Supreme Court Declines Review of New Mexico Same-Sex Wedding Photography Case


On Monday, the Supreme Court announced it would not hear the appeal of the owners of a New Mexico photography business who claim they have a constitutional right to refuse to photograph same-sex ceremonies.

The case involves Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, the owners of Elane Photography, who in 2007 refused service for the commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple. The couple found another photographer but then sued the Elane Photography owners, arguing the Huguenins’ refusal to take their business violated a New Mexico law that protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

According to the Huguenins, they had no problem taking pictures of LGBTQ individuals, but photographing same-sex marriages or commitment ceremonies would “require them to create expression conveying messages that conflict with their religious beliefs.” The Huguenins say in the complaint that the government, through enforcing anti-discrimination laws that prevent them from turning away requests to photograph same-sex weddings and commitment ceremonies, violates their First Amendment free speech rights by “compelling” the Huguenins to present images that endorse marriage equality—a political viewpoint they do not support.

The case made its way through the New Mexico courts, with the New Mexico Supreme Court eventually ruling that the studio violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by turning away the commitment ceremony request. According to the state supreme court, the New Mexico Human Rights Act requires a commercial photography business to serve same-sex couples on the same basis as heterosexual couples. It also concluded that the First Amendment does not require an exception for creative or expressive professions.

The Huguenins had appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to take up their case, and the case was twice listed for consideration. But ultimately the court declined, denying review without comment. The Elane Photography case is one of the first to reach the Supreme Court to test the boundaries between advancing equality for the LGBTQ community and claims by religious conservatives that the Constitution grants them a right to discriminate against those individuals because of religious objections to homosexuality.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the appeal means the New Mexico Supreme Court opinion that refuses to recognize this kind of broad religious-based exemption to the state’s anti-discrimination law stands.

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  • fiona64

    Well, that makes the score card still progress: 50, bigots: 0.

    • CBJ_Uno

      Where do you work? So I can come there and force you to make me something you object to.

      • Arekushieru

        Something that isn’t discriminatory like YOU support? Doubt she would mind that. But, naw, I can pretty much guarantee that that something would be an action that is just as bigoted as you, yourself, are.

      • fiona64

        Sweetie, let me use small words so that you understand:

        When you hang out your shingle to do business with the public, you cannot discriminate. There are things called public accommodation laws (in place in every state except Arizona, in fact) that say so. This has been a matter of settled law since the 1960s.

        What you are supporting is no different from “Those black people can just go eat at a different lunch counter.”

        • CBJ_Uno

          You wrote that you was gonna use small words and then you gone wrote “accommodation.”

          That has WAY too many letters.

          • Arekushieru

            Really, even a five year old knows what accommodation means. The only difference is that this was typed instead of spoken.

          • CBJ_Uno

            My five-year-old knows how to use hyphens correctly.

          • Arekushieru

            So, thank you for proving my POINT. Besides, it can be written either way, bigoted troll.

          • CBJ_Uno

            “it can be written either way”

            Yes, it CAN. It SHOULD be written the correct way – with hyphens.

            youre not ee cummings you dont get to ignore grammar when you feel like it

          • Shan

            “youre not ee cummings you dont get to ignore grammar when you feel like it”

            What, and you are?

          • CBJ_Uno

            That flew right over your head.

          • Shan

            Probably. I’m not fond of poetry.

          • Arekushieru

            It can be written either way and STILL be correct. But, go ahead, keep proving my point if it pleases you so much.

          • fiona64

            I’m sorry that you were homeschooled, dear.

          • CBJ_Uno

            I’m sorry you were public schooled, dearie.

          • fiona64

            Obvious troll is obvious …

          • Arekushieru

            Really? You think medical degrees can be taught by parents without some type of formal learning, first? If not, hypocrite.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Remember, this is the same troll who thought that a woman could insert an IUD by herself the same way that you put a tampon in. S/h/it isn’t too bright.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Accommodation is not a difficult word.

      • Dez

        When you open a business you attain a license and agree to the non-discrimination laws. If you can not abide by that then you have the choice not to get a business license. It’s your choice to obey the law or not. No one is forcing you to do anything. You choose to open a business and the rules attached to it. Don’t like it, don’t open a business. It’s your choice.

