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Religious liberty and gay marriage collide as New Mexico photographer loses case

Poll: 85% agree that photographer should have right to say no

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  • Vince here San Diego, CA
    Nov. 10, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    The photographer is not selling her religious ideas to the public.

    She is selling her services as a photographer.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    I promise you that this woman thinks very little about the religous rights of gay people! Freedom of religion does not mean that you can take those beliefs and use them as an excuse to do harm to others or to break the law. I remember the day my Mormon boss fired me. I never talked about being gay but he knew. The arrogant man did the same thing as this woman and went on about his religous beliefs. He never even acknowledged that I also was a Mormon. I had not come out and I was very active in church! I was gay, and as far as he was concerned ,I had no rights, not even to the same beliefs he cherished! When do you draw the line? There is a need to draw the line and they did with this law. She broke the law. Come on, she wants to do something wrong and she is using God as excuse. And we all know it! We all know it! Self ritchousness makes me sick to my stomach. Give me a break! People user God to defend something that truly is evil! Discrimination!

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    Let us ask ourselves what people would say if things were turned around and the photographer was gay and he discriminates against a Mormon couple. Then the Mormon couple sues. How many Mormons would be standing up for the religous freedom of the gay photagrapher? I dought that there would be one! As a matter of fact, I think most Mormons would be saying that the married couple deserve to win! Tell me that I am wrong! So! are we talking about the religous freedom of all people? Discrimination is wrong. It isn't right towards gay people, Mormons, or any other person! If this were done to someone that is Mormon, I would stand up for them! There are reasons that it is against the law! Discrimination is a horrible things. They knowingly broke the law in order to prove their point and I don't feel sorry for them. They wern't to worried about the rights of the gay couple or maybe they would have found a way to do the work. I certainly wouildn't feel pride in treating someone like that.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 19, 2013 5:04 p.m.

    First of all, this probably involved two gay people, so why are people screaming about the gay agendas again? I am gay and I would have simply walked away from the self ritchous woman. I don't imagine her hate filled faith would inspire my wedding pictures!
    By the way, if your so called faith means that you get the right to walk on myh religous beliefs, then yes, I have a problem with that! Because when some of these people are talking about religous freedom, I promise you that they are not thinking about the gay man's religous freedom! I have deep faith in God, and I have faith in who I am! No, it isn't religous freedom some of you want! You want the right to discriminate! You need to have some group of people you can take your hate out on! Do you notice, it is ok to treat gay people differently, isn't it! I have been out many years and been around many good Mormons among others. I don't attack their beliefs or their faith. The only sad thing is that I wish I could share their fath more

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 19, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    They broke the law! Discrimination is an ugly thing and I am going to stand up and say that making it a part of your religious belief is ridiculous! I grew up Mormon. Don't tell me that it is right! I would hope that the Mormons around me can care enough to treat me like they would anybody else and when they do, it doesn't mean that they have given up their beliefs. I don't ask that of anyone! These laws are passed to make things good for everyone and it isn't that hard to obey. If these people didn't feel comfortable taking the pictures themselves, why could they not been polite enough to find a colleague who felt ok taking the pictures? Is it that hard to treat us like human beings? If we go to get a marriage licence, I am sure they could find some one to issue one so that those who felt uncomfortable wouldn't have to. Face it, there is a deep dark ugly side to discrimination and it is uglier when people use God as an excuse!

  • shovel72 Tulsa, OK
    Sept. 18, 2013 12:16 a.m.

    Religious freedom is not curtailed by the necessity to follow anti-discrimination laws. The photographer's refusal to photograph this wedding constituted illegal discrimination, just as if she had refused to photograph a Jewish wedding because the participants were Jewish, or an old couple's wedding because they were old. Discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, is against the law. The loss of a previous legal ability to persecute others, doesn't constitute persecution. Sorry Christians, but your business isn't a church...it's a commercial enterprise. Just like everyone else's. You're not above laws the rest of us must follow. Citizens have civil rights. Businesses do not.

  • sukiyhtaky us, CA
    Sept. 16, 2013 4:51 p.m.

    This is exactly...exactly...what everyone from President Obama to leaders in the LGBT community swore would not happen---forcing people to take part in ceremonies which went against their religious beliefs. I guess they will lie to get what they want passed. And yet here we are, it is already being tested and forced down the throats of people who stand on their constitutional right of freedom of religion. I have to echo the sentiments of those who say the LGBT community wants their constitutional rights, but seek to deny others theirs. And for the record, I was/am for civil unions, but I don't believe that you should be forced to take part. Now, if it was the law I believe the probate officer (the person in the city clerks office in New Mexico that performs the ceremony) should have to, but NOT private clerics or individuals. Why would you want anyone to be part of your ceremony anyway who didn't want to be there? It was clearly for publicity and to sue and make some money...what a romantic way to start married life.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 5:47 p.m.

    So, according to the N.M. court ruling, the photographer, if asked, would be forced to shoot a transgender ceremony mocking traditional marriage to prove no discrimination.

  • Mimifran Gymea, NSW
    Aug. 26, 2013 3:32 p.m.

    David from Centerville, UT says: "The Supreme Court is saying that Americans cannot allow their religious beliefs to be expressed in their work and livelihood."
    As an outsider (not from the US) my response to this is if your Supreme Court has truly ruled that religious beliefs cannot be expressed in the workplace then woe be to all the Muslims who are required to pray multiple times during their work day as it would imply that this practice is illegal.
    Also, will they also sue businesses for celebrating religious festivities such as Christmas? Oh, I forget myself, Christmas was outlawed years ago, you can only have Holidays now!
    What are you Americans thinking?
    And this thoughtless statement - "That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us a people..."
    What rot! what hogwash! So people are expected to accept ALL behaviours, regardless of how offensive etc they may be? Well you've just opened the door to pedophilia! Well done America!
    Good luck with that!

  • But seriously folks! Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    The overarching goals of the GLBT is abolish formal religion as we now know it. Just you wait. It will all come to a head real soon and there will be well defined lines and people will start to take sides. The GLBT community is in the minority but has the loudest voice right now. When the God fearing majority gets fed up with their movement you will see a backlash at them that they will not wish to deal with. As soon as Obama is out of offfice we will see the tide swing.

  • zabivka Orem, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    I'm all for legalizing gay marriage, but this makes me uncomfortable. I occasionally do side work as a programmer, and I will frequently turn down jobs,simply because they make me uncomfortable. For example, I don't typically do sites for MLM-style businesses, or companies marketing new experimental dietary supplements, even if those companies are operating legal businesses. I'm not comfortable with contributing to their cause.

    So while I would have no problem with building a wedding website for a gay couple, I would imagine other scenarios that would make me uncomfortable, and would not want the government mandating my involvement in them.

  • MrPlate Lindon, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    @Schwa - you should read the comment thread before posting a question like that. Your question has been asked many, many times. For the umpteenth time on this thread alone, Mormons would not like it if you refused to serve them, but would respect your right of conscience to let you worship "how, where, or what they may," with an emphasis in this case on HOW your worship is expressed through the business model you choose. Mormons have put up with violent bigots, and with the mockery of the Book of Mormon musical, and with many other offenses without resorting to suing everyone who offended them. We could handle a business that refused us business. We would go elsewhere, as would supportive people of many other religions, or no religion at all, and laugh as you went out of business. But I think it's highly unlikely a Mormon would try to require you by force of law to serve him.

    You should be free to open a business and discriminate for any reason whatsoever, and be free to go down in flames for unwise business practices.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    What if my religious views prohibited me from serving Mormons? How would you feel about that?

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 1:11 a.m.

    This ruling is proof of what so many good people have been saying all along. Gay marriage is not about rights for gay people. We can find other ways to secure applicable rights for gay couples. Gay marriage is not about gays being able to live in committed relationships. No one is seeking to imprison gay couples for uniting.

    Rather, gay marriage is ALL about twisting a sacred institution in order to oppress religious people. Proponents of gay marriage can deny it all they want, and they can try to twist reality until gay couples seem like the victims. But all they really want to do is force religious people to support, endorse, and approve of homosexuality. Now they can even FORCE businesses to endorse their behavior.

    Those photographer we not denying something to a gay couple. They were denying a gay couple an endorsement of their homosexual behavior.

  • Kellsotheridiculous Gravette, AR
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:41 p.m.

    There are a few things here that it appears are being ignored in this ruling.

    1. When a business denies a service, like a convenience store that has a sign, "No Shoes. No Shirt. No Service," they have the right to set a standard for customer/proprietor relationship. There's nothing unlawful about bare feet and male torso.

    2. When a potential customer is denied service, the business is denied their fee, too. The business has a right not to earn money.

    3. In the case of photography, a non-life saving enterprise, a potential customer has more than one choice for hiring. This is the customer's right. To enforce a particular business arrangement is to take away the freedom of choice by both parties.

    I'm hoping the United States Supreme Court, if they are given this case, will see the ludicrous nature of the requirement, but, if not, it's the price paid by our nation, including Christians, for corrupting true religion with secular humanism, I believe to be a false religion. We humans, Christian or otherwise, are NEVER going to be smart enough to outdo God's guidelines for living. Time will prove it.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Aug. 25, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    @Kelliebelle66 --

    "freedom of religion is in the Bill of Rights. "

    So is the Equal Protection Clause.

    "Freedom of religion" does NOT mean "freedom to do whatever you want". Satanists are not allowed to sacrifice babies. Warren Jeffs is not allowed to rape 12 year olds. Having religious views does not give you carte blanche.

    And no, nobody cares if you hang the Proclamation in your home -- just as nobody would care if you hung the Confederate battle flag.

    @John Pack --

    "Treating reactions to marriages like the are discrimination based on class, religioun, race, ethnicity etc. does not make sense. "

    Sure it does. Discrimination against gay marriage is just as much discrimination as discrimination against interracial marriage or interfaith marriage would be.

    You may not support anti-discrimination laws -- but if you violate them, you should be willing to accept the consequences for doing so.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 7:26 a.m.

    Miss Piggie to DiH says:
    DiH: "...did the photographer screen any of her prospective straight clients...?"

    "The fact that they're heterosexual is standards test enough."

    --- So, being gay is reason enough to disriminate against them? This is a perfect example of bigotry. Pure, unadulterated, 100% bigotry. Thank you.

    Christmas Carole says:

    "Again, it's the ACT not the person."

    --- Why do you see SEX when you see a gay couple? Do you do that with a straight couple too?

    @grandma84;

    I don't care if you Mormons become "more Christian" or not. I do expect you to treat your fellow citizens better though.

    @LetsDebate;

    It appears you think that it is okay for business people to violate the law and justify it based on their "religious conscience". Okay.

    @look_to_god;

    The Constitution does NOT say that you are free to use your religion as a means to violate the law or discriminate against Americans you dislike.

    @AZ Blue & Red;

    So "universal tolerance" means that you get to discriminate and we have to go from business to business to business to business to find one willing to work with us. That sure seems like "tolerance" to me.

  • Kelliebelle66 West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 1:52 a.m.

    The LDS Church's Proclamation to the Family is hanging in my home. It states that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. What if a gay person decides to be offended by this and brings a lawsuit against the church saying the Proclamation is discriminatory? Will I be forced to remove it? Will the church be forced to stop publishing it because the Federal Government supports gay marriage? Several people say in their comments that the photographers' personal beliefs should be set aside because they own a business and therefore the mandates of the government come first. But the Constitution is the foundation on which our laws should be made and people are forgetting that freedom of religion is in the Bill of Rights. This is opening the door for the government to start dictating to churches what they can and cannot believe. In the spirit of tolerance this couple should agree to disagree with the photographer. Whether or not they do their photos really has no great bearing on this couple's life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. They infringed on someone's religious beliefs and still got their wedding and photos.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:40 a.m.

    In general I would say public accomadation laws seemed to be needed in the 1960s. However it is unclear to what extent discrimination pre-1963 was the result of actual discriminatory practices on businessmen's part, and to what extent it was forced by local laws mandating it.

    However, this is not really a public accomadation case. Treating all business services alike really does not work. Treating reactions to marriages like the are discrimination based on class, religioun, race, ethnicity etc. does not make sense. This is especially true when they are not marraiges because the state itself will only recognize man/woman marriage. That was the way things were in 2006 New Mexico, yet these people are fined for it.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:24 a.m.

    One more reminder that the story cites a Rasmussen poll (Romney is President, according to them) -- a VERY right wing poll of questionable credibility

    And it asks if a photographer should be forced to do it, NOT whether a business that is open to the public in a State with anti-discrimination laws should break the law and be OK.

    Pardon me if I think more of the Deseret News and the church which owns it than to expect an article that is not really honest.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:17 a.m.

    This is not refusal to photograph homlosexuals, it is refusal to photograph the commitment ceremony. It is all the more weird because at the time New Mexico as a state treated homosexual commitment ceremonies as not worthy of state recognition, while they would recognize the marriage of a black man and a white woman. Thus the NMSC has to admit they are drawing a false parallel. If they state can distinguish, why can't photographers?

    Someone brought up refusing to photograph fat people. The cat is, that a photographer can actually refuse to photograph anyone with over a certain body mass index, and there is nothing that can be done about it because New Mexico law does not protect for body shape.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:12 a.m.

    The issue is these people do not object to Pagans having sex, but they object to two women having sex.

    Secondly, people who try to mock the religious beliefs of others as a reasoning behind not respecting them do not understand religious freedom. The key to religious freedom is that we respect beliefs we find nonsensical. That is why I would grant religious freedom objections to a Jewish phographer who felt it would violate their religious views to photograph the wedding of a Jew and a non-Jew.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:07 a.m.

    The problem with this ruling is that the court did not pay attention to the issues at hand. If the photographer refused to ever photograph two women together in poses that could be deemed romantic, then maybe the ruling would make sense. However a commitment ceremony is a clear case of outwardly affirming certain goals, beliefs and values. It is much more that just two people together, and photographing it draws a person into supporting it at some level.

    I also have to say, despite the fact I am the number 1 support of inter-racial marriage alive, Alex Boye, Mia Love and Thurl Bailey are my heros because of it, I disagree with the NM court there as well. If a photographer belonged to a church where the Church taught that inter-racial marriage was a sin (the opposite of Elder Kimball's 1956 statement at BYU "interracial marriage is no sin"), then I would fully accept an exemption to the law for that reason. I would not support an exemption for someone who just dislikes interracial marriage, but for someone who disagrees with it on religious grounds I would support an exception.

  • stanJames Baltimore, MD
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:24 p.m.

    Desert news is fundamentally a mormon problem and the mormons were the largest contributors to supporting prop 8

    So the biz about 85% is all hogwash of a totally skewed statistical sample

    Sorry Mormons - what you do in your church re anything - thats your right under the 1st amendent

    What you do in the public marketplace is everyones business - you cant discriminate

    What you could do is sell your biz to your church, locate it on church owned property and become a church employee

    Then you could discriminate and I'd support your right to do so.

    BTW you also have the right to do plural religious marriages and live that way. no one can stop you.

    Jeffs and his FDLS went to jail for statutory rape of children as young as 9 year's old> I trust you also find that abominable." Its virtually identical btw to sharia law in some places in the muslim world.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    Aug. 24, 2013 9:45 p.m.

    Well one thing that seems to be a for certain is that this photographer will probably not get too many calls from gay couples.

    Reading many of these posts sure seems we are very digital. We are either for or against this ruling. I think we are going to have to be supportive on all sides. If Gays want to marry then it looks like we are going to have to reluctantly accept this (not agree) as well as other things that are against our beliefs. For LDS it is abortion, alcohol, tobacco, pre marital relationships, new drug laws, porn, as well as other things. I work with all of these people. I Love them but again do not agree with them.

    On the other hand many of these people with which we do not agree with need to support us in our belief or point of view. If someone does not want to take pictures then move on. I doubt she was rude or belligerent. Like we have to support all of the things we do not agree with they need to support us in things they may not believe or agree with. Universal tolerance.

  • Gregg Weber SEATTLE, WA
    Aug. 24, 2013 8:34 p.m.

    Although it might not be "christian" I am remembering the "Just a thought ... imagine" talk of Sheik Ilderim to Judah Ben Hur. (I think that quote isn't quite right but is understandable.) What would happen if a cake, a photo of some event, or something else that was against "their" standards were forced upon them? Tit for tat?
    The problem with that is that it would be just as easy, maybe easier, to say that this wasn't a normal event but a means to stick it to "them" just as it is believed they have tried to stick it to us.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 8:26 p.m.

    From now on the photographer should be networked with other photographers. Then she can say, "I won't personally be doing the shoot. But I know a photographer that does gay weddings and it will be fabulous."

  • SteveLeong aiea, HI
    Aug. 24, 2013 7:12 p.m.

    Don't waste your time with bigoted people. Hopefully they will see the light, when they talk to their OWN, Gay children, grandchildren, great grandchildren. Support ALL-friendly business's. Don't bring bad karma upon your beautiful life with their hateful judgments.

    What one sows, so shall they reap.

  • @look_to_god in flux, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 6:43 p.m.

    Trying again. (new here) Wanted to reference where I had my whole thoughts on this written, but I'll try to simplify it here.

