Religious liberty vs. 'a little' compromise: NM court rules for compromise

Thursday, August 22, 2013
 | 
OneNewsNow.com Staff (OneNewsNow.com)

A justice on the New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled that a wedding photographer should have snapped photos of a homosexual ceremony, calling that obligation the “price of citizenship.” 

Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing Elane Photography, released a press release late Thursday that included the words of Justice Richard C. Bosson.

In the ruling, Justice Bosson wrote that at times people “must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others” in what he called a “multicultural, pluralistic society.”

“Government-coerced expression is a feature of dictatorships that has no place in a free country,” ADF attorney Jordan Lorence says. “This decision is a blow to our client and every American’s right to live free.”

The court stated in its ruling that the couple has "to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different." Lorence interprets that to mean anti-discrimination laws in New Mexico can be used to discriminate against Christians.

"The discrimination laws simply cannot be applied in this manner to force people to present messages that they don't agree with," he tells OneNewsNow.

Lorence, Jordan (ADF)

"Decisions like this undermine the constitutionally protected freedoms of expression and conscience that we have all taken for granted," the attorney continues. "America was founded on the fundamental freedom of every citizen to live and work according to their beliefs and not to be compelled by the government to express ideas and messages they decline to support."

Elaine Huguenin and her husband refused a lesbian couple’s request to photograph their wedding in 2006. One of the women, Vanessa Willock, filed a complaint with the state’s Human Rights Commission, which ordered the photographer to pay approximately $6,600 for sexual orientation discrimination.  

Lorence said ADF is considering appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to “right this wrong.”

ADF had already lost the case in a lower court before it was appealed to the New Mexico Supreme Court last August.

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