        • ariofrio

          Leaving aside for a moment the actual law in question, it seems that your argument that “if you don’t like the law, don’t open a business” proves too much.

          For example, if there was an unjust law in the books for business owners (say, the law requires business owners to give half of their profits to Donald Trump), it seems that your argument would prove that the law should stand, since “no one is forcing business owners to do anything”. But we know the law should not stand, because Donald Trump does not have a right to half of everyone’s profits.

          The problem is that every law forces people to do things. The real question is whether or not the state has a right to force people to do that particular thing.

          • Dez

            You’re welcome to try to change the non-discrimination law by contacting your government representative. Non-discrimination laws protects religious orientation, gender, sexual orientation, age, and race. Please excuse if I forget any other classes. Your argument is not equivalent. It is not realistic in anyway because Trump is not the government or a representative of it. Donald Trump has nothing to do with the subject at hand. It is not forcing you to do anything if you agree to the rules in the first place. It is your fault for not reading the rules of running a public business and how you deal with the public. Your rights do not trump the rights of others to not be discriminated against by a public business.

          • Shan

            “The real question is whether or not the state has a right to force people to do that particular thing.”

            The state has to make a compelling argument as to WHY. Donald Trump doesn’t really factor into that.

          • fiona64

            I suggest you revisit the 1964 Civil Rights Act if you’re not clear on the matter.

            Gawd, I hate it when the Randtards invade …

  • Julie Watkins

    Good. Someone with a business permit to serve the public should serve the public.

    • CBJ_Uno

      NAMBLA is part of the public.

      Would I have to bake a cake supporting man-boy love?

      How about Neo-Nazis?

      • Shan

        NAMBLA (i.e, sex with minors) is against the law so, no, I doubt you’d have to bake a cake for that if you didn’t want to. And neo-nazis aren’t a protected class so they’re pretty much SOL if anyone wants to tell them to eff off.

        • CBJ_Uno

          Yes, sex with children is illegal.

          Baking a cake with “NAMBLA” written on the top is not.

          Support the man-boy love cake right now. Or you’re a bigot.

          • Arekushieru

            Sex with children is illegal and so should be the SUPPORT of it, because it harms children, via RAPE. Supporting homosexual marriage is legal and should be supported because the OPPOSITE harms adults, via denying them their human rights. Oops.

          • Shan

            “Support the man-boy love cake right now. Or you’re a bigot.”

            Okay, fine. Imagine this: We don’t serve your kind here.

            Which “kinds” do and don’t deserve to be served and where?

          • fiona64

            Well, I gues 5×5 has another asinine sockpuppet …

          • Jennifer Starr

            Pretty much. Same talking points and the same speech patterns. And the ‘socks’ aren’t any more interesting than the original.

      • Arekushieru

        Considering that Neo-Nazis are EQUIVALENT to those who would deny access to the LGBT community for their services, and that laws against NAMBLA are PROTECTION against discrimination, UNLIKE laws against the LGBT community, you’re asking to do things that SUPPORT gay marriage freedoms. Oops.

        You people really have difficulty with the concept of CONSENT, don’t you?

        • CBJ_Uno

          So you’re a bigot against people you don’t think are morally correct.

          Hmm…where o where have we heard that before?

          Oh, right. From bigots.

          • Arekushieru

            If that means I am intolerant of intolerance and rape and discrimination, then, yes, I am totally a bigot. But that’s not what bigot means. And NAMBLA is also pretty fucking close to those who want to DENY people gay marriage rights. After all, it’s as FAR from consent and human rights as possible just like Neo-Nazis AND just the same as people like YOU. SO fucking sorry. Seriously, can bigots stop trolling as if they’re not the bigoted ones and everyone else is? It’s getting REALLY old. Btw, flagged for the bigot you are.

      • fiona64

        What a bunch of under-educated straw man twaddle.

      • lady_black

        If someone wants you to bake them a cake, you have to bake them a cake.

        • CBJ_Uno

          Lady_black go bake me a cake.

          I want it, so you have to do it.

          You forced caker.

          • lady_black

            If I were in the business of baking cakes, I would bake cakes. If you wanted me to put something offensive on the cake, I would tell you to do it yourself.

          • CBJ_Uno

            Oh, so you get to judge what’s offensive now?