    Most of my thoughts have already been stated, but has anyone else recognized the parallels to Romans 14 where Paul counsels on those anxious about the possibility that meat from the market may have originally been offered to pagan gods? It seems a very similar situation to me.

    Paul counsels that those who believe it would mean they participated (remember the 1st of 10 commandments?) should decline to preserve a clean conscience while those who knew they couldn't actually know could also eat with a clean conscience. He also said those who did not worry should not force the issue on those who did as it was uncharitable.

    The Constitution/Bill of Rights is the highest law of the land and is not supposed to be supersede-able by the lesser governments. The ruling may have followed a narrow interpretation of New Mexico law, but it did so to the detriment of a person's (who happened to own her own business) right to follow the dictates of her moral conscience and religion. Shouldn't happen.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Aug. 24, 2013 3:57 p.m.

    @LetsDebate --

    "You believe what the courts determine to be a violation of discrimination law should only apply to the advantage of certain groups."

    Ahhhh, no.

    Groups get classified as "protected" for very good reasons -- minority status, persecution, and so on. "Protected" is just a shorthand designation for all the legal reasons why those groups need protection. Including religious groups, remember.

    "skinheads form religions based on Aryan beliefs."

    "Aryan" does not mean "religious". Hitler was Aryan. If you're speaking specifically of Aryan Nations, that group has been classified as a "terrorist threat" and "the first truly nationwide terrorist network" -- and is therefore obviously not protected.

    "The simple fact is that requiring a gay photographer to cover a Westboro Baptist Church function is repugnant to any decent, fair-minded person"

    You are confusing repugnance with legality again.

    It is personally repugnant to me to listen KKK members as they parade down a street. Nonetheless, I will continue to fight for their right to do so. And **that** is what the New Mexico judge meant when he referred to "leav(ing) space for other Americans who believe something different".

    Equal protection, people. It's not only the law, it's the Constitution.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 24, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    Most anti-discrimination laws assign "protected class" to groups that have no choice in their condition, i.e., gender, race, handicapped, ...etc. Sexual orientation is much more nebulous. While I'll concede that sexual orientation in some individuals is inherent, in many cases it isn't. It is a choice. I know way to many examples to be convinced otherwise. As far as I am aware most laws allow private businesses to discriminate against appearances and ideologies (including religion)--matters of choice. Part of the "agenda" is to bamboozle the public into thinking that all cases of homosexuality is inherent--can't be helped and can't be controlled. This is a great lie in my opinion, and getting protected class status because of a choice is just plain wrong.

    I don't disagree with the court ruling in this case in New Mexico, but I strongly disagree with the law. This opens the door for a flood of lawsuits and every time a gay person doesn't get hired, regardless of reason, a lawsuit will be filed.

    What's next? Quotas?

  • LetsDebate PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 2:18 p.m.

    @aislander - I was right with you until your final paragraph. Although I am probably philosophically aligned with many posters, the logic of their arguments is really, in your words, "incredibly uninformed." This case needs to be taken to the SCOTUS, and if they actually rule that businesspeople cannot conduct business according to their conscience in such matters, we've got to live with it or get our politicians to better protect rights of thought and conscience.

    Then, your final paragraph. After making great points against incredibly uninformed arguments, you then make an incredibly uninformed argument about Christians having to serve the needs of homosexuals in order to be consistent with their service toward adulterers and other sinners. Do you think the photographer takes photograph of the adulterer in adulterous action? Or other sinners in their acts of sin? I'd bet any money the photographer will not photograph anyone in an act she considers to be sinful, and she clearly considers same-sex marriage to be a sinful act that offends her conscience. There is no indication whatsoever that, if a homosexual wanted personal portraits, she would be opposed to taking them.

  • Miss Piggie Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 24, 2013 1:20 p.m.

    @Really???:
    "Let's not fool ourselves. This is not about religious freedoms, it's about animus towards gays."

    It's not about animus. It's about inimicality.

    @David in Houston:
    "Just out of curiosity, did the photographer screen any of her prospective straight clients to make sure that they passed her religious-standards test?"

    The fact that they're heterosexual is standards test enough.

  • Jeffrmarks Cincinnati, OH
    Aug. 24, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    These laws were created a generation ago, when like-minded people thought that denying African Americans the right to sit at a lunch counter was acceptable. There were those who cited religion then, just as they do now. It's interesting that today is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and we're still discussing why we can't discriminate against those we do not approve of.

  • LetsDebate PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    @Contrariuserestier - thank you for confirming the suspicion of many conservatives. You believe what the courts determine to be a violation of discrimination law should only apply to the advantage of certain groups. Believe it or not, skinheads form religions based on Aryan beliefs. In raising the issue of skinheads and the Westboro Baptist Church, I was arguing they, as possible religious groups, have the same protected status as gay people do under sexual orientation. Most people of your political persuasion would seek to find loopholes to manipulate this same law if it resulted in an offense to homosexuals or other groups. Conservative Christians are not allowed any flexibility in the law.

    The simple fact is that requiring a gay photographer to cover a Westboro Baptist Church function is repugnant to any decent, fair-minded person with any consideration to the values and conscience of the gay photographer. I believe most people against homosexuality would have probably stood by a gay photographer to reject such a business proposition, until the kind of ruling we are discussing. Now I think we should force such issues just to get the legal shoe on the other foot.

  • aislander Anderson Island, WA
    Aug. 24, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    The absolute ignorance of discrimination law displayed in this thread is astonishing. For those of you who think a business can "just pretend to be busy" or otherwise lie their way around this issue are incredibly uninformed. A business that does this is setting themselves up for far easier adjudication finding of violation of the law. Do you seriously think that this type of fraud cannot be easily revealed? Do you think it wasn't tried against other civil rights laws? Once confirmed, say for example, by a classic sandwich test, (in this case, sending in a purported straight couple with similar requirements) it places the business in a legal peril much too deep to climb out of. The simple fact is that in any jurisdiction which includes sexual orientation as a protected class in public accommodations law, for-profit business open to the public (no, you can't fake that either) absolutely must treat gays equally or place their business in grave peril.

    These businesses need to re-examine their "christian values". I doubt any of them turn away adulterers, or any other multitude of "sinners". And the old "refuse service to anyone" ploy doesn't cut it either.

  • grandma84 South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 12:44 p.m.

    If the gay couple's intent is to justify their choice they might be reminded by this quote, "He that complies against his will is of his own opinion still!" Furthermore, to those who plead for Mormons to be more Christian, may it be said in rebuttal: Please refer to Mosiah 18:9.

  • Christmas Carole LAS CRUCES, NM
    Aug. 24, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    @jasonlivy
    @iplaydat
    AMEN!

    @Lightbearer
    Hon, it isn't about the person who chooses same gender sexuality, it's about the person who seeks their God given freedom of choice. Most of these post dwell on the HL's. It's NOT against them it's FOR the person not wanting to be forced. I'm fairly sure she would have photographed them individually, just not in a ceremony she morally disagreed with. Lifestyle choice not person. I'm not married therefore I choose to live celibate. I know of a homosexual man who chooses the same because he does not choose to offend God.

    @JDJones
    It's about "lifestyle" NOT people individually. Pornography is a lifestyle choice not a race. To many of us it is immoral.

    @LDS Liberal
    Homosexuality does fall under decency laws(of God)for many. Again, it's the act NOT the person.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    @LetsDebate --

    "Are businesses allowed to discriminate against protected classes "depending on the circumstances?""

    You asked about what would personally offend me, not about law.

    Legally, skinheads are not a protected class. Therefore the photographer could not be sued for refusing to service them. Westboro might be a bit trickier in legal terms, but most likely the photographer could refuse based on their political activity as opposed to their religion.

    "If the law was applied equally, the photographer would be equally obligated to cover those groups or face legal action for religious-based discrimination."

    Not necessarily. As the judge specifically pointed out in the decision, the photographer advertised herself as doing wedding photos for the public. A Jewish photographer who did not advertise that he did rallies could not be penalized for refusing to do a rally.

    "Yes the photographer can post a sign that they object on moral grounds to cover gay weddings, or photograph Hispanics. Neither sign relieves them of the legal obligation to do so"

    Right. But it means that the problem will be much less likely to crop up in the first place.

    And why NOT advertise? She's not ashamed of her moral values, right?

  • Truthseeker2 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:41 a.m.

    Re:LetsDebate
    I quoted the New Mexico Statute, which does not mention religion, however the Court considered federal law regarding religion.

    Religion was raised by Elane Photography.

    The Court found:

    "The NMHRA (New Mexico Human Rights ?) applies generally to all citizens transacting commerce and business through public accommodations that deal with the public at large, and any burden on religion or some religious beliefs is incidental and uniformly applied to all citizens.

    Therefore, the NMHRA is a law of general applicability. As such, the government need not have a compelling interest to justify the burden it places on individuals who fall under its proscriptions. Because a rational basis exists to support the governmental interest in protecting specific classes of citizens from discrimination in public accommodations, the NMHRA does not violate the free exercise clause protections under the First Amendment."

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    I liked the idea that one poster suggested. The photographer agrees to take the job but informs the clients that all the profits made will be donated to an anti-gay organization. But I would add "in the couples name and the photographer will be sending the organization their mailing address so they can send the couple a thank-you card."

  • aislander Anderson Island, WA
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    Religious beliefs do NOT allow for-profit businesses to circumvent anti-discrimination law. Same arguments were used against civil rights laws of the 60's. Substitute "Mormon" or "Catholic" or "Jewish" or "Asian" or "Caucasian" or "Interracial" for "Gay" in this argument and examine what your thoughts would be of using a "religious objection" to deny service by a business open to the public.

    To allow "religious objection" would be tantamount to invalidating all anti-discrimination law in this country. Further, the Constitution guarantees equal protection under civil law to ALL US citizens, including millions of law-abiding tax-paying gay U.S. Citizens.
    You are modern George Wallaces channeling "segregation now, segregation forever." Do you want gay people denied service at lunch counters because of the owner's "religious beliefs?" Separate drinking fountains because some citizens claim a religious objection to drinking from the same fountain as a gay person?

    Our Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom requires NO religion can be the basis of civil law. This is a good thing. It allows each citizen to personally live by THEIR own faith. But it absolutely requires that religion cannot be used to circumvent civil law by businesses.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    @OHBU
    "I hate to break it to you, but 13 states have already made same-sex marriage legal, and several others are currently considering it."

    I never said anything about gay marriage. I was pointing out that there is a feeling that all three branches of government are completely out of control and a constitutional convention of the state legislatures is an option to address this problem. Research the specifics and find out for yourself. DN does not allow links to be posted.

  • LetsDebate PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    @Contrarius

    Are businesses allowed to discriminate against protected classes "depending on the circumstances?" What would prevent a religious skinhead group or the Westboro Baptist Church from pursuing legal action against a photographer who refused service based on offense to their religious practices? If the law was applied equally, the photographer would be equally obligated to cover those groups or face legal action for religious-based discrimination.

    Yes the photographer can post a sign that they object on moral grounds to cover gay weddings, or photograph Hispanics. Neither sign relieves them of the legal obligation to do so if requested. The gay couple may have decided to ask for the photography service anyway to cause trouble for the photographer, and the end result would've been identical. I highly doubt the photographer intentionally didn't post a sign because it would've been bad for business. She likely thought she still had freedom of religion and conscience in this country, and has learned the hard way that our increasingly fascist government will dictate her business practices regardless of her conscience.

    @Truthseeker2 - religion, which you conveniently left off your list, was a protected class long before sexual orientation.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    This 'problem' should have been solved the same way slavery should have been solved, by allowing the states to decide. 600,000 people would not have been killed if the Constitution had been followed. Slavery would have died of its own immoral weight. By compelling people's conscience, no one wins, including the gay couple and the wedding photographer. Unfortunately, the thought control people, gay marriage advocates included, won't settle for anything other than compulsion to validate their wrong choices. If LDS, I thought that battle was already fought in the pre-existence. I guess some still aren't quite convinced that agency is something worth preserving. Sad for all involved. For me, I like Liberty, agency, and good choices. The battle is on again. Which side are you on?

  • Truthseeker2 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    Re:LetsDebate
    You and many others commenting on this board are missing a basic fact.

    Skinheads, nudists, pornographers, Westboro Baptist Church etc are not protected by anti-discrimination laws.
    New Mexico non-discrimination law extends to categories of "sexual orientation and gender identity" as well as "race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, physical or mental handicap or serious medical condition."

    Justice Richard C. Bosson, writing in concurrence, stated that the case “teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our nation’s strengths, demands no less."

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    @David in Houston - there is nowhere in any article involving this issue where the photographer ever says she refused to take pictures of sinners. I suspect she would take issue with a request to photograph an alcoholic while on a drinking binge, or a gambling addict on a wild night in Vegas, or a murderer in the act of committing murder. I didn't miss your point - your point was merely irrelevant to the article and issue. I doubt the photographer has a problem photographing people who are homosexual, but she does object to using her service to memorialize an event she considers sinful. That should be her God-given unalienable right as a citizen of a country that values freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.

    If she wanted, it should also be her God-given, unalienable right as a citizen of a country that values freedom of thought, conscience, and religion to refuse service to any and all sinners she wants. I don't believe that's her desire, but she should have the right to succeed or fail on whatever discriminatory practice she may want to follow.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Aug. 24, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    @LetsDebate --

    "I suspect you'd find it objectionable to force a Jewish photographer to cover a skinhead rally, or a gay photographer to cover a Westboro Baptist event."

    It depends on the circumstances. Did the Jewish photographer advertise his services for all political rallies? Did the gay photographer advertise his services for all church-related events?

    And please note: nobody DID force that NM photographer to cover that gay wedding.

    As the judge pointed out, the photographer is free to post a sign on her establishment (website, whatever), stating something to the effect that "we object on moral grounds to gay weddings. However, we run our business in compliance with all laws of the jurisdiction in which we operate."

    If she had done so, there is very little chance that the gay couple would have approached her in the first place.

    So why didn't she?

    The reason is obvious: if she had done so, she would have been making her prejudice into public knowledge. And that would have been bad for business.

    "Our nation was founded on very unique freedom principles in its day."

    Yup. And one of those principles was -- and still is -- equal protection under the law.

  • T. Publius Kissimmee, FL
    Aug. 24, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    The Alliance defending the photographer did not apply two Constitutional provisions.
    Number 1. The Supremacy Clause, Article VI:
    “…shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
    The Supreme Court of New Mexico issued their decree based upon a ‘civil rights law’ “The Human Rights Provisions is “ to the contrary notwithstanding” with “the free exercise of religion”, Amendment 1 of the U.S. Constitution which “shall be the supreme law of the land“.
    Number 2. The Supremacy Clause, Article VI:
    “…and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
    The provisions of “The Human Rights Provisions” has include ‘this photographer’, subtly, as a ‘public trust’, and -- by the New Mexico Supreme Court, subject to -- “laws of ‘the state of New Mexico’ -- “to the contrary notwithstanding“.

  • T. Publius Kissimmee, FL
    Aug. 24, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    The Alliance defending the photographer did not apply two Constitutional provisions.
    Number 1. The Supremacy Clause, Article VI:
    “…shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
    The Supreme Court of New Mexico issued their decree based upon a ‘civil rights law’ “The Human Rights Provisions is “ to the contrary notwithstanding with “the free exercise of religion”, Amendment 1 of the U.S. Constitution which “shall be the supreme law of the land“.
    Number 2. The Supremacy Clause, Article VI:
    “…and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
    The provisions of “The Human Rights Provisions” has include ‘this photographer’, subtly, as a ‘public trust’, and -- by the New Mexico Supreme Court, subject to -- “laws of “the state of New Mexico -- “to the contrary notwithstanding“.

  • David in Houston Houston, TX
    Aug. 24, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    @ DSB - Cedar Hills, UT

    You seem to have missed the point I was trying to make. The photographer is basing their religious-based discrimination on the fact that the lesbian couple are sinners. I was trying to point out that the photographer isn't interested in the sins of her straight customers. Why not? If I didn't know any better, it appears that only one sin exists in Christianity. Any sins that straight people may or may not have are obviously irrelevant to the photographer. Again, why? Why doesn't she care if the straight couple are atheists or have different religious beliefs than her? I just find it interesting that the only criteria for discrimination happens to be someone's sexual orientation. It smacks of hypocrisy.

  • Truthseeker2 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
    Aug. 24, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    Elane Photography uses various people to do the photography work. Why not hire someone willing to do same-sex marriages?

    This case arose when Willock, who was involved in a same-sex relationship, emailed Elane Photography to inquire about photography for her upcoming commitment ceremony. Willock indicated in the email that this would be a same-gender ceremony Elane Photography quickly responded, thanking Willock for her interest but explaining that Elane Photography photographs traditional weddings. Unsure what Elane Photography meant by traditional weddings, Willock sent a second email asking Elane Photography to clarify whether it does not offer [its] photography services to same-sex couples Elane Photography responded affirmatively, stating, [y]es, you are correct in saying we do not photograph same-sex weddings, and again thanked Willock for her interest in Elane Photography.

    The case was first decided by the New Mexico Human Rights Council, which ordered Elane Photography to pay Willock $6,637.94 in attorneys fees and costs. Elane Photography lost on appeal.

