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-   -   General Politics Court Says Gay Rights Trump Religious Rights (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=260199)

The Rick 06-05-2012 12:15 PM

Court Says Gay Rights Trump Religious Rights
 
:spock:
Quote:

Court Says Gay Rights Trump Religious Rights
By Todd Starnes

The New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld a ruling by the state’s Civil Rights Commission that a Christian photographer who refused to take pictures of a gay couple’s commitment ceremony violated the state’s discrimination law.

“Elane Photography may not discriminate in its commercial activities against protected classes as the basis for expressing its religious freedom,” Judge Tim Garcia wrote in a 45-page ruling.

The case dates back to 2006 when Vanessa Willock tried to hire Elane Photography for a “same-gender ceremony.” New Mexico law does not recognize either marriage or civil unions between persons of the same sex.

Elane Hugenin declined to accept the job and explained to Willock that because of their Christian beliefs the studio only handled “traditional weddings.”

In 2008 the New Mexico Human Rights Commission found Elane Photography guilty of “sexual orientation” discrimination. The studio is owned by a young Christian husband and wife who based their refusal on their religious beliefs.

The Court of Appeals determined that a photo studio is considered a public accommodation – much like a restaurant or a store. As such, the photo studio may not refuse services based on sexual orientation or gender identity – even if doing so would violate the religious principles of the owners.

“The owners of Elane Photography must accept the reasonable regulations and restrictions imposed upon the conduct of their commercial enterprise despite their personal religious beliefs that may conflict with these government interests,” Garcia wrote.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal advocacy group, represented the photography studio. They plan to appeal the ruling.

“Americans in the marketplace should not be subjected to legal attacks for simply abiding by their beliefs,” senior counsel Jordan Lorence said in a statement. “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.”

But the court ruled that once a business offers a service publicly, they must do so “without impermissible exception.”

Elane Photography posed a hypothetical situation to support its argument – imaging what would happen if an African-American photographer refused to photograph a Ku-Klux-Klan rally because the photographer “wanted to refrain from using her photography to communicate a message that she finds deeply offensive.”

However, Judge Garcia said the argument fails as a matter of law.

“The Ku-Klux-Klan is not a protected class,” he wrote. “Sexual orientation, however, is protected.”

The court ruled that the Christian photography company must pay fines totaling nearly $7,000.

You can read the entire court decision by clicking here.

Todd is the author of “Dispatches From Bitter America.” The book is endorsed by Sarah Palin, Mark Levin and Sean Hannity. Click here to get your copy!
http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes...us-rights.html

Reaper16 06-05-2012 12:20 PM

I'm not sure I agree that a photo studio is a public accommodation.

Chief Faithful 06-05-2012 12:21 PM

I didn't know that sexual orientation was a protected class.

The Rick 06-05-2012 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Reaper16 (Post 8660207)
I'm not sure I agree that a photo studio is a public accommodation.

Exactly. At first glance, seems like the equivalent of forcing an artist to paint a picture of something they don't want paint.

Mile High Mania 06-05-2012 12:28 PM

So, what about a web designer?

Let's say this guy owns his own web design business... a GBLT group inquires about his services to build and design a website for them. Can he just refuse or is he also in the same group as the photographer?

vailpass 06-05-2012 12:29 PM

These one who sucks the peniss are going to bring about a serious backlash on themselves.
And not in the way they enjoy.

Setsuna 06-05-2012 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vailpass (Post 8660227)
These one who sucks the peniss are going to bring about a serious backlash on themselves.
And not in the way they enjoy.

ROFLLMAOROFLLMAOROFL :clap:

If he owns his own business, I don't see how he doesn't have the right to deny his business. Does he have a monopoly on the photography market in that city?

mikey23545 06-05-2012 01:03 PM

Soon, two percent of the population will form an oligarchical ruling class in the U.S.

La literatura 06-05-2012 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chief Faithful (Post 8660211)
I didn't know that sexual orientation was a protected class.

I think a state could determine their own additional protected classes, even if the federal courts do not recognize it at federal common law. Perhaps New Mexico has done so.