            Hmm…you sound like the people who wouldn’t place two grooms on a cake because they thought it was offensive. Nice job, bigot.

          • lady_black

            Look, frankly, a bake shop is under no obligation to carry all the cake toppers someone might dream up, and you might really like the cake and absolutely hate the toppers sold at the bake shop. You are always free to go online, or to Michaels and buy the topper you want, or make it yourself. That’s what I did for my daughter’s wedding cake. Personally I think little plastic grooms and brides are really hideous (and tacky), and you can do much better buying something on your own. I might even make a “no topper” rule, and tell people where they could obtain what they want.

          • CBJ_Uno

            Your comment wasn’t about stocking “all the cake toppers someone might dream up.” It was about not doing something you might find personally offensive.

            You see, you have no problem not doing something YOU might personally find offensive, but just object to other people who find supporting gay lifestyle offensive.

            That’s called being hypocritical.

          • Arekushieru

            Nope, supporting the rights of people in a ‘homosexual lifestyle’ is like being totally against putting a cake topper that spells out Nambla. Too bad you are just too irrational to figure out the difference, par for the course for trolls, though. I can see you’re typing a response to my comment, below that says the same thing, which proves you don’t get it.

            Besides, her previous comment WAS exactly about that. It was about businesses doing what they signed up for. A bakery did NOT sign up to have all cake toppers available upon request. Oops, again.

          • CBJ_Uno

            You like imposing your morals on other people. That’s clear hyphenlady.

          • Arekushieru

            Nope. I like being consistent. Too bad that’s so difficult for people like YOU to understand. You claim moral opposition to rape and consent are equal and refuse to understand how moral opposition to one cannot support moral opposition to the other, LET ALONE how advancing the rights of one necessarily PRECLUDES doing the same with the other. Iow, celebrating NAMBLA is like celebrating rape while celebrating homosexual and gay marriage rights is like celebrating consent. In the same way, celebrating NAMBLA is like celebrating your ilk’s opposition to consent, while celebrating homosexual and gay marriage rights is celebrating OUR opposition to rape. If we then go on to celebrate NAMBLA, we can no longer say we consistently oppose rape, now CAN we? AW, does the logic burn your brain?

            Besides, there should be a comma after “That’s clear”, just so ya KNOW.

  • Mindy McIndy

    In a way, I am glad these people are making their blatant homophobia known, because then the LGBT community and our allies won’t be shopping at their stores and hiring them.

  • P. McCoy

    I wish we could refuse to serve them under a we don’t support Jim Crow clause.

    • Dez

      I’m a queer black woman and hearing all the awful things being said about gays and the hateful history of Christianity against blacks really hurts. It’s hard not to become a “militant” anti-theist when I see the same culprits that pushed Jim Crow laws now use a modern version to discriminate against gays. The day when religious bigots are pushed to the fringes of society and ignored will not be soon enough.

  • Bryan VanWagner

    Sorry, we don’t serve Christians here… it’s against our beliefs.

    • Dez

      Christians would create a humongous uproar if it was the other way around. They mistakenly think this country belongs to them only.

      • lady_black

        Under these types of laws, the tables could well be turned.

        • CBJ_Uno

          Are you a bigot against Christians, lady black?

          • lady_black

            Not at all. But I believe you reap what you sow. Call it Karma, or whatever. I don’t have any problems with any religion. I myself am atheist. What I have a problem with is those who discriminate against others and hide BEHIND religion.

          • Arekushieru

            And here’s CBJ Uno to proclaim once again that a certain kind of bigotry is okay, while the bigotry everyone else supports is not. AW.

          • CBJ_Uno

            - — — — – – – — – -

          • Arekushieru

            Aw, poor hyphen-man. Couldn’t come up with an argument so provided me with the only answer he could. Btw, I’M Christian. Lady-black has NO problem with me. Ah, darn, foiled, again!

    • lady_black

      Oh my. Well a Christian would have a hard time getting a table in Rehoboth Beach.

  • Jennifer Starr

    And what does this have to do with anything?

  • Dez

    Seriously that’s your argument? There’s health risks for being nude. Not sure about porn since there are issues about children and abuse. But those are irrelevant to the argument that your religious beliefs do not give you the right to discriminate. Your religious rights do not trump my civil rights to be treated equally by public businesses.