  • T. Publius Kissimmee, FL
    Aug. 24, 2013 10:20 a.m.

    The Alliance defending the photographer did not apply two Constitutional provisions that were applicable to her defense.
    Number 1. The Supremacy Clause, Article VI:
    "...shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
    The Supreme Court of New Mexico issued their decree based upon a civil rights law. The Human Rights Provisions is "to the contrary notwithstanding" with "the free exercise of religion", Amendment 1 of the U.S. Constitution.
    Number 2. The Supremacy Clause, Article VI:
    "...and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
    The provisions of The Human Rights Provisions has include this photographer;, subtly, as a 'public trust', and -- by the New Mexico Supreme Court, subject to -- the law of the state of New Mexico -- "to the contrary notwithstanding".

  • MKLA Santaquin, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    Is photography an art or a skill? If it is an art, should an artist be required to produce art for someone?

  • LetsDebate PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 10:09 a.m.

    @Contrarius - I concede there's a good chance I would lose such a bet to you. People of conscience are forced to concede ground all the time in this country. You and others may think it's a good thing to outlaw discrimination. I suspect you'd find it objectionable to force a Jewish photographer to cover a skinhead rally, or a gay photographer to cover a Westboro Baptist event.

    Our nation was founded on very unique freedom principles in its day. One of these was freedom to hang a shingle and conduct a business without a lot of government intrusion. People used to have the freedom to hold any opinions, including hateful ones, as part of their freedom of thought, and the government wasn't supposed to require people to violate their consciences. The free market determined which thoughts, or business-related actions arising from thoughts, were objectionable.

    We should all have the right of thought and conscience to discriminate against anyone we want, and the freedom to suffer the free-market consequences of our expressions and business practices. This photographer, and our entire country if SCOTUS rules against her, has lost a huge fundamental freedom of personal conscience.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Aug. 24, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    @DSB --

    "This should definitely go to the SCOTUS."

    I actually kind of agree with you about going to SCOTUS.

    If such cases do get there, I will be happy to bet you $100 that the photographer (and other business-owning defendants) will lose.

    Putting it before SCOTUS would help to hammer the essential legal principle into the nation's mind: discrimination is illegal. Business owners must follow the law.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    @David in Houston and many others.

    The act of marriage, or a similar ceremony, is not a sinful act for an alcoholic, or a gambler, or a divorcee. In fact, it helps to clear up a sinful situation to those living together without marriage, and in many cases provides a stabilizing force for an alcoholic, gambler, murderer, ect. It is a potentially good thing for all of them.

    It's ridiculous to compare the above-referneced ceremonies with a gay ceremony, which is in itself a sanction of what the photographer perceives as a sinful partnership. And yes, RanchHand, freedom of religion incorporates freedom of conscience and thought, and being required to participate in a sanctioning event of something that offends your conscience is a violation of your first amendment freedom of religion rights. Our country was never set up to force businessmen to perform services that violated their consciences. In fact, it was specifically established to prevent the government from imposing such requirements. This should definitely go to the SCOTUS.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    In order to do business in a state, it is necessary to obtain a business license. in order to obtain a business license, it is necessary to agree to follow the laws and regulations controlling the doing of business in the state. In New Mexico, one of those laws and regulations states that a business cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation.

    I presume that the photographer in this case had a business license (if the photographer did not that is another issue that can be raised against this commercial business). By having a business license, the photographer agreed not to discriminate based on sexual orientation. Refusing to photograph a commitment ceremony for a same-sex couple, the photographer discriminated based on sexual orientation, and violated the terms of its business license -- the terms agreed on when getting or renewing the license. If the photographer did not want to live up to the requirements of the business license, there was an easy remedy -- not getting the license and not doing business in New Mexico.

    The issue is that the photographer violated the terms of the business license. This is not about religious freedom. The Court's decision was right.

  • Jeffsfla Glendale, CA
    Aug. 24, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    This is happening because the photographers started the fight. All they had to do was say they were booked for those days. They did not have to violate a state ordinance. Now this has gone in front of NM's best legal scholars and the determination is they broke the law. They may not like the law...but they broke it and will now have to pay the fines, legal costs and possibly an eventual settlement. If you don't like the laws..change them. But to break them can only lead to anarchy.

  • Trouble Vancouver, WA
    Aug. 24, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    What if the photographer declined to photograph the couple because she was already booked at the time?

    Does this case revolve around the fact that she declined because it was a gay wedding?

    Does the photographer have to accept all parties who petition her services?

    Some business reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. No shirt, no shoes, no service, for example. Would that policy violate the law? What if the couple wanted a reception at a country club at which neither was a member? What if the country club excluded gay members?

    This is an egregious violation of religious liberty, religious liberty that even gays enjoy, so it is in everyone's best interest to see this kind of legal conclusion is overturned. This case could serve as a high water mark for the gay rights movement.

  • David in Houston Houston, TX
    Aug. 24, 2013 6:53 a.m.

    Most of these comments fall under the category of, "You won't tolerate my intolerance, and that's not fair". Is that really what choosing to become religious means: You get a free-pass to discriminate against whoever you want, whenever you want? What other groups in America have the right to treat certain people like lepers in society? ...and how exactly is that Christian behavior?

    Just out of curiosity, did the photographer screen any of her prospective straight clients to make sure that they passed her religious-standards test? Did she ask them if they were currently sinning, or if they had affairs, or had been divorced, had pre-marital sex, or were alcoholics, gamblers, etc.? No, of course not. Because whether or not her prospective clients are sinners is none of her business. She's a photographer, not a church.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 6:48 a.m.

    Let's not fool ourselves. This is not about religious freedoms, it's about animus towards gays. If you doubt that, please read the hundred of comments on here again, and see how people really feel about their neighbors.

    On another note, we have asked people to see how they would feel if we replaced gay with race in this situation. Too many people have a hard time making that connection, because they don't see past skin color. While I am not equating homosexuality to a genetic disorder, how would you feel if companies refused service to somebody because they had Downs Syndrome or autistic. I bet most of you would be outraged.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 5:25 a.m.

    @Samhill

    "Here's a question for all those who believe they have the right to impose their idea of marriage on the rest of society."

    Who was imposing their idea of marriage on the rest of society in this case? Was it the couple who requested the services of a photographer and were refused that service. Maybe it was the photographer who opposed photographing the commitment ceremony. Which group has the right to impose their views on the other?

  • snowyphile Jemez Springs, NM
    Aug. 24, 2013 5:17 a.m.

    The photographers can move if they feel harassed.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 5:11 a.m.

    "We would get up and leave. Just like we did in Missouri, Illinois, New York, and all the other places that kicked us out. We don't sit down and force others to like us."

    You are leaving out a huge part of the LDS Church's history when you mention that. Joseph Smith and other church leaders petitioned the government for help, but the government refused to protect their rights. Isn't it nice for Mormons now that they are on the hate groups crimes protected list?

    Also, don't tell me you wouldn't be upset if somebody refused to do business with you because of your religion. It's easy to say you would get up and go somewhere else it a hypothetical situation. It's very different when it actually happens.

  • daniwitz13 Kaneohe, HI
    Aug. 24, 2013 1:27 a.m.

    In Hawaii where the Legislature is deciding to call a special session to pass a SSM bill..They insist that they will include wording to the effect of exempting Churches and religious entities from fines and penalties for refusing to accommodate Gay ceremonies. They insert this to make it palatable so that it would pass. Once it is passed, things like in NM will come about and the Gay agenda wins again. It is only a ploy and ruse to placate the opposition. Like throwing them a bone to shut them up. I just hope Hawaii read Google news on this case which will be a carbon copy of what happened in NM. Pity.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:51 p.m.

    One of the many reasons that Rasmussen polls are considered bias or bogus: (note that they always had Romney ahead in the last election, and he lost terribly in electoral votes)

    The way the question is put ----
    Rasmussen poll results: "Suppose a Christian wedding photographer has deeply held religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage. If asked to work a same-sex wedding ceremony, should that wedding photographer have the right to say no?"

    Of course, if the question were "A public business does wedding photography in a State where discrimination by a business toward Gays and other groups is illegal. May they say no legally to a Gay couple who wants photos?"
    --- May I venture that the "no" would be 75%, because even those disliking Gay marriage understand what a law is.

  • Syd Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:29 p.m.

    I think the issue the photographer had was that she would have to attend a ceremony which goes against her beliefs. I equate this more to being forced to attend an event that you are not comfortable attending than to having to photograph individuals with a lifestyle you disagree with. If these ladies came into the studio and wanted some shots done, I doubt she would have had an issue with it., but when you are asked to photograph an event, you have to attend the event...all of it. Let's say a pair of nudists come in and want her to photograph their traditional nudist wedding which would require all guests to arrive naked. According to the judge, she would need to be tolerant, and attend the naked event no matter how uncomfortable it would make her.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:06 p.m.

    So, why did this go to court if these are understanding, tolerant people?

    Because, they want more than to be understood, more than to be accepted. They, consistent with the homosexual agenda, want to dominate.

  • CynicJim Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:50 p.m.

    That seems also to negate the "no shirt, no service" or a mechanic that refuses to work on a car for what ever reason, can I charge any price I want for my services. Forcing a service not desired certainly compromises the top level of quality.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:48 p.m.

    All of the comments claiming that "religious freedom" has been taken away are lying.

    The owners of this business are STILL ABLE to believe anything they want to; their business can't (businesses are NOT people and have NO RELIGION).

    Would the owners photograph the wedding of a murderer? An adulterer? A thief? Almost certainly. As such they are lying when they claim that photographing a same-sex wedding 'violates" their religious conscience. They'll violate it in oh-so many other ways, but not for gays? Bigotry at its finest.

    Do businesses that post "we reserve the right to...." have the right to refuse to service black people? Asians? Interracial couples? No? Then they have no reason to refuse service to gays either. It is exactly the same scenario. There are valid reasons to require a shirt & shoes in many businesses. There is absolute no reason in the world (not one) to refuse to service gays.

  • funny_guy Vacaville, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:13 p.m.

    Connect the dots... If it is "illegal" for a business to discriminate against a gay couple then it will also be "illegal" for churches to deny marrying them. Is this really about equality or "fundamentally changing America"?

    Fact... "The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, a sexual orientation law and public policy think tank, estimates that 9 million (about 3.8%) of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (2011). The institute also found that bisexuals make up 1.8% of the population, while 1.7% are gay or lesbian. Transgender adults make up 0.3% of the population."

    So... 1.7% of the population is gay and only 7% of gays want to marry (0.04% of the population). Other sources indicate most gay couples practice an "open marriage" lifestyle. So, the percent of "monogamous" gay couples is, at the most, 0.02% of the population (2M of 319M Americans).

    Conclusion... Non-gays want to legalize gay marriage than do gays by 1280%. Do non-gays really understand the gay lifestyle. Is legalizing gay marriage really worth the price posed to society?

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:11 p.m.

    Close to 250 comments since this article appeared a few hours ago. Lots of folks clearly have an opinion on this topic.

    Mine's pretty simple. Love. I want to love my neighbor. I understand my neighbors include folks who have different beliefs than I do and who do things I don't believe are in accord with their Father's wishes.

    I also understand I'm supposed to love them the way the Savior loves me. "What would Jesus do" is something I ponder frequently.

    I am to love those who don't love me, those who persecute me, those who revile against me.

    Appling those principles here, I suppose if I'm a photographer and asked to take pictures at a civil union ceremony I'd need to ask myself would doing it or not doing it be a better expression of love for my neighbor. Which of these was neighbor unto him...he that showed mercy on him...go and do likewise.

  • Way of the Warrior ARLINGTON, WA
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:11 p.m.

    Situations like this bring out the Libertarian buried deep within me says that privately owned and operated businesses should have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason--that government shouldn't dictate whom businesses serve.

  • grandma84 South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:31 p.m.

    Our freedom of religion is being seriously threatened by this turn of events!

  • Embarcadero SAN FRANCISCO, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:24 p.m.

    This headline and story are ridiculous. Of course anti-gay discrimination should not be allowed in public accommodations of any type. Just as a business can't decide not to serve Jews or Asians, homophobia is rightly covered by New Mexico's human rights statute.

    I realize that this is precisely the nightmare of the corporate owners of this newspaper. It may not be tomorrow or next week. It may not even be next year, but your day is coming, you will be forced to treat LGBT Americans as equals, even if it offends you to do so.

    What a pity that this newspaper cannot draw a conceptual distinction between civil equality and religious belief. That inability has been at the root of so many problems in the past 150 years, you'd think that lesson would have been learned. But no… 

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:23 p.m.

    I hope the photographer jacked up their price for this wedding in order to cover their legal fees.

  • grandma84 South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:19 p.m.

    I was appalled by the court's decision in the matter of a photographer's right to refuse to photograph a gay couple! What will be next? Will they be denied the right to refuse to photograph nudes, or worse still, people engaged in lewd acts?

  • Rebel ,
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:16 p.m.

    When I operated a Bed & Breakfast in Virginia a few years ago I displayed a sign at the entrance that only those who practice traditional family values were welcome. I did not knowing take same sex marriage,black & white couples nor those couples that were not married.
    I had the occasion to turn away all of the above and was never sued. Had I been I would have closed a much needed business in that town.
    I did keep a list of those Bed & Breakfast to share who I turn away that didn't have such values who said they would take anyone as long as their money was green..

  • 1hemlock Tooele, Utah
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:08 p.m.

    Terrible decision; and wrong. The photographers were not an emergency room, hospital, food establishment, or pharmacy that provides a service not obtainable anywhere else. So if someone says their "religion" says they should go barefoot or shirtless then no business can refuse to serve them (no shirt, no shoes, no service would be a violation of their religion???). Does this extend to a Church that has as part of their religious belief that gays should not me married, can they be accused of violating the law and be "forced" to marry them? If a potential customer is in a business and is particularly obnoxious (swearing, scantily clothed, loud, etc.) the owners now "have" to serve these people and cannot refuse them??!!
    The gay couple could go elsewhere.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:03 p.m.

    Was anyone convinced by any of these comments to change their original point of view?

  • Unbiased121 dallas, TX
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:47 p.m.

    I can understand both sides of the argument with respect to the laws on this one. Having said that, the biggenst problem that I see is that gays don't just want "tolerance," they want acceptance and approval. They want all people to agree-or be forced by law to agree-with their lifestyle. Its a sad state of affairs when judges and libs allow less than 3% of the population to force the other 97% to accept and approve of their lifestyle.

  • PhotoSponge nampa, ID
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:31 p.m.

    On the poll that was taken, I'm surprised that it was only 85%!

  • Capsaicin Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    I'm part of the 85% too

  • PhotoSponge nampa, ID
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:25 p.m.

    This is chilling and so wrong. If the photographer was a government photographer, she might be obliged to take the photos. But she was not. Therefore, she has the right to refuse service to anyone on any grounds she deems worthy. People, we need to stop these corrupt judges who are--at their pleasure--taking away our freedoms and rights! Upholding the law? Most, no longer have a clue what the law is anymore.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:16 p.m.

    What the article doesn't do is spell out the legal consequences of Elaine Huguenin's civil rights violation. Is there a financial consequence,fines for example? Prehaps the D-News staff can enlighten us? Further, in Hollywood, there is an old saying, that there is no such thing as bad publicity. A followup question for Elaine would be has there been a pick-up or a slackening off of photo shoot jobs since the infamous event? I think the take away lesson for homophobic businesses is to simply price themselves out of a paying photoshoot gig for suspected SSMs or pass the business lead on to a gay-friendly competitor as other people have suggested above. Finally, if having anti-discrimation statutes in NM's State Legal code are problematical for its Citizens, prehaps a Prop 8 type intitiative might remedy that concern. Good luck on this last suggestion though.

  • Neanderthal Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:15 p.m.

    @3grandslams:
    "For instance this famous sign, "No shirts, no shoes, no service."

    The problem is, such a sign is not illegal because there is no (state or federal) law against it.

    @atl134:
    "I'll believe that when Texas executes one..."

    Won't happen. Corporations cannot commit executable crimes such as murder. But corporations can be sued for other crimes by corporate execs/employees in the name of the corporation, such as fraud.

    Also, this from Wikipedia: "Corporate person-hood is the legal concept that a corporation may be recognized as an individual in the eyes of the law. This doctrine forms the basis for legal recognition that corporations, as groups of people, may hold and exercise certain rights under the common law and the U.S. Constitution."

    @ny's amy jo:
    This is a bad precedent. I fear this is just the beginning of same sex marriage partners 'forcing' their way and will on everyone."

    These lesbians needed a way to pay for their wedding and honeymoon. So, they devised this scheme which would allow them to sue someone and perhaps get a monetary payout.

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:13 p.m.

    As a Democrat and a supporter of same sex marriage, I find that everyone has rights and if someone does not believe the way I do they shouldn't have to betray what they believe to accommodate what I believe.
    Are there not enough photographers in New Mexico that this Gay couple could have gotten for the photo shoot and let Elane Photography just lose the business?
    I'm sorry folks but I believe this is something we progressives need to think through. Neo Cons are on us constantly trying to force religion and us and we rebel. This is US trying to make one of them do something that if it were US, we'd be screaming....
    We can't have it both ways people... Maybe Tea baggers and some progressives need to learn the art of compromise.