I don't think sexual orientation should be recognized as a protected class, however. The arch of equality for gays is tremendously positive, and in 10 years, it will probably be absurd to think that gays were once prohibited from even having gay sex.

It's an irritating ruling, because people who believe that gay marriage is wrong should be able to decline their photography services to a gay couple. Ideally, Christian businesses should be able to be open about who their customer preferences are (traditional marriages), and non-traditional couples should seek out the better business that is open to them. We would let the market decide.

RNR 06-05-2012 06:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Literature (Post 8660903)
I think a state could determine their own additional protected classes, even if the federal courts do not recognize it at federal common law. Perhaps New Mexico has done so.

I don't think sexual orientation should be recognized as a protected class, however. The arch of equality for gays is tremendously positive, and in 10 years, it will probably be absurd to think that gays were once prohibited from even having gay sex.

It's an irritating ruling, because people who believe that gay marriage is wrong should be able to decline their photography services to a gay couple. Ideally, Christian businesses should be able to be open about who their customer preferences are (traditional marriages), and non-traditional couples should seek out the better business that is open to them. We would let the market decide.

Not if they follow the bible :rolleyes:

healthpellets 06-05-2012 06:37 PM

It's silly.

However...

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:A..._rJAupw9sCnREl

RNR 06-05-2012 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by healthpellets (Post 8660913)

Prayer has promoted bigotry throughout history~

alnorth 06-05-2012 06:46 PM

I personally believe anyone should be able to refuse to sell to, or do business with, anyone for any reason. Trying to restrict that is only going to cause them to come up with any other reason they can think of to say no.

If an old-timey southern restaurant owner wants to refuse to serve "coloreds", he should be able to do so. If a car salesman, or this photographer insists on doing business with a woman's husband and never with her, they should be able to do so. The consequence for doing something like this which the community abhors should be boycotts, losing business, bad publicity, etc. (exception: if you provide some kind of vital service important to public health like a pharmacy or hospital, you don't get that kind of leeway)

However, if we are going to have laws that say a public business is not allowed to refuse service to protected classes, and if minority races and women are considered protected classes, then I don't think this case be an exception at all. Either a business should be able to refuse to do business with any race, gender, or sexual orientation, or they shouldn't be able to refuse any of them.

alnorth 06-05-2012 06:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Literature (Post 8660903)
I think a state could determine their own additional protected classes, even if the federal courts do not recognize it at federal common law. Perhaps New Mexico has done so.

I don't think sexual orientation should be recognized as a protected class, however. The arch of equality for gays is tremendously positive, and in 10 years, it will probably be absurd to think that gays were once prohibited from even having gay sex.

It's an irritating ruling, because people who believe that gay marriage is wrong should be able to decline their photography services to a gay couple. Ideally, Christian businesses should be able to be open about who their customer preferences are (traditional marriages), and non-traditional couples should seek out the better business that is open to them. We would let the market decide.

If women and African Americans are protected classes, and should continue to be protected classes, I find it hard to believe that gays should not. (I know the feds haven't done so yet, but they probably will pretty soon)

La literatura 06-05-2012 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alnorth (Post 8660935)
I personally believe anyone should be able to refuse to sell to, or do business with, anyone for any reason. Trying to restrict that is only going to cause them to come up with any other reason they can think of to say no.

If an old-timey southern restaurant owner wants to refuse to serve "coloreds", he should be able to do so. If a car salesman, or this photographer insists on doing business with a woman's husband and never with her, they should be able to do so. The consequence for doing something like this which the community abhors should be boycotts, losing business, bad publicity, etc. (exception: if you provide some kind of vital service important to public health like a pharmacy or hospital, you don't get that kind of leeway)

However, if we are going to have laws that say a public business is not allowed to refuse service to protected classes, and if minority races and women are considered protected classes, then I don't think this should be an exception at all. Either a business should be able to refuse to do business with any race, gender, or sexual orientation, or they shouldn't be able to refuse any of them.

There is a small distinction between "sexual orientation" and "gay marriage" that I think is important, though. Sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic, but gay marriage is an act that one does.


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