid handsomely by the happy couple to constantly insult and condemn them—and their guests—as he or she snaps away:  “Don Rickles – Wedding Photography”

3 Responses to “NM court rules against Christians’ religious faith”

  1. Jon-Paul said

    I very much enjoyed where you put the emphasis. This entire case from start up to now has been an outright mockery of the 1st Amendment’s “Free Exercise” of religion clause. Furthermore, you hit the judge straight between the eyes with his legislating from the bench viz. precedent. Well done!!

    • Thanks, Jon-Paul. It is a sad state of affairs when a court is asked to determine whether the Constitutional rights of one individual are subordinate to the legislated “civil rights” of another individual. People advancing a radical “cause” are tying-up the judicial system with complaints that could and should be settled by using common sense. In my mind the suit was frivolous to begin with—unless NO photographer was willng to take the photo assignment. Besides which, gay marriage isn’t even recognized in the State of NM.

      • Jon-Paul said

        Okay then…it is indeed a very sad state of affairs; however, there are a group of lawyers that are kind of like on a listserve that revolves around the man, myth, and legend, Volokh and he runs a masterful site right here: http://www.volokh.com/ He does have some very interesting observations in fact, reading a couple of his posts he sounds as if he’s giving Elaine and her attorney’s some excellent advice. Btw, NM used to be a same-sex not recognizable state…that has since changed. Nice to chat with you again.

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