  • MartyMcFly Blaine, WA
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:09 p.m.

    With this 'problem', one need look no further than this present administration!

  • VAggie Bristow, United States
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:00 p.m.

    Oragami, I would not patronize that store. Photographers have to market themselves and are artists.If an artist markets themselves as evangelical Christian then they may not be willing to have hard drugs in the picture, because it does not fit their brand, because it is contrary to the beliefs of their target audience. Homosexuality is similar in that it contradicts the beliefs of clients and could it difficult to brand a company as "Christian". And no I'm not saying the 2 are equivalent, I said drugs to illustrate a point.

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:56 p.m.

    The ruling stated that a commercial business has to serve any potential client who asks. That is a fundamental shift in this country. Restaurants reserve the right to not serve people based on how they dress or how they conduct themselves. Auto mechanics will sometimes only work on cars of particular makes. There is a bar in DC that won't allow patrons to enter unless they are facebook friends of the owner.

    What we have here is the concept of a "protected class." A restaurant is not allowed to deny service based on skin color, for example. What we have here is a "protected class" based solely on their open performance of an activity a substantial majority of Americans consider to be sinful. On the other hand, there are plenty of other "sins" whose open practitioners don't get shunned like those of this "sin."

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:52 p.m.

    I love all the comments about gay people being "intolerant" because they object to being discriminated against.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    iplaydat
    South Jordan, UT

    So to those who think this was the right decision from the court, let me ask you this:

    I am a music composer. If a potential client approaches me and wants me to compose music for their porn film, do I have to take the job

    ===========

    No,
    That would fall under "decency" laws.

    BTW - There is no more "pornography" in a gay wedding photo album than there is in a straight wedding photo album.

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    I don't see much "glue" in society in compelling people to do something they are morally opposed to doing. Instead I see that as far more alienating and providing cohesion.

    I did not see in the article what the penalty was for the photographer for violating this law. I wonder if it was a token penalty, because changing mindsets appears to be the main motivation behind both the suit and the rulings. The point wasn't to make this photographer take the pictures as they found somebody else who already did.

    I for one would not want a photographer who, for whatever reason, could potentially be suspect in providing a quality service if they were forced to provide it as outlined. I would rather hire a photographer who would be more enthusiastic about the job--whatever the job. Creative people who are enthusiastic will likely provide a better product, than one who is not enthusiastic.

  • JD Jones Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:43 p.m.

    iplaydat,

    You are comparing oranges with apples. If you want to make a fair comparison, you should say, "I am a music composer. I write music for porn films, but if a black man asks me to make music for his porn film, I will say no because it's against my religious beliefs to provide my services to black people."

    The issue isn't about content, or will it ever be about content. It's about denying business to someone based on their sexual orientation.

  • Snippy Las Vegas, NV
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:43 p.m.

    Why don't gays "have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different?" The real tragedy in the judge’s opinion is that tolerance is defined as a one way street-the religious have to sacrifice while the seculars do not.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:42 p.m.

    @ Origami

    Really?? Like the Taliban??? So refusing to take a few pictures is the same as torture, mass murder, rape, stoning, public amputations, castration, dragging people through the streets behind a jeep, bombings, using women and children as human shields, etc.

    Comparing to the Taliban is a non-existent comparison. It just reveals a lot about the one taking that cheap shot.

  • JD Jones Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    Imagine if the title of the article read, " Religious liberty and inter-racial marriage collide as New Mexico photographer loses case." What then would you think of the notion of religious liberty?

    Does an anti-gay religious person rents apartments have the right to refuse gay people simply because they are gay? What if for religious reasons someone refuses to rent an apartment to a Jewish person?

    The religious here are on the wrong moral side of the fence.

  • goldfever St. George, U
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    In the last days evil will be called good and good will be called evil. I didn't know what that meant as a kid now I know. The end is coming lets prepare.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    If I were a photographer, I probably would not be able to do my best work at an event which I found fundamentally repugnant and morally reprehensible.

    But, if coerced by the law by threat of imprisonment to go take pictures anyway, I guess I could show up and try to take some.

    I would worry that I might forget to put film in the camera, or the batteries might all be dead, or I might have a sudden medical emergency which would delay my arrival. (I mean, sudden nausea and sweating MAY be something serious...)

    Just saying, you can herd a photographer to a wedding, but some might not like the results.

    The left's war on religion and intolerable demands for tolerance and diversity for them but not for thee must be resisted by every legal means possible.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    @Scoundrel,

    Its a great example. However, there is a big difference between Jihad (where people are killed) and a photo shoot. In the second one, people are not murdered. If no one took their pictures, that would not keep them from being able to get married. Business owners often claim a right to refuse service to someone -- and when the desired services and or merchandise can be reasonably obtained elsewhere, then their life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness are not being curtailed.
    I am a Mormon. And if a Baptist owned burger joint refused to serve me, I might be ticked, I might be annoyed, but I would probably just go to McDonalds or Burger King instead.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:27 p.m.

    @ zoar63: "Jesus also said: 'But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.' So instead of going to court shouldn't the gay couple have forgiven the photographer and found another place to do business?"

    Perhaps they should have. Paul said that Christians shouldn't sue each other (1. Corinthians 6). But maybe the couple wasn't Christian. And even if they were, wouldn't that have been a perfect opportunity for the photographer to teach Christian virtues by example?

    As has already been pointed out, Jesus associated with sinners. He ate meals with them. But if anybody were to suggest to this photographer that by participating in such gatherings Jesus "supported" or "endorsed" sin, or was sinning himself, she would probably say, "Nonsense!" Yet if, as part of her job, she takes pictures of a same-sex ceremony, suddenly she's supporting and endorsing sin?

    Would this photographer also balk at taking pictures of a wedding between a woman and a man who had divorced his innocent, faithful wife? If not, why not? According to Jesus, that man was commiting adultery (Matthew 19:9). Or is homosexuality somehow worse than adultery?

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:27 p.m.

    It's very ironic that one of the main arguments being made here, from the usual group of liberals who post on these types of articles, is that a person (or business) can not pick and choose which laws of the land they want to follow.

    And yet their chief icon, the liberal president of the United States himself, does exactly that... almost constantly. And in so doing, he has almost obliterated the original intent, meaning and structure of our Constitution and it's associated amendments. What a great example he is!

    And since 85% of the people of our country agree that the photographer should have the right to determine who she does or does not do business with, this has become another classic example of the tail wagging the dog. And so the demise continues.

    The gay and lesbian community worked so hard to get their foot in the door. And now that they have succeeded with that much, it's become increasingly obvious they will not be content until they've taken over the entire house.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    Why would ANYONE on God's green earth want to hire a photographer that didn't want to be there? Are you kidding me? Go FIND SOMEONE else that does!! Little children play much better in the sandbox than the supposed adults in this case. This is ridiculous.

  • Remedial Lehi, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    What about nudists? Do nudists have the right to demand she come photograph them?

    As I see it, she didn't deny these people service because they are gay, she denied them service because she was opposed to the behavior they wanted her to photograph.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:16 p.m.

    Both parties to a potential business transaction should be equally free to choose whether they want to do business with the other party. To say otherwise is inconsistent with both liberty and equality.

  • Tywan Arlington, VA
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:05 p.m.

    As a photographer and analyst, I find it troubling that same sex couples, even after having found another willing wedding photographer, would file such a suit because it would do future same sex couples a huge disservice. Contrary to the ACLU's decision, "autonomous creative expression" is EXACTLY what distinguishes documentary photographs from compelling ones. This instinct cannot be summoned by photographers on demand, as the judge infers in his ruling, by asking photographers to "try harder." Photographers chase and celebrate subjects and compositions they find beautiful. I would argue they were looking out for the interests of the couple as much as they were looking out for their own in saying it would not be a good creative match.

    This decision tells photographers to be silent, accept the job, take uninspired photos because they are uncomfortable and frustrate future gay couples looking for a photographer because they didn't get the best possible photos, because their photographer could not tell them that they might be better suited going with another company without inviting future litigation.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:04 p.m.

    @iplayday

    Not if the reason you turned them down was because it was porn. That isn't protected.

    Now if you refused because they were black, or gay, or Catholic (e.g. you would still compose for the porno if the guy asking were white) then yes that would be illegal.

  • themanwho Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:01 p.m.

    I believe the law would say that you could refuse service because you are not refusing service to a profession that is not protected by the anti-discrimination law...as long as you refuse because of the sexual content of the film in relation to your music and not because the actors/directors/producers and so on are of a specific race, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference.

    It would also depend on if you are considered a business or as an independent musician. In the article above there is a difference from your scenario because the customers in the article are protected by the anti-discrimination act and it is a business involved.

  • iplaydat South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 3:43 p.m.

    So to those who think this was the right decision from the court, let me ask you this:

    I am a music composer. If a potential client approaches me and wants me to compose music for their porn film, do I have to take the job even though watching the film as I compose the music(which would be required in order to make sure the music matches the scenes) would violate my religious beliefs? To me this is the same situation as this photographer.

  • themanwho Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 3:38 p.m.

    Whether you want to argue about it being "morally right or wrong" is fine, but the simple fact is that the law and previous court rulings completely back the couple wanting the service and not the photography company. In the state of New Mexico, the anti-discrimination law includes sexual preference in it's clause. Some states do not, but NM does. Because the photography business is a public business, they have to adhere to this law; therefore, denying service to a same-sex couple is discriminatory and against the law.

    As for placing a sign that states "We reserve the right to refuse service," the wording is technically inaccurate and cannot be enforced. A business has the right to refuse service (sign or not sign) as long as the refusal is for business purposes and is not discriminatory. A business can refuse service, for instance, if a group walks in acting unruly, harasses people, is on drugs, and is dressed in a manner that could cause issues for safety (wearing gang colors is an example). The business, however, cannot use the sign for any reason believed to be discriminatory, such as the example in the article.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 3:34 p.m.

    So tell me, karlgirl, why someone who's stupid enough to conduct the type of interview you describe should be legally protected from the certain failure their stupidity would cause? Do you think for moment they could succeed with such a business practice? I don't think many people, on either side of this debate, would subject themselves to such an interview, so what are you worried about if they have the freedom to do such a thing?

    I suspect you fear, in this case, that the photographer may actually succeed with the help of conservative-minded customers who still constitute a large bloc of our citizens. Then, you and others would still have to compete in the marketplace of ideas to forward your desired society instead of shutting down the dialogue by judicial fiat.

    And please everyone, can we drop the inane "no shirt, no shoes, no service" analogy? You all realize that's a sanitation issue, right? There have been many relevant comparisons made here, but that ain't one of them.

  • The Official Bingham Canyon, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 3:33 p.m.

    @ Mom Johnson,!!!

    Its not the same as no shirt no shoes no entry...

    This is just like no Jews, no blacks, no women, no Catholics, no Mormons... Violating civil rights of protected classes is what the NMSC decided.

    The Constitutional rights protects those from the majority...

  • Aircraft Drvr Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 3:16 p.m.

    Well, to the wise Judge Bosson and his crafted statement... Do you think you should have pointed that comment at the Gay couple and not the photographer?? They were seeking the services and not the other way around?? Instead of tolerance, they stomped off and filed a legal action. You need to lubricate the varied moving parts: "That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us a people," "That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. It is the price of citizenship."

  • jeru0455 SALEM, OR
    Aug. 23, 2013 3:15 p.m.

    Something tells me the people on here would be singing a different tune if she said it was against her beliefs to photograph a Mormon couple, which I'm almost sure she would if she is unwilling to photograph a gay couple.

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 3:10 p.m.

    If an evangelical Christian business owner refused to serve Mormons, because they believe Mormonism is a cult, that would be ok? Would it be ok for businesses to refuse to serve interracial couples? Would it be ok for them to refuse to serve atheists? What about Muslims and Jews and Seventh-day Adventists refusing to serve anyone who eats pork? Or Hindus refusing to serve those who eat beef? How about a Mormon refusing to serve anyone who violates the word of wisdom. If there is a slippery slope here....it is the one I've just laid out. If Christians need a model for this kind of society they should look to the Taliban.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    Aug. 23, 2013 3:04 p.m.

    An adoption agency here in the USA refused to let us adopt a 6 year old handicapped child from Taiwan because of our "sexual beliefs" based on religion. Yet they gave a baby to a gay couple and bragged. Gosh maybe I should have sued. We just went around it. Bottom line is we found the orphanage in Taiwan and adopted this little girl anyway. Saved me $10K dollars and we ended up getting another little boy from the same orphanage as well. She is 17 now and doing well.

    I see the point on both sides. Yet I always thought businesses can refuse to do business with people if they want. Sort of like the no quote option. I would not want to do it either and would have thanked them for calling me and referred them to someone else.

    My question is if this woman was gay and was asked to do a traditional wedding with a man and a woman and refused because she did not agree do you think this would be as big of a story?

    There is an agenda here and it seems to be getting worse and worse.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 3:04 p.m.

    Took Christianity 2,000 years to grow to 2 billion people, the anti-Bible people out there will prove themselves wrong, time and again in the next 50 years. Key to growth: get a leader, get a book, get a positive message and let it grow naturally, and not try and force anything on society. Truth will win. The anti-Bible people out there are trying to take a step forward, yet meanwhile, take 3 steps backwards. Romans 1:22, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. " Religious people have more community and less anger. The ungodly are losing and therefore, try to force things, and are trying to do things too quickly.

  • agentbb007 Lehi, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 3:03 p.m.

    Well this is an easy fix. If I'm a photographer and I don't want to take a job just tell the customer I don't really want to take your job but the government makes me. So I will do it but the pictures will be really bad so I suggest you find someone else. Or option #2 you tell them their job is going to be really difficult so it's going to cost $10,000, that would probably get them to go elsewhere.

  • Charlemagne Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 23, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    It's a pretty sad day when sexual perversion trumps religious liberty!

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    If you own a business and someone wants to use your services, must they go through an interview to be sure they meet with your approval as a customer--right religion, right gender preference, right party preference, whatever else is right in your eyes, before you are willing to entertain the thought of them as your customer? That might be fine if you are a nanny service, for instance, but a photographer? Gee...

    I hate to tell these folks, but when you make the choice to serve the public and offer a product (photography, catering, landscaping, etc.) your public is limited by very little--those who can afford what you offer, and are willing to pay for it, and be where they need to be, so you can provide the product agreed to. It doesn't matter if they swing on a trapeze before bedtime, if they are there when required and pay as agreed.

  • MarkJ South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    The real problem here seems to be that anti-discrimination laws always infringe on personal rights. I don't believe in discrimination, but I think that an individual's right to follow their own conscience should trump business fairness. Any privately owned business should be free to discriminate against anyone for any reason they want to - its their business. The fact that I sell services to some people, should not require me to sell my services to all people. Anti-discrimination laws are morally wrong, just as discrimination is. You shouldn't try to legislate right and wrong.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:49 p.m.

    @ Sunset: "Businesses and churches are not the same thing."

    Tell that to the Catholic Charities of Boston who had to stop adoption services because the state would force them to arrange adoptions for gay couples

    Tell that to the Methodist Church in New Jersey that was told they cannot refuse to allow a gay couple to use a pavillion on their property for their ceremony and remain tax-exempt.

    To speak out against homosexuality is to be called a bigot today. I am no bigot. I have many gay friend. I love them but do not condone their lifestyle choice. Homosexuality is sin and against God. Sorry, but public opinion does not change that.

    I just find it interesting how the LGBT will demand protection and then actively seek ways to destroy protection for those they disagree with. Hypocrisy is alive and well among my former friends on the far left......

  • postaledith Freeland, WA
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    The court's decision was the right one. I believe in equality. Erika Munson, a Mormon mother of five, created Mormons Building Bridges. I believe that people can learn a lot from her example.

  • first2third Elmo, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    Two questions: 1. What about those signs that many businesses have that say, "We can refuse Anyone service for Any reason." Are all those business signs just fluff and they can't refuse service? "No shirts, No shoes no service"... isn't that discriminatory against naturalists?

    2. The many christian churches preform marriages, collect money, and yet refuse literally marriage services to gays, people of other religions and many other reasons. Discriminatory for sure. Is it just a matter of time before the courts step in?

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:37 p.m.

    All anti-discrimination laws are a loss of important thought-freedom. Freedom of conscience and freedom of government intrusion are the foundation of our country. That freedom used to mean the freedom to have different opinions and values. It used to mean having the freedom to hate things and to discriminate against people you don't like, as long as you aren't harming them or providing a critical public service. It used to mean the freedom to suffer the consequences of poor thoughts and choices.

    If someone wants to fail miserably with a restaurant business by refusing to seat black people, they should have the right to do so. Considering that black people will have many, many more friendly eating options, the anti-discrimination law really only protects a terrible businessman from a) being properly identified as a racist (along with his customers), and b) enacting a sure-to-fail business model. Why protect someone like that?

    The photographer, who also provides an otherwise readily available, non-critical service, should likewise have the freedom to suffer the consequences of her business decisions without the nanny government dictating who she must serve.

  • Larry Chandler CEDAR CITY, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    Can taxi drivers at an airport refuse to carry passengers who might be carrying a bottle of alcohol in their luggage? (This was the case in Minneapolis). Can a grocery store, which has the right to refuse to sell pork products, have the right to refuse service to non-Muslims? Religious grounds is not a reason to exempt yourself from secular law. If a state bans discrimination against gays in housing or employment, no one can claim exemption from that law. Can I open up a car dealership and say no cars sold to Mormons?

    Churches have the right to decide who can attend and what services they are entitled to. But not if the church enters the commercial sphere. If they own a clothing store, they cannot say "no blacks or Jews allowed."

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    Liberals were all for freedom of conscience during the 1960's when they were protesting against the draft and the Vietnam War. Today, however, this commitment seems to be mysteriously disappearing when people come along with moral perspectives which the liberal community doesn't happen to like. The gay or lesbian lifestyle is a pattern of actions and behaviors and thus, by definition, is open to the making or moral or value judgments. Individuals are within their rights to make such judgments and religious denominations are within their rights to advocate them publicly.

  • Cam Man South Ogden, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:22 p.m.

    I only wish that I could pay this lady's legal fees (poor college kid). If she was not clear down in NM, I would be planning on having her take my next set of family pictures.

    Way to stand up for what you beleive and not cave to the pressures of our corrupt society.

  • Sunset Orem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    People need to stop framing this story as a religious rights issue. The photographer was acting as a business, not a church or a person. People have religious rights; businesses don't.

    Let's clam down. Your church is not going to be forced to perform same-sex marriages. Businesses and churches are not the same thing.

    Gender/sexual discrimination is wrong, period. People forget too easily that people cannot have civil rights and liberty without economic rights. Look at the history of African Americans in this country. It's kind of hard to lead a life of liberty and self-fulfillment when businesses BY LAW refuse to hire or service you.

    That being said, this ruling does concern me a bit because I don't know how far it goes. Will a gay baker be forced to make a cake for a KKK wedding? To refuse service would be religious discrimination, right? It cuts both ways.

    The principles of the non-discrimination act are sound, but the implementation seems flawed. In this context, I think the market easily could have provided this couple with the services they needed without turning to the force of law.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    2006 New Mexico Statutes-Section 28-1-7 Unlawful Discriminatory Practice:

    "It is an unlawful discriminatory practice for:

    f) any person in any public accommodation to make a distinction, directly or indirectly, in offering or refusing to offer its services, facilities, accommodations or goods to any person because of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, spousal affiliation or physical or mental handicap, provided that the physical or mental handicap is unrelated to a person's ability to acquire or rent and maintain particular real property or housing accommodation;"

    re:bribri
    Yes, you are free to not attend your brothers wedding--and no law requires you to do so. However, if you set up a public business you have to adhere to state/federal laws against discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation etc.

  • OnlyInUtah Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    Once again, the courts are wrong.

    I am leaning heavily towards refusing to do business with any companies who support the gay/lesbian community.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:18 p.m.

    Seriously DN monitor/censor....

    What is the difference?

    Refuse service to gay?
    blacks?
    Hispanics?
    Mormons?
    Jews?
    Muslims?
    women?
    Elderly?
    obese?
    RedHeads?

    There's a reason why Jerry Seinfeld made fun of the "Soup Nazi" character...

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    @Lightbearer

    "Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Was the photographer's refusal an expression of love?"

    Jesus also said: "But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

    So instead of going to court shouldn’t the gay couple have forgiven the photographer and found another place to do business? Progressives are fond of saying do unto others like Christ said but they seem to overlook the concept of forgiveness which Christ also taught.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:05 p.m.

    Truthseeker: "This case is about laws against discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation etc."

    I see you conveniently left "religion" off your list.

    Freedom of Religion is a freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. The court completely disregarded that. There is no discrimination here; simply call the next photographer in the phone book to take your pictures!!

    This is a perfect example of the direct, hypocritical attack by the LGBT and the far left on religion. Selective tolerance is what they believe in. Hopefully this will back-fire like the attacks on Chik-Fil-A did.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    @Elmer J Fudd

    I member of the homosexual society is accused of robbing a bank. A lawyer, who has Christian beliefs and in private practice, denies taking his case.

    ========================

    Where in Christian doctrine anywhere does it say we can treat anyone as less than people?!? If this is the case, I don't want to be associate with this type of Christianity at all. The Jesus I believe in interacted with sinners on a daily basis, was even held in contempt for eating dinner with them. He would have shown them the error of their ways, but still loved them.

    What lawyer would say "I have no problem defending bank robbers, as long as they aren't gay?" I'd be more worried about whether he is actually a bank robber, not whom he chooses to spend his nights with.

    We all sin, don't judge others because the happen to have different sins then you.

  • Brianwp SANDY, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    Why do religious people insist that businesses not discriminate against them on the basis of their faith, yet believe they themselves should be exempt from the same expectation? It's not ethical for a gay business owner to discriminate against Christians, and it's not ethical for Christians to discriminate against gay people. Tolerance and "religious freedom" doesn't mean you get to persecute others under the guise of your faith.

  • monkey7 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    I would agree that by compelling the photographer to take pictures of the same-sex wedding is a violation of her civil rights? She as an indivdual has the right to refuse service, so if the sign says no shoes...no shirt...no service..its that establishment showing prejudice against those folks that that don't have shoes or shirts? How can she be discriminating as the article said "as if she were discriminating against a class of race" Last time I check, i don't think homosexuality or lesbianism is a race.

  • bribri86 Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:53 p.m.

    @techpubs

    "As a Christian she has been told to "hate the sin", but "love the sinner"."

    yes, but we're not told to condone the sinner's sins by attending events that celebrate the sin. By photographing the event, she's attending and supporting homosexual marriage. My brother was married (to a girl) under conditions that I couldn't support and I therefore refrained from attending the wedding so as to not condone the choice. I love my brother, but I can't support him in his bad choices. Same thing here.

  • Elmer_J_Fudd OREM, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    Scenario:
    I member of the homosexual society is accused of robbing a bank. A lawyer, who has Christian beliefs and in private practice, denies taking his case. Now due to this precedence, he will be forced to take the case. Due to this precedence, the individual in any business can not make a decision on values belief’s or understanding if she/he has a Christian belief. For if such a choice is made, being Christian, now opens you to lawsuits because of your values.
    I do not understand, why a person cannot find someone who has the same values similar to theirs, to perform the desired service. Why FORCE someone to do something they do not want to do.
    I try to support those businesses who support my values. I don’t belittle those business that do not support my ideas, but I take my business elsewhere.
    To the homosexual community, Christian Society, Atheist, and beyond, the belief's and values we hold dear to is what we are. Do not try to force change, you just create hatred. Hatred leads to violence, which leads to war. We have ENOUGH WAR.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    Welcome to the Brave New World. And, we told you so. We told you when you equated skin color with a life-style choice that there would be dire consequences. This is just the beginning. America -- RIP.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:48 p.m.

    "As a business owner, what grounds do I now have for choosing how I run my business? Can the government tell me I need to be open on Friday, Saturday or Sunday even though I would rather not because of religious convictions?"

    This case is about laws against discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation etc.

    If you close your business to EVERYONE on Fri-Sun who are you discriminating against--who are you specifically targeting?

    My guess is that if we can look beyond the "ick" factor, we would see a beautiful couple who love each other, surrounded by their friends and family. When you run a business that serves the public you are no more condoning "immoral" behavior than a lawyer or Dr. who serve those guilty of heinous crimes or an LDS grocery store/restaurant owner who sells cigarettes and alcohol.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:47 p.m.

    re:atl134

    Russia and Iran don't have a bill of rights....it's the all powerful government dictating EVERYTHING they do and say. I work with a lady and her brother who escaped Iran in the back of a pick up truck at night. They are now Americans and they cherish their freedom. Talk to them about freedom and why it is so vital to have a personal bill of rights and freedoms away from the central government....it will open your eyes in a hurry. They love the fact that they can run a business how they choose to and not be forced by the government into a corner. They also worry with the direction America is headed and it's decay of freedom at the hands of the progressives. A dose of reality.

  • bribri86 Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:45 p.m.

    @Eliyahu

    "Would anyone find it acceptable for a business to have a "no Mormons" policy"

    How about an entire state (See Missouri, Illinois, etc.). How about Missouri having a law saying you could kill a Mormon up until 1976. Did you hear about all the Mormon protestors and all the lawsuits filed by Mormons or the Mormon church? Yeah, neither did I.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    @zoar,

    I hate to break it to you, but 13 states have already made same-sex marriage legal, and several others are currently considering it. Those 13 are highly unlikely to ratify an amendment curtailing the civil rights of same-sex couples. Already, then, you are 1 state short of ratifying such an amendment. Additionally, states are generally wary of amending the Constitution, and I imagine a good number of states that don't recognize same-sex marriage (like NM, NJ, HI) but have rejected attempt to actually define marriage as one-man and one-woman would probably reject it as well. The fact of the matter is, over 50% of Americans now believe same-sex marriage should be legal. That doesn't mean they think it's right, just that they find no constitutional justification for banning it. DOMA is gone, Prop 8 was ruled unconstituional, Don't Ask Don't Tell has been cast by the wayside. Gay marriage will receive recognition, sooner rather than later.

  • Robert Johnson Sunland, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:36 p.m.

    I am amazed at how uneducated some people can be. What makes so many of you believe that you can avoid complying with Constitutional Equal Protection guarantees by posting a $2 sign that says he can refuse service to anyone? Sorry, but those signs have NEVER been a way around the Constitution. In other words, you can't discriminate just because you post a sign saying that that's what you intend to do.

  • Mugabe ACWORTH, GA
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:35 p.m.

    I don't support Homosexual Marriages, but I believe that the court is right on this one. How in the world is photographing a wedding a violation of religious liberty? The couple didn't ask her to join in the photos. I think that this is going to far, in trying to show our belief in God. People do a lot of things that isn't in harmony with the gospel, so, why not go ahead and photograph the wedding? It probably would have been good for her business.

    I wonder has she ever photographed a "Christian" wedding, where alcohol was being served? We should stop being so dogmatic about our beliefs and let other people be themselves, no matter how much we dislike their practices.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:31 p.m.

    "The right that was lost was the right to neither attend nor participate in a ceremony that the photographer believed would require her to approve of an act that her religious beliefs told her was sinful. And merely not objecting during the ceremony would be silent approval."

    ==================

    Easy

    "Does anyone object to this marriage?" "I do." The couple can either proceed as planned, or stop the wedding. They can fire her on the spot (she didn't want to do it anyway) or word will leak and she will not be wanted to perform any more of these weddings (which is what she wanted)

    She would have been better to explain as had been pointed out that they would probably be best to find someone else, or say she is busy. But where she hadn't she could have done the above, and been in full compliance with the law.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    Folks, the States have a right to pass laws --- New Mexico passed an anti-discrimination law.
    ___
    From another comment:"My gay friends said this would never happen.
    They said there is no "agenda."
    They said they are not militant.
    They say the courts would never DEMAND that churches perform same-gender wedding ceremonies in their chapels, synagogs and temples."
    _____

    Respectfully, how in the world does someone going to a photographer who advertises to the public and being humiliated by a refusal compare to forcing churches to marry you?
    If one actually has "Gay friends", one would have compassion for them.
    Two women chose the local photographer who is a woman -- make sense?
    At least, during segregation, Black people knew not to try to eat lunch in the "wrong" place, but you want Gays to have to guess which door will be slammed in their faces.

    I am sorry, I just cannot imagine how one gets to the idea that non-members can force a church to marry them. I cannot imagine how wanting to be treated exactly the same is "militant". I cannot imagine how some members of a once-hated church can feel free to hate.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:28 p.m.

    This court case really makes you wonder what freedom of religion we are afforded.

    So long as you are as a "Business" all your religious rights go out the window?

    So if a nudist, satanist, or whatever other wacky belief systems out there want you to take pictures of them in whatever random weird way they want they can force you to do so because you aren't allowed to "discriminate"?

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    @Tonx --

    "the photographer is just as compelled to record mock wedding ceremonies between polyandrous threesomes, zoophile and beast, or a groom and his catamite? "

    Nope.

    Polygamy, bestiality, and pedophilia are **crimes** -- not just "not recognized". There's a huge legal difference there.

  • stanfunky Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:24 p.m.

    "We reserve the right to refuse service to anybody."

    If the government compels businesses to serve everyone, and free speech is moot, then we have truly descended into a different type of country.

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:19 p.m.

    @jasonlivy --

    You said: "Being gay is not the same as being black, white, hispanic, or asian."

    Martin Luther King III supports a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi because of their anti-gay 'propaganda' law. He has said, referring to his father, that "I think that as he worked to advocate for civil and human rights, he was talking for everyone, not just for people of color."

    One of the chief architects of MLK Jr's March on Washington was an openly gay man, Bayard Rustin.

    Rev. Bernice King. MLK's daughter, said in 2012 that civil rights included those who are "heterosexual or homosexual, or gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender."

    Coretta Scott King said in 1998: "I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice," she said. "But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'" "I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream to make room at the table of brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people".

  • ny's amy jo Rochester, NY
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    This is a bad precedent. I fear this is just the beginning of same sex marriage partners "forcing" their way and will on everyone. I hope churches are prepared to stand strong, as I fear they will try to demand membership into religions who oppose same sex relationships and marriages.

  • Al_Tenuta SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    Why would the gay folks want to give their money to an anti-gay photographer in the first place?

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    @PolishBear

    "All the "Christian" companies that are fed up with civil rights laws? They should file suit to have them overturned. Who knows? Maybe they'll win!"

    Actually there is a movement going on to call for a Constitutional convention of the State legislatures and there are reports that such a proposal is gaining traction. According to Article V, Congress must call for an amendment-proposing convention, “on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States”, which means 34 state legislatures would have to submit applications. Once an Article V Convention has proposed amendments, then each of those amendments would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states or 38 states in order to become part of the Constitution. The majority of the States are Red states so it should not be a problem to submit applications to congress and get 38 states to ratify any proposed amendments. All three levels of government are completely out of control

  • Tonx St. George, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    "New Mexico has laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation. There aren't laws in New Mexico protecting nudists against discrimination. Very simply, the judges applied the law."

    Point taken.

    So, as "sexual orientation" accommodates an indeterminate (how can one limit in-born feelings of sexual preference to just adult members of the same or opposite sex?) spectrum of self-declared sexual behaviors and identities, including some which are illegal, the photographer is just as compelled to record mock wedding ceremonies between polyandrous threesomes, zoophile and beast, or a groom and his catamite?
    As in the case in question, the photographer would be photographing a non-binding ceremony representing illegal acts as actual polygamous, zoophilic, and underage marriage are all still illegal in New Mexico. Most of us would find the staging of these mock ceremonies offensive. So whose right to offense and discrimination is greater, the minority's based on sexual orientation or the majority's based on moral decency?

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    1. Madden of Herriman has a very good point regarding behavior vs being.

    2. This couple was obviously trolling. Anyone who would intentionally hire a creator of any sort (artist, builder, caterer, whatever) who made it clear their heart was not really into it is either a fool or has an ulterior motive.

  • CurtRI Nyc, NY
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    I guess next time two of the same sex comes to ask for a quote.... her schedule will be FULL !

  • jeffomatic Orem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:07 p.m.

    Would they photograph the wedding of someone of a different faith, possibly non-Christian? Probably. This leads me to think it's not religious belief that motivates them at all. It appears that they just don't like gay people.

  • kishkumen American Fork, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:07 p.m.

    It is always funny to see people use the argument that they should be allowed to do something based on a religious right. If that were a valid argument then anyone could state that their religion teaches them to steal, cheat, and treat people poorly, and be allowed to legally do so. Also, there is no need to poll people on this issue because that doesn't affect the outcome of any of these court decisions. The judicial system is in place to protect minority groups, so judges are never influenced by what the majority thinks on these type of cases.

  • Beam Me Up Scotty Layton, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    One word describes this court's interpretation of the NM law. That word is 'evil'.

  • Pianoman Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    So it's discrimination to turn people away who CHOOSE a sexual orientation, as we've seen here, but it's not discrimination to turn people away who CHOOSE religion, in other stories we've read? As mentioned in an earlier comment by a commenter, "Tolerance is a one-way street."

  • jasonlivy Orem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    This goes to my basic argument. Being gay is not the same as being black, white, hispanic, or asian. To discriminate based solely on skin color is definitely wrong. But to choose not to support something that is against our belief system is entirely different.

    So many people compare gay marriage to race. They aren't even close to being the same. In many cases being gay is a choice. To not agree with that is not facing the truth nor the facts. I've met many people who have chosen to be gay and they readily admit to that. Being black, white, hispanic, asian, etc. is not a choice. So many in the gay community desperately want it to be the same. If being gay is a choice, which raises reasonable doubt, then their whole argument falls flat on it's face.

    I believe we should treat everyone with respect and kindness. We should not be judgmental and shun people because of their beliefs or lifestyle. But we should have the right to not affiliate ourselves or otherwise involve ourselves personally with things that are against our belief system. This is as much a right of citizenship as anything.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 12:39 p.m.

    @wrz
    "Corporations are 'people' created by the law."

    I'll believe that when Texas executes one...

  • VAggie Bristow, United States
    Aug. 23, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    @ bcs the struggle of gays and the struggle of blacks are not even close to the same thing. Yes gays have been discriminated against but they are so different that the analogy seems manipulative.

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    What about the free exercise of religion?

    The ruling explores that question and concludes that there is no violation of free exercise of religion because the law applies to everyone, doesn't single out a particular faith or religious group, and doesn't apply differently to religious or secular persons.

    The Court acknowledged the complexity of the case and recognized that if one persons free exercise of religion occurs to the detriment of another person, then the law must act. The photographer claimed she would have been harmed by photographing a same sex wedding. The court argued: "Their refusal to do business with the same-sex couple in this case, no matter how religiously inspired, was an affront to the legal rights of that couple, the right granted them under New Mexico law to engage in the commercial marketplace free from discrimination."

    The court cited a 1964 case (Heart of Atlanta Motel) which held that individuals have a right to be free from discrimination from both the state and private citizens. The photographer is free to beliee what she wishes, to speak it and preach it but she may not harm others as a result of her belief.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    "We believe....in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law."

    This is the law in NM, folks.

    If those in NM want to change it back to the days when gays could be discriminated against, they have to work with their legislature to do so. This has been a law for more than 10 years. Gays cannot be discriminated against. The NM Supreme Court ruled correctly, as per their laws.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    @Meemoe#1
    Orem, Utah, UT

    No one should have the right to demand service or have to work under force. Any business should retain the right to refuse service for any reason.
    11:12 a.m. Aug. 23, 2013

    =======

    Really?
    Are you serious?

    "Any business should retain the right to refuse service for any reason."
    Let's see how that works:

    Blacks?
    Hispanics?
    Jews?
    Mormons?
    Women?
    Fat?
    RedHeads?

    Seinfeld made fun of guys like that, remember the Soup Nazi?

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    Aug. 23, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    MaxPower

    Eagle Mountain, UT

    Does her religion teach her to not treat Gays as people?

    Does her religion teach her to not photograph gay couples?

    Does her religion teach her that she must love her neighbors?

    If not, exactly what religious liberty did she lose? She can still think whatever she wants to about the couple, their marriage or anything else. She isn't being forced into a gay marriage.

    What right exactly was lost?

    Max,
    The right that was lost was the right to neither attend nor participate in a ceremony that the photographer believed would require her to approve of an act that her religious beliefs told her was sinful. And merely not objecting during the ceremony would be silent approval. As a Christian she has been told to "hate the sin", but "love the sinner".

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Aug. 23, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    The government has it wrong again. A Business has all the power in the world to decide who they will do business with. For instance this famous sign, "No shirts, no shoes, no service". Pretty simple. In a free market society, this isn't the only business that takes pictures. The couple had many other options available to them. This was a targeted company by a gay couple. Now if getting pictures was a life or death issue, then I think it's different. But pictures, c'mon.

  • Sqweebie Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:57 a.m.

    Besides the "the no shoes, no shirt no service" signs. I have seen another sign that gets right to the point "We reserve the right to serve who we choose" or something to that effect. It would have covered her bases more.

    I wonder if she would have gotten away with refusing to photograph a wedding or other life changing event at a nudist camp? Or would it have been seen as discrimination?

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    This photographer didn't have a leg to stand on. She was clearly practicing discrimination, a 2nd grader could see that. The court was totally correct. She still has all the religious liberties she is entitled to in this country, she just is not allowed to discriminate based on race, gender or other superficial reasons when it comes to doing business. It's not that hard to understand folks.

  • Miss Piggie Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    @Texile:
    "By this logic, businesses who close on Sunday because of religious belief are breaking the law by not serving those who do not observe the sabbath."

    Good point. And let's say I'm a minor and wish to marry (someone my age or an adult such as an uncle, father or neighbor) but state law says I can't. Is that not discriminatory against minors?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    So --

    Those who disagree with the ruling are in essence saying:

    "I don't want to do business with you because you are:"

    Black
    Hispanic
    Mormon
    a woman
    a Jew
    too old
    too Fat
    etc., etc.,

    not much different than a Nazi or member of a Missouri mob...

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    @ BCA. I think most Mormons would just say, well that's strange they don't serve Mormons. And then they'd go somewhere else for service. Mormons have developed thick skin over the many years of rejection. I can't ever imagine a true believing Mormon would file a lawsuit. Maybe some have somewhere along the line, but it would be pretty rare.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    The basis of this law is the same as that which forbids restaurants from having one section for whites, and another for "coloreds," or for refusing to serve the latter. They were private businesses too, should they be allowed to refuse service?

    To clarify an issue that is not really covered in the article. At issue is that the business actively marketed itself to the community, offering its services to anyone, even taking the job until they realized the couple was gay. By doing so, they forfeited the right to discriminate based on race or sexual orientation, per the law (because there is no law, they can still refuse based on logistics--I'm busy, or I'm not a skydiver--or other situations not protected by law, eg nudists). A church isn't subjected to the same if they don't solicit the public with their marriage services (this is why they generally only allow their churches to be used by members or by member referral).

  • Moabmom Moab, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    You don't have a Constitutional right to have your picture taken. This judge needs to turn in his robe and gavel. Political hacks who ignore the Constitution have no business on the bench. The gay community needs to start practicing some of that 'tolerance' they keep whining about, grow up, and stop trying to destroy everyone who doesn't agree with them. Equal rights means equal rights, not more rights and more equality than those you don't agree with. The judge is wrong. Respect is not 'owed', it is earned. The gay community loses respect with each and every frivolous law suit they bring because it points straight back at their own intolerance.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    @Bob K:
    "If the woman had said, 'I can't say no, but, since my heart will not be in it due to my beliefs, I would rather you got someone else.'"

    What the photographer could do is accept the job and get an agreement from the client that they will let the photographer, as the professional, decide what to photograph... then go take some shots of the flowers, decorations, etc., and nothing more. If the clients don't like the pic selections they can just not pay. Problem solved.

    @Scoundrel:
    "As much as Mitt Romney would have you believe that 'corporations are people, my friend'"

    Corporations are 'people' created by the law.

    @Maudine:
    "They are not being compelled to take pictures because they are citizens, they are a business and therefore unable to discriminate in who they offer services to."

    Everyone has a right to discriminate... business or private.

    It's not hard to see what this case is coming to... religions are businesses. Most are incorporated. Soon churches will be forced to ordain women... and gays. And a certain religion will not be allowed to refuse gay marriages in temples.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    Badger, "It never was about the pictures." I totally agree!

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    @Scientist:
    "A victory for human rights! Well done, New Mexico."

    I have followed human rights for 30 years. This is not a victory for human rights. This is a defeat and there will be international consequences because the US is losing its moral authority to promote human rights.

  • vinnyb3 Provo, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    My opinion:

    Refusing to photograph any gay person just because they are gay (for instance, graduation pictures) - wrong.

    Refusing to photograph behavior you morally don't agree with (a gay marriage/commitment ceremony) - your right to do so.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    You people have missed this whole point - As of July 1, 2003, New Mexico non-discrimination law extends to categories of "sexual orientation and gender identity" as well as "race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, physical or mental handicap or serious medial condition."

    It is agains the law in NM to discriminate against gays just as it is to discriminate against all the rest of the minorrity status groups.

    It is the LAW.

    If the photographer did not like the law, she could work to change it or MOVE.

  • lehiaggie Lehi, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:28 a.m.

    As a former small business owner, this gravely concerns me. As a business owner, what grounds do I now have for choosing how I run my business? Can the government tell me I need to be open on Friday, Saturday or Sunday even though I would rather not because of religious convictions? If my convictions are strong enough is my only chose to close shop? It seems there needs to be some middle ground and this isn't it.

  • wally1121 Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    It might be different if she were the only photographer in town, or a monopoly like the government. Businesses used to routinely post signs reading "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone". I guess business owners don't have rights anymore.
    All this photographer had to do was lie a little. Just say the date was already booked and send them on their way to find a different photographer. So much for "honesty is the best policy".

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:26 a.m.

    The photographer should have the right to say no. The gay couple should have the right to think her a homophobe, and also the right to marry, and move on to get another photographer.

  • BCA Murrieta, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    Are all the Mormons okay with "Mormons not served here."? And then suppose those signs were posted all over the city because no one wanted to do business with Mormons. That okay?

  • BCA Murrieta, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    "As a business owner, I have the right to refuse services. I have a sign posted that says just that. Just like "no shirt, no shoes, no service"."

    Just like "Blacks not welcome here."?

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    @Madden --

    "You are trying to equate the act of two gay men getting married (where I would be exposed to behavior I find immoral and deviant) with me turning a person away simply because of the color of their skin."

    A better comparison would be a photographer who is morally opposed to interracial marriage, or morally opposed to interfaith marriage. That photographer would not be allowed to discriminate either.

    If you **advertise** that you are opposed to gay marriage -- or interracial marriage -- or interfaith marriage -- then you are very unlikely to be faced with such people wanting your services. Of course, advertising such things would make your business look bad -- so you're unlikely to do it. But if you advertise that your services are available to the general public, then -- guess what -- you are legally obligated to serve that general public without discrimination, in concordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which you live.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    @ Lightbearer "In fact, he should try to surpass in excellence the best work he's ever done: "And if someone wants to sue you and to take your tunic, give him your coat also. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two."

    Somehow, I don't really think the Savior meant this to apply to those doing something that breaks God's laws. This is the way liberals slightly twist words and meanings to suit their agendas. Should we love those who have different lifestyles and beliefs? Absolutely. Should we put our stamp of approval on their behavior by doing our best bang-up job of filming their offensive behavior? NO! I assume it would necessitate photographing the women kissing, hugging, etc. What if this were a nude wedding? Uh...should Elaine do her very best ever work? Where do we draw the line? Should she still have feelings of love for those nudists as individuals and children of God? Yes. But sometimes showing love requires us to say "no" and reject their behavior! I believe it can be done politely and the rejection should be taken with equal politeness. Simply find another photographer.

  • BCA Murrieta, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    In 1958, 96% of Americans disapproved of black-white marriages. Public opinion doesn't mean much went it comes to dealing with minorities.

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    I just read the New Mexico Supreme Court ruling on this case - it makes for interesting and erudite reading. New Mexico law explicitly forbids discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The photographer explicitly stated she would not offer her services to a lesbian couple because of their sexual orientation. The Court's decision was a foregone conclusion based on black letter law.

    The Court cited previous cases in which businesses and institutions were required to do things which those businesses and organizations claimed violated their freedom of speech. The court distinguished between being forced to convery a government mandated message and providing a product or service because an organization is a public accommodation. It also noted that the photographer was being asked to provide identicial services to the same sex couples as she provided to heterosexual couples.

    IOW, by taking professional photos of the event, the photographer is not required to agree with any messgae, to advocate that message, to share it or otherwise distribute it to her friends, colleagues, family, church or community. She is required by the law to provide a value neutral service - professional quality photographer of an event - nothing more nothing less.

  • DCNielsen Saratoga Springs, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    While a business can't refuse to do something individuals working for a business can. They should take it to the Supreme Court, this needs to be ruled on and help set some limits. The country can't dictate what you will or won't do because of your profession. They can penalize you for being discriminatory or offensive but not holding to your basic belief structure. Private businesses reserve the right to refuse anyone their services and if they want to withstand the public scrutiny then that's perfectly fine. But private businesses can't be held liable for maintaining certain beliefs or morals/ethics they have.

  • Tonx St. George, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    Wow. Forget the whopper of the New Mexico court equating homosexuality with race for a moment and focus on the unconstitutional government coercion factor.
    Suppose the photographer refused to photograph a "romantic" commitment ceremony that involved nudity between a heterosexual couple. Does the price of citizenship include violating ones sense of propriety? Wouldn't the photographer be discriminating against nudists? Does ones right to nudist expression trump another's right to find public nudity offensive? Why not? Wouldn't discrimination against nudity be based on Victorian morals of the past which have no standing in the modern world? We are all born that way aren't we?
    Simple solution to the offended in a capitalist nation - take your business elsewhere.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:16 a.m.

    Many marriage ceremonies include, "If anyone knows of any reason why these two should not be joined in matrimony, let them speak now or forever hold their peace." I am sure the couple wanted the photographer to be the one to speak at this point in their ceremony and declare that they believe that homosexuality is a sin against God, so they object. If the photographer doesn't do this, they are endorsing the union, against all they believe. This required endorsement is the golden ticket homosexuals want. It was never about the pictures.

  • 4word thinker Murray, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    What is a public business? A corporation maybe. But most small businesses are owned privately, so they private businesses, owned by private citizens. So stop with the public business lie.
    This photography business is not a corporation.

  • Meemoe#1 Orem, Utah, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    No one should have the right to demand service or have to work under force. Any business should retain the right to refuse service for any reason.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    "If the couple had been nudists, and the photographer had refused to work in a nude environment, photographing nude people simply because he/she believes in personal modesty, would the outcome have been the same?"

    New Mexico has laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation. There aren't laws in New Mexico protecting nudists against discrimination.

    Very simply, the judges applied the law.

  • rick122948 boise, id
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    There is never going to be true equality when people assert rights which are based on diminishing the rights of others. This simple aspect identifies the wrong in jihad,racial discrimination, or discrimination based on any personal choice or status. We have become the most litigious counttry in the world because lack a spirit of inclusion rather than exclusion, prejudice rather than tolerance.

  • slow down Provo, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    One more clear indication that a deeply pre-political institution is becoming a merely political institution. (And less than that: merely a political issue of "rights monism.") Although the argument of the court makes sense on its own terms, it is clear that those terms in themselves are troubling. They presuppose that the social value of kids having moms and dads and of men and women being moms and dads together--as opposed to any other arrangement--has already been relegated to the trash bin of history. The problem is that this isn't true, but here comes the legal system and criminalizes tens of millions of its citizens for their deeply felt beliefs on this matter. Maybe the law has to do this kind of thing sometimes, but in this case it seems to be too much too fast. We seem to be very far down the road of atomized morality.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    For those upset with the court's ruling, how do you feel about the rights of "religious" people who still oppose interracial marriage?

    Some of us have religious beliefs against adultery, fornication, smoking, blood transfusions, etc. Shouldn't we be allowed to question people who want us to take their wedding picture and to refuse to do so if they have engaged in any of those sins?

    The court made the correct decision. I'm glad it was unanimous.

  • Madden Herriman, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:54 a.m.

    @Contrarius: I appreciate your point, but disagree with you. Discrimination law is NOT about actions and events. Hence, I can't discriminate due to gender or race, but I can "discriminate" (as a person or a business) and choose not to assist an event I find offensive. That means a Jehovah's Witness can run a photography business and refuse to shoot sessions inside another person's church if they make that their policy. I could refuse to photograph a pagan wedding if I found that it would have obscene rituals involved (even if those rituals were not illegal) if that is my business policy.

    You are trying to equate the act of two gay men getting married (where I would be exposed to behavior I find immoral and deviant) with me turning a person away simply because of the color of their skin. I don't see this as the same situation at all. "Actions" and "being" are not the same thing.

  • jimhale Eugene, OR
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    This and similar court holdings prove once again that all those political leaders who have argued for a generation that we do not need a federal constitutional amendment on the definition of marriage have been charlatans.

  • 406Fotos Kalispell, MT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    As a professional photographer, there is a separation of faith and business. One can choose to refuse service to anyone just like a restaurant can, its not a smart business move but it is the owners call to photograph who or what they choose to shoot.

    As a testimony of faith, ask yourself WWJD, yeah Jesus Christ hung around sinners, no He did not agree with their lifestyle either. So as a Christian photographer, what makes me any better than Jesus Christ.... after all, aren't we suppose to be Christ like in what we do?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    Goodness... a lot of you would fit in well with Russia and Iran.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    The bill of rights means nothing to the radical left in this country. Either stand and fight or lose everything. With Communism there is no bill of rights ...only government forced rules. If anyone paying even casual attention can't see the out right assault on our freedoms by the government then you truly are brain washed or just plain stupid. Perhaps both. The government FORCES the Catholic church to abandon it's core beliefs regarding contraception. The government FORCES this young lady to abandon her freedom of speech and forces her to accommodate gays with her OWN PRIVATE business. This should bother the right and left!! What's next - reeducation training???

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    Suppose I ask a contractor to build me a home, using my plans which are structurally sound but which contain design elements that the contractor believes, based on experience, to be cumbersome or problematic. The contractor tells me that I would probably be happier using someone else to build my home. Should I sue to force him/her to build the home, even if there is a law that says I can? The answer depends on my goal. If I want the home built I would find another contractor but if I want to punish those who disagree with me then I would sue.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:39 a.m.

    There's a stark contrast here between my emotional knee-jerk response to this and my considered, reasoned response.

    Emotionally, I wanted this photographer to be raked over the coals. She represents an extreme POV that is toxic to what I would consider a decent, harmonious society. I can't imagine why she would believe taking pictures of any couple is a tacit approval of their private lives. Would she refuse service to a drug user? An alcoholic? Someone she knew was abusive? I suspect not. But take a picture of a gay couple? No way, man! Let's strike a blow for . . something.

    My reasoned response is, let the free market do its thing. I'm all for restaurant owners being able to refuse service to certain races, too. Pretty soon, word gets out, and they're out of business. That's how it's supposed to work. Unless you're a publicly funded enterprise, I think it's vital you be allowed to serve who you want, even in cases like this where the business owner deserves to bt put out of busienss, but will probably become a folk hero.

  • johnnylingo62 Gray, TN
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    This solution is easy... just charge a lot of $$$ for your services. If the customer doesn't like your price, then they will go somewhere else. In a free market country - a commercial private business can charge whatever it wants for products or services it can provide - the buyer has many choices - this photographer does not have a "monopoly business"...
    which brings me to "why would a couple want to have a photographer that is not engaged and willing to be a positive participant in their ceremony take their photos?" the photographer could take really bad photos - would the couple still be "forced" to pay for the bad photos?
    This case is ridiculous on too many levels - and the New Mexico judges don't appear to be "thinking" with any type of "commercial law" in mind.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    Perhaps the dead souls of otherwise liberty minded citizens will finally begin to rise up to this shameful, unconstitutional, and in God's face intolerance! Although the ruling isn't surprising, what is sickening is the number of Americans who will be passive about their liberties being thrown out the door. Shame on the gays who not only openly defied God's law, but the unalienable rights of patriotic Americans!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    "The idea that free people can be 'compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives' as the 'price of citizenship' is a chilling and unprecedented attack on freedom"

    Welcome to the new "AmericKa"!!

  • Christmas Carole LAS CRUCES, NM
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    @Maudine: LOVE your sense of humor honey! Ferengi(lol!) Loved the show(space period!)
    @Lightbearer: If you ever want another Mom I'm available.
    I have been torn up contemplating all this. My conclusion is that NOne should be refused a public service UNLESS it forces the other to participate in something that would be in direct conflict with their personal value system. YES, that includes someone who would not want to participate in a service because they disagreed with my religion. PARTICIPATE is the key. Baking a cake is not personal. Selling something is not personal. Selling flowers is not personal. Witnessing a marriage IS..

    There are 2 major situations that have left me panicked. One, a teacher that molested a student and the family has legally objected. Other teachers are against the family and the family has had attacks upon property. This is a pedophile. Two, Mr. Christy seeing that it is unlawful for parents to decide what is best for their underage kids psychologically. I do not agree with some the past methods listed, BUT a parent has the responsibility for their underage children. Legally and morally. If methods(physical punishment) aren't moral stop them NOT parents.

  • VAggie Bristow, United States
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:20 a.m.

    This is bullying to a tee. If you disagree, we will sue you, until no one ever disagrees on anything for fear of being sued. It's almost sexual harassment

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    Re: "So ... the couple found another photographer willing to shoot their ceremony."

    How far should a couple have to search till they find a business proprietor who deems them "morally acceptable" enough to serve? If there are five photographers in town, and all refuse, should they have to search in the next town, and the next? How far is far enough? 10 miles, 100, 1000?

    Re: "If the new photographer was someone who also disagreed with the idea of homosexual 'marriage' and ... had a scowl while doing the job, would he/she been liable to prosecution for not exhibiting the same enthusiasm as he/she would likely have done when shooting a traditional marriage?"

    If the new photographer is a Christian, he should do the job as he would like another photographer to do the job if it was his ceremony. "In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you."

    In fact, he should try to surpass in excellence the best work he's ever done: "And if someone wants to sue you and to take your tunic, give him your coat also. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two."

  • DaveT Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    If the couple had been nudists, and the photographer had refused to work in a nude environment, photographing nude people, simply because he/she believes in personal modesty, would the outcome have been the same? Can a person be forced by law to provide commercial services in a venue or environment which they consider incompatible with their own moral/religious values? I believe the courts should err deeply on the side of personal freedom versus forced accommodation. Can I, as an Architect, be forced by law to design a strip club, which I will decline to do on the basis of my personal moral and religious beliefs? If not, then what is the difference?

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    Hmmmmm.....so let me see if I get this correct:

    - If I'm a homosexual, I have the legal and moral right to force non-homosexuals to do something they DON't believe in.

    - But if homosexuals have that right, so do NON-homosexuals.

    So, therefore, me as a non-gay, I have the legal and moral right to force gays to do what I want, even if they don't believe in it.

    OK....I want gays to NOT do gay things. I want you to NOT act on your homosexual thoughts and desires.

    See how that works?

    What, you don't like that? Why not? It's what you're forcing us to do.

    Bottom line: New Mexico got it wrong. Even the little kids on those car insurance commercials where the adult guy puts the kids in unfair situations can spot unfairness and hypocrisy.

  • Lobotech Grantsville, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    How reassuring to know that the couples rights are more valuable than the photographer's. They couldn't have simply went to a more gay friendly photographer. This must have been the only photographer in the entire state. So go ahead and tell me how this isn't agenda pounding.

  • JD Jones Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    I think we should challenge the very notion of religious freedom. Where do we draw the line? For example, some parents have chosen to refuse provide medical help for their terminally ill children in favor of prayer alone. We are fortunate to live in a country in which such parents will be prosecuted and most likely serve time in prison for letting their children die. Does it limit their religious liberty? It sure does. Is this a good thing? It sure is.

    What if a religious photography opposes inter-racial marriage and refuse to accept an inter-racial as customers? Are we violating a person's religious liberty if we embrace a legal system that cracks down on this kind of discrimination? Sure. Is it a good thing? You bet. So what makes you think it should be any different with respect to gay people getting married?

    How far are we willing to respect religious beliefs? Brigham Young once said that a white man who mixes his "chosen seed" with the "seed of Cain" should die on the spot. Does religious freedom include acting on or supporting Young in the form of action? I oppose this kind of freedom.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    So does this force them to go in a bar and photograph, sky dive and photograph, deep sea dive and photograph, to to a strip club and photograph? What about when people get married in places or situations that are out of their comfort or value zone, the law forces them?

  • LeslieDF Alameda, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    @ paintanddestroy: "I hope the LGBT community realizes gay photographers/caterers etc. are now legally liable to serve those with opposing values"

    Where have you been?

    The bottom line of friends' businesses in photography, catering, bakery, florist, wedding planning, printing and all the other wedding-related fields shows they have been serving those with opposing values for years without any problems like this New Mexico photographer.

    Now, friends' businesses have expanded even more in California. No one asks, if they are "gay." Prospective clients look at their work, talk to their former clients - everyone.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    "No shirt, no shoes, no service," unless of course, you're gay, then I have to serve you.

  • Big Bubba Herriman, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    If a photographer did not want to do my wedding because it was at a Mormon temple, I would not take the photographer to court. I would find someone else to do the job.
    Homosexual activists and social liberals are turning this country into a hostile place for traditional christian values. When the Lord of Christianity returns there will be a huge marshmallow roast, I predict. Until then, let's try to get along.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    Does her religion teach her to not treat Gays as people?

    Does her religion teach her to not photograph gay couples?

    Does her religion teach her that she must love her neighbors?

    If not, exactly what religious liberty did she lose? She can still think whatever she wants to about the couple, their marriage or anything else. She isn't being forced into a gay marriage.

    What right exactly was lost?

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    The Rock: "Have you ever noticed that all of the "protected classes" are liberal constituency groups?"

    Have you ever wondered why? Is it perhaps because there is only one party that is actually looking out for the rights of minorities? When you actually show that you care about people and work actively to make sure their civil rights aren't violated, they tend to reciprocate by voting you back into office. It's not rocket science.

  • jskains Orem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    @Henry Drummond

    As an active LDS, I would be mad if someone told me they wouldn't photograph my wedding because I was LDS, but you know what? I don't need mommy government to pat me on my head, give me a lollipop and go after them in a rage. I would *gasp* find another photographer. It's really that easy.

  • jo1952 Redmond, WA
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    To photograph a wedding successfully, the photographer must be emotionally immersed in the celebration. Why would this couple want a photographer who cannot give them 100%? They should have understood that this couple has strong beliefs and found another photographer. I would have had a lot more respect for them.

  • Arizona1 Tucson, AZ
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    This sets a dangerous precedent. What happens as pornography becomes more accepted, does that same photographer have to accept request by those wanting pornographic shots. I'm not saying that a commitment ceremony and pornography are the same thing, I'm just saying that if the court can say that the religious values of a photographer are moot and hold no place in their business practices, what is to protect a photographer from having to do things even more offensive to their religious beliefs as the price of practicing that profession.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    Why does this matter?

    Why does it matter to the government, at any level, if a person feels it is against their morals to do something? They aren't actually hurting anybody by choosing to not take pictures and homosexuals are in serious denial if they think they are being "hurt". If homosexuals claim that then I can claim that I am 'hurt' by them not giving me their money. No, not for services rendered, just because I want it. I want their money and I'm 'hurt' by their selfishness in not giving it to me.

    Is my example ridiculous? Of course it is but so is the homosexual community's claim that they are being hurt by this photographer.

    Homosexuals want, MORE than anything else, is acceptance of their behavior; they want what is immoral to be called moral. THAT is what they want.

    The government of New Mexico may be foolish enough to grant that but I'm not.

  • paintandestroy Richmond/Cache, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    I hope the LGBT community realizes gay photographers/caterers etc. are now legally liable to serve those with opposing values

  • VAggie Bristow, United States
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    This is why I struggle in my support of marriage equality. I support the right to marry not the right to impose behavior on others.

  • paintandestroy Richmond/Cache, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:37 a.m.

    I would be very surprised if Mormon weddings haven't been turned down before. The point is most people don't sue others for having different beliefs or standards.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    May it please the moderators:
    I disagree with this ruling. The couple who brought on the suit has set equality back and they have given fodder to all those hysterical religious 'Henny Pennys' who wail about how equality is going to take away their rights. Why would anybody want to give their money to a business that is socially backward and hateful? Why would anybody want a photographer who hates them at their wedding? Aren't there enough freelance photographers looking for work? I certainly wouldn't want to give my money to somebody with such a lack of discretion. And I'd be happy to spread the word of my intent to boycott on facebook and to friends as well. But I think this ruling goes too far.
    That said, I believe that this type of ruling is the exception. Yes, every once in a great while, we get it wrong and a religious person's rights are violated. But compared to what LGBT people have to face on a daily basis, I'm really not that interested in hearing about any religious persecution complex.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    So, in the end, the couple found another photographer willing to shoot their ceremony.

    Here's a question for all those who believe they have the right to impose their idea of marriage on the rest of society.

    If the new photographer was someone who also disagreed with the idea of homosexual "marriage" and because of his/her disapproval, had a scowl while doing the job, would he/she been liable to prosecution for not exhibiting the same enthusiasm as he/she would likely have done when shooting a traditional marriage?

    What say ye?

  • LeslieDF Alameda, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    Thank God these issues go to courts. Judging by the comments here, there are few who can read, understand or interpret facts.

    The same-sex couple told the photographer it was a commitment ceremony (not a wedding, not a marriage, and not even religious).

    We discriminate all the time, make choices, but we start with distinguishing facts, not beliefs. Facts lead to good choices. Are our choices always the "right" choices? In this case, no.

    Refusing service to a potential client starts and ends with facts, not beliefs. Businesses thrive on making good choices. So do clients, families, marriages and just about anything else.

    Justice Richard Bosson wrote for the court: "the business owners have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different." "That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation."

    You live in this nation, among others like you, and different from you under the rule of law. That is what makes America great.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    If this photographer refused to provide her services to Latter-day Saints because her Evangelical religion teaches her "Mormons are not Christian," I strongly suspect this newspaper would be up in arms about it. If the courts ever ruled the way some people here think they should rule, LDS people would be hurt by it. Be careful what you wish for ...

  • Viva la Migra American Fork, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    Why are Chrstians such an easy target of the media/LBGT over this issue? I've heard of a dozen cases like this where a baker or photographer was specifically targeted because of their Christian beliefs by a gay couple and then sued when the business was turned down. Are they going to try this with Muslim business, too?

    How far can this legal theory be taken? Could a Jewish caterer be forced to serve pork chops and bacon at a public event? Could an LDS event planner be forced to provide Marijuana/Alcohol at a 4-11 event in Colorado or Washington?

  • jskains Orem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    @Eliyahu

    Absolutely. If a business wants to put "Whites Only", that is their right. Myself, I wouldn't patronize such a business, and I would support people boycotting the business, but government does NOT have a right to demand who they serve and why. That isn't the government's job. When slaves were freed, greedy republicans saw more money. It was the democrats who blocked the ability through government force for businesses to work with blacks. If government had stayed out of it, I think racial issues would have been resolved much quicker. Civil rights movement for government institutions is correct. Everyone pays for government. Civil rights for the private sector were wrong. Market capitalism would have worked through that. The best response? Start a competing wedding photography service and go after the underserved market. THAT is how it should resolve. Not government force.

  • The Big Deal Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    It's the act she refused to photagraph. If the gay person that asked her for her services was marrying some from the opposite sex, the photographer would have taken the job. She didn't refuse becasue the person was gay, it was the act they were performing.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    @Madden --

    "The problem is, acting out a gay lifestyle is not the same as having a certain skin color, at least not to those in society with moral oppositions to such behavior. I side with the photographer here...no person should be forced to participate in behavior they find morally wrong."

    Plenty of people in the "olden days" thought it was morally wrong to marry a person of a different race. Should those people have been allowed to refuse services for a mixed race wedding?

    Plenty of people have thought over the years that Mormonism is morally wrong. Should those people be allowed to refuse services to Mormon celebrations?

    Discrimination by businesses has been illegal in this country since the days of the lunch counter sit-ins. This is nothing new. The only thing that has changed is that this discrimination involves a group that some of the folks in this thread happen to not like.

  • golsen7 Bonneville, ID
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    The cost for a gay wedding is 50,000 dollars. That is the cost for the emotion duress. The government can't choose your prices for you.

  • bullet56 Olympia, WA
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    Any person who owns a business license is saying in effect, "Hi I am here to server the needs of the public who want my services." This is true for land lords who offer a space for rent, a photographer, or a restaurant. When couples of different races tried to rent space back in the 60's some landlords stood behind their religious beliefs to deny them equal treatment under the law. This case is the same. I do not worry that the LGTB issue will be mandated into our churches because they are a "membership" organization with exclusionary rights and not advertised as a public facility.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    @ jskains:
    "...the government does NOT have a right to tell a business who to serve."

    Are you suggesting we need to return to the days when lunch counters could post "whites only" signs, when realtors could list houses as "white Protestants only", and when businesses could advertise positions with caveats such as "no Jews or Irish need apply"? Ah, yes... the good ol' days when train stations had separate waiting areas and drinking fountains for "coloreds", when country clubs were "exclusive" (no Jews, Catholics or Blacks), and when mobs could run Mormons out of town because of their religion. Are you really that nostalgic, wishing for a return to a time of institutionalized bigotry when the country was controlled by white Protestant men of Northern European origin and everyone else knew his or her place?

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    By refusing to photograph the ceremony, didn't she violate her own Christian beliefs?

    Did she refuse because she had judged the couple? Jesus said, "Do not judge so that you will not be judged ... how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye,' while there is a beam in your own? You hypocrite!"

    Did she think the couple was evil? Jesus said, "But I say to you, do not resist the evildoer....And if someone wants to sue you and to take your tunic, give him your coat also."

    Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Was the photographer's refusal an expression of love?

    Jesus said, "In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets." How would the photographer like to be treated when she goes to a business to engage their services? Would she like to be refused because of her beliefs or her looks or her sexual orientation?

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    I'm of two minds on this issue. On one hand, I wouldn't have wanted my daughter's recent wedding photographed by someone who didn't want to be there in the first place. As an amateur photographer myself, I know that enthusiasm for the subject being photographed is important if you're to do a good job. At the same time, would we read all these letters about "rights being trampled" if the photographer had refused to photograph a wedding because it was a mixed-race couple or because the couple was black? The "right to refuse service" isn't an unlimited option for businesses. In a nutshell, you can refuse to serve people because of what they're doing (e.g., partly dressed, disorderly, drunk, abusive to you, etc.), but not because of who they are. Would anyone find it acceptable for a business to have a "no Mormons" policy, any more than a "whites only" policy? If not, then why would "no gays" be okay?

  • Ron Hilton Holladay, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    Commercial wedding services should receive the same religious protection as marriage itself. The goal of militant same-sex activists is to destroy marriage, and this attack on the periphery of traditional marriage is just the first step.

  • lehiaggie Lehi, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    Scoundrel:

    Your comment about businesses not being people seems to miss a point. First, the article never said what kind of business this was. It could be a sole proprietorship or a partnership and yes those are people. There is no separate entity created.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    I think I would schedule other customers and commitments on that wedding day. The court doesn't say you can't do that.

  • LeslieDF Alameda, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    @ The Rock: "Have you ever noticed that all of the "protected classes" are liberal constituency groups? Groups that primarily vote for Democrats (if not almost exclusively)?"

    Protected classes in law: Religious; Women; Disabled; Veterans; Seniors.
    You really think they are all "liberal" and "primarily vote for Democrats"?

    Discrimination used to mean: You can see well enough to chose the better from among all choices. And this story was not about where YOU chose to eat. It was about all eating places (businesses) that serve YOU (and all of the public).

    Take off your blinders, or see an optometrist. Hope the optometrist likes all the groups you may belong to and does not refuse to examine or treat you.

  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    It has been very common for businesses to display a sign, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone."

    Now a New Mexico judge apparently asserts that such a right no longer exists.

    Confusing...

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    @The Real Maverick

    "So let me get this straight? You folks believe that businesses can refuse services to anyone based on their sexual orientation, gender, and race?"

    That isn't the case. The case was a WEDDING, not a person. If the photographer refused to photograph a gay person's profile, then you have a point. The whole issue is that this is an event that was asked to be photographed - it was not the people, gender or race - it was the ceremony that the photographer didn't want to participate in.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    Look, some historial basis for this. In the Jim Crow days, if you were black and you wanted to drive from Georgia to Louisiana, you packed really big picnic lunches for the kids. Because if you showed up at a restaurant, at best, you would have to go into the back. It didn't look good for the children, "How come we can't sit down or use the bathroom, I am tired." And you had to make up a story for your kids.

    Fortunately, people in the civil rights movement, people such as the Southern Christian Leadership Convention, lobbied and made it the law that you could not discriminate based on race.

    A business should not be able to discriminate like they did in the South. After all the Bible says, that the law should work the same for the politically weak as it does for the politically strong.

    Having said that, an multicultural, progressive society is not going to force people from the public square because of their religious/cultural values.

  • The Big Deal Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    Doesn't this ruling also mean that a Chick-fil-a in New Mexico could sue everyone that refuses to eat there based on their same sex marriage stance.?

    Amigo1 has it right.

    What if the statement were worded this way

    "Rejecting that argument, Justice Richard Bosson wrote for the court that the CUSTOMER "has to channel their conduct(business patronage), not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different."

    "That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us a people," Bosson wrote in an opinion concurring with the court's ruling. "That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship."

    Is this really any different...?

  • LeslieDF Alameda, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    This was a request to photograph a non-religious, commitment ceremony of a same-sex couple.

    Any public business (photographer, baker, florist) is free to discriminate when:

    They post signs that say they are a church and not a public business.
    They post signs that say they do not serve homosexuals because of their "religious" beliefs.
    They post signs that say they serve only heterosexual religious couples who marry.

    Want to discriminate? Niche market your business and limit your business to only those people you wish to serve. Your business license by the state has to be issued for just that one purpose only.

    Not far fetched. You've done the same thing with marriage licenses issued by the states.
    Call that ballot measure (the next of many needed): The Defense of Religious Marital Photography Protection Act.

    The problem with lying? You have to remember what you say and do and be consistent.

  • Texile Nacogdoches, TX
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:40 a.m.

    By this logic, businesses who close on Sunday because of religious belief are breaking the law by not serving those who do not observe the sabbath.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    I think I will go into a store that caters to the gay/lesbian population and sue them for not selling religious products.

  • Madden Herriman, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    Clearly the gay lobby was itching to pick a fight here, probably because they knew the leaning of the initial courts that would see the case. It happens all the time. This one will likely move up in the system.

    I see both sides - what happened to the right of a business (especially a small one) to refuse service to anyone on any grounds? On the flip side, the court here treats the actions of a gay lifestyle in the same way they treat race, and we certainly would not tolerate a photographer refusing to provide services based on skin color, right?

    The problem is, acting out a gay lifestyle is not the same as having a certain skin color, at least not to those in society with moral oppositions to such behavior. I side with the photographer here...no person should be forced to participate in behavior they find morally wrong. Right of conscience trumps perceived discrimination, as "discrimination" against actions and lifestyles is totally different than racism and true forms of discrimination.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    This needs to go to the US Supreme Court on appeal and be overturned, which will force the state of NM to rescind their ridiculous law.

    The Federal Constitution trumps State laws.

  • bribri86 Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    Bob K

    "If you don't agree, think about "I'm a Baptist and we don't serve mormons [sic]" (in a State where discrimination is illegal)"

    We would get up and leave. Just like we did in Missouri, Illinois, New York, and all the other places that kicked us out. We don't sit down and force others to like us. We leave and turn a swamp, a desert, or any other place into prosperity. Everyone crying racism or discrimination should take a page out of how to deal with adversity from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Who knows, they may find themselves blossoming like a rose.

  • WRK Riverton, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    Freedom, because of the Gays and Lesbians, and liberals, gone.

  • Jimbo Low PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    This is beyond unbelievable. I think we fight now or fight later. I am ready--put me in coach!
    Religious liberty is at stake right now.

  • bribri86 Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    "Rejecting that argument, Justice Richard Bosson wrote for the court that the business owners "have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different."

    Did the lesbian couple "leave space for other Americans who believe something different" for the Christian photographers? Nope. Classic example of "Tolerance only up until the homosexual community has to tolerate Christians (but Muslims hating on homosexual behavior is ok)."

  • dani pocatello, ID
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    I don't think anyone has brought up the fact that if she had taken pictures for this wedding she would have been required to attend the wedding. Something I would assume she would find she would be unable to do. Sort of like trying to hire someone who cleans for a living to clean a butchering establishment. And they are vegan and belong to peta. Probably the same feeling.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    So let me get this straight? You folks believe that businesses can refuse services to anyone based on their sexual orientation, gender, and race?

    Huh?

    If that were the case the Deep South would still refuse to service those of the "colored race."

    I have a better idea, refuse for another reason. Just tell them that you're too busy. But to discriminate based on sexual orientation? Of course that's going to be illegal!

  • Jeffsfla Glendale, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:05 a.m.

    I am glad to see this correct ruling. We cannot pick and choose which laws we want to follow. If you do not like the laws change them. This ruling ensures we will never go back to "No Blacks Served" signs.

  • JP71 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    This is beyond horrible. Our freedom is eroding every second. The government is now telling people what to believe. How is it that it’s OK to burn the American flag in the name of freedom but a person cannot practice their religion freely. The whole point of freedom is people will be able to do things that could offend other people. If the photographer wants to not take pictures of another race than that should be OK. If the photographer doesn’t want to take pictures a gay couple that is their right. Yes, it is offensive but it is their right. If I was this photographer I would go to jail before I would back down.

  • Amigo1 Sparks,, NV
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:58 a.m.

    Couldn't the courts argument be also be made to support the photographer?

    "Rejecting that argument, Justice Richard Bosson wrote for the court that the COUPLE "has to channel their conduct(business patronage), not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different."

    "That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us a people," Bosson wrote in an opinion concurring with the court's ruling. "That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship."

    Why is it the photographer who has to compromise and show "tolerance" and not the couple? What makes their rights more protected than the rights of the photographer? Tolerance is a two way street.

  • Gorum The Old Madison, AL
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:52 a.m.

    It is simply a matter of what the judges have sympathy for. If the photographer had been asked to phtotgraph a ceremony the judges found repugnant, they would have sided with the photographer.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:45 a.m.

    The gay pages advertised for and promoted businesses owned by homosexuals, or businesses promoting homosexuality, in order to get preference from customers. So let those who prefer those businesses hire them.

    There is no shortage of businesses willing to serve homosexuals, so don't bother comparing it to lunch counters in the south, where no one would serve those who looked black. Homosexual couples have all the freedom to choose their business dealings, but religious people do not?

    Clearly a violation of the first amendment.

    md - I love it! It may be the only choice those of us with conscience will have in the so called 'land of the free'.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    Two parties with axes to grind. Law suits are not going to be that prevalent.

  • windsor City, Ut
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:32 a.m.

    Elaine's Flowers in Washington and now this Elane.

    Soon, all businesses not wanting to participate will learn they are foeced to use five little words-- Sorry, we're all booked up. Who knew breaking a commandment about lying would be their only recourse??

  • Robert Johnson Sunland, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:31 a.m.

    Proving once again that bigotry in the name of religion is still bigotry. Imagine if this photographer had said "I won't photograph black families" or "I don't photograph jews" or even..."I refuse to photograph fat people". If you choose to do business in America than you are not allowed to discriminate. Period. You cannot hide behind religious intolerance.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:29 a.m.

    They were discriminating against an event. It is a central tenet of social responsibility that businesses have the right and even the moral responsibility to boycott what they consider to be immoral. Does anyone remembers boycotts against apartheid in the 1980's?

    Now all those people who in recent months have been arguing here that gay marriage wouldn't lead affect anyone will probably come here and explain why these photographers aren't being censored because of their religious/cultural beliefs.

  • md Cache, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    Boooo.

    I would have taken their pictures. Out of focus. They wouldn't hire me again.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    Why should the government tell a private business who they can't serve. Most restaurants and hair cutting places put up signs that say we refuse the right to do service to anyone. Now someone is forced to go against there values. There are photographers that will photograph them.

    If you don't like a policy of a restaurant it is not difficult to find another one as well.

  • Big Bubba Herriman, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:16 a.m.

    This is absolutely dumb! We now see what happens when the government impedes on individual liberties. Tyranny.

  • jskains Orem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:12 a.m.

    The problem here is free market. The court made the wrong decision because there is an assumption that gay couples have a right to a business. They don't. If a business wants to refuse to service to a group, so be it. The public has a right to boycott, etc. but the government does NOT have a right to tell a business who to serve.

  • paintandestroy Richmond/Cache, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:09 a.m.

    Unbelievable- Why don't gay photographers open shape and capitalize this market? Guess what- they probably already have. It's obvious what the couples real intent was here.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:08 a.m.

    The courts are trending toward an "equality" which is untrue and calculated to overpower, not equalize.

    A year ago I would have been in utter disgust, outrage, and taken great offense to this. Today, I have a slightly different outlook. It isn't one of having given up, as I still stand firm because God's plan for the family is for our happiness and I support it. But shouting with more vigor when things like this happen doesn't make us any happier and it won't convince anyone to rethink which moral position they subscribe to. It simply invites more stubborn retaliation.

    We should still continue defending the truth in the courts, etc.

    But what I would rather do is focus on continuing to live our lives, to stop feeding attention to those who abuse us as a free people, and to help people like these photographers when their freedoms are robbed. We can fight against their shredding up the constitution, but in the end the truth cannot be hid and true justice will be preserved. We simply have to trust God.

    At some point, the family will succeed. I think it already has.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:08 a.m.

    So much for freedom.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:08 a.m.

    So liberal justices can find a "right" to an abortion in the constitution, even though the constitution says nothing of the sort, but they cannot find a right to obeying your own conscience in spite of the 1st amendment. Thanks, liberals. We can expect more of this, it being the last days and all.

  • PolishBear Charleston, WV
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:03 a.m.

    Atheist or Muslim or Pagan couples? No prob, their money is still green. But GAY couples? Oh no. Accepting THEIR money would be a SIN.

    All the "Christian" companies that are fed up with civil rights laws? They should file suit to have them overturned. Who knows? Maybe they'll win! Then we can go back to the old days when companies could fire Gay employees, restaurants could refuse service to Blacks, and landlords could refuse to rent to Muslims and Jews.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:01 a.m.

    They are not being compelled to take pictures because they are citizens, they are a business and therefore unable to discriminate in who they offer services to.

    Unless you are Ferengi, owning a business is not required by your religion, it is a choice - and when you make that choice you agree to operate your business in accordance with Federal and state laws.

    Honesty is a universal religious principle and failure to honor laws you voluntarily agreed to follow, violates it.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:00 a.m.

    Discrimination used to be considered a virtue: The ability to make fine distinctions. It was a compliment to be told that you had discriminating tastes. It was an insult to be told that you had "no discrimination".

    That is not what we are talking about here. They have changed the definition of the word.
    Gay used to mean happy.

    Have you ever noticed that all of the "protected classes" are liberal constituency groups? Groups that primarily vote for Democrats (if not almost exclusively)?

    It is impossible to make any decision involving money that does not discriminate against the people we did not give the money to. If I eat lunch at McDonald's am I not discriminating against Subway or even other McDonald's restaurants that I did not patronize? Every decision discriminates in some way. Owing to the fact that the only difference between freedom and a dictatorship is who makes the decisions, A free person makes his own decisions, A dictatorship makes them for you: If you outlaw discrimination you abolish freedom.

    If you don't want to photograph a same sex marriage, just inform them that 100% of the profits will be donated to an anti-gay group.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:59 a.m.

    A victory for human rights!

    Well done, New Mexico.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:53 a.m.

    If protection of traditional marriage is something you value be grateful that gay relationships are getting more respect.

    No longer do gay people feel compelled to marry somebody of the opposite sex. They now stick to their own kind. Contrary to what some say, this change is a protection of traditional marriage in that our daughters will no longer find themselves in marriages where the husband can't appreciate them as a wife with her wondering why or eventually finding out why.

    No longer will women be at risk that their husbands will leave them to go be with their boyfriend. Growing up my brothers friends mother ran off, she just disappeared. This was a big blow to my brothers friend. Later on became common knowledge his father was gay. Speculation is this is the reason for his mother leaving.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:50 a.m.

    So, in what circumstances can a "commercial business" refuse anyone as a client or customer?

    And is the key to being a commercial business that one actively "solicits" for business? If so, what about someone who works on a referral basis only? They don't advertise or market themselves, but have a business license and do such good work that their customers tell their friends about them?

    I don't think we've heard the end of this story.

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:42 a.m.

    So apparently the photographer needs to have a conflicting event on their schedule in order to refuse doing it without it being discrimination. The solution is to fill your schedule with fictitious events and then replace them as you get events you are willing to photograph.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:31 a.m.

    And thus we see that the fears of religious people are based in fact. Gay rights advocates have always claimed that so-called gay "marriage" wll not intrude on freedom of religion in this country. Thus we see that this is not true.

    This whole thing is disgusting. This decision is horrible. Sometimes I think that I am not living in the country in which I was born.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:19 a.m.

    This decision is the only possible correct one.

    "Rejecting that argument, Justice Richard Bosson wrote for the court that the business owners "have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different."

    "That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us a people," Bosson wrote in an opinion concurring with the court's ruling. "That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship."

    Beautifully stated.

  • SME Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:03 a.m.

    This appears to be the true end game of the homosexual community, not the right to iive as they choose, but the right to control your behavior as well.

  • vesmir Riverside, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:02 a.m.

    And Atheism or Hinduism or Buddhism (not believing in that God or Christ at all) don't violate her beliefs? What a handy scapegoat in gays she (thought she) has found! Hypocrisy at its finest. When people own a business, they own that business's legal responsibilities, not the other way around.

  • Mom Johnson West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:56 a.m.

    What is the situation here? Had the women already paid money to the company that could not be refunded? Had everything been set and then the company backed out at the last minute? Or was it because in discussing the plans with the photographer it was determined that it would not be a perfect situation for both parties. After all, you would not want someone to take pictures at your wedding and do a crappy job because they don't agree with what you are doing, would you?. The Lesbian "couple" should be grateful, say thank you for being honest and find another business, instead of going to court.

    As a business owner, I have the right to refuse services. I have a sign posted that says just that. Just like "no shirt, no shoes, no service".

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:56 a.m.

    If one actually looks at the details of this issue, and sincerely thinks about it, there is not a black and white answer.

    Both sides have reasonable and compelling arguments.

    I am torn on this one.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:52 a.m.

    The Supreme Court is saying that Americans cannot allow their religious beliefs to be expressed in their work and livelihood.

    The photographer got what she wanted...the ability to extend her beliefs into her place of employment. The photographer did not receive payment and was not rewarded in any way. The couple did not lose any money to this photographer, and was able to hire a different photographer. They got pictures of their wedding.

    If a customer is not pleased with any level of service that a business offers, they can go to another business. Money is the driving factor of a contract in business. If a business finds that their position is causing a loss in revenue they can choose to change their business policies or accept lower sales.

    It seems that everyone can receive what they want. I do not understand why a lawsuit was brought. And I do not understand the reasoning of the court, as I summarized in my first sentence above.

  • Albert Maslar CPA (Retired) Absecon, NJ
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:45 a.m.

    A sad state of affairs when government rules against freedom of religion and conscience. American citizens are free to pursue their lifestyles whatever they are, at their own eternal and legal peril. Courts have gone out of their way to persecute legitimate religious beliefs, as opposed to the nature of cults. There are many mistaken beliefs including by many on the religious right that homosexuality is a sin, but that is not true as only the act of homosexuality is a sin in the Christian-Judeo tradition. That sin applies to unmarried persons as well that are to refrain from sex outside of marriage, and likewise the married are prohibited from having sexual relations outside of their own marriage. Same church; different pew. Government interfering with the free practice of religion and forcing actions against religion and conscience is intolerable. America is rapidly falling away from its tradition as the land of the free as it imposes its statist religion that is part and parcel of the evolving dictatorship that is its own god. Moral decline leads to every other kind of decline and the courts are no longer the last resort as the slippery slope just got slipperier.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:41 a.m.

    apparently the NM supreme court is unaware of the supremecy clause of the US constitution and the religious rights granted by the 1st amendment.

  • FrankSegesman ,
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:41 a.m.

    Once again, the high court disregards the constitution.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 5:31 a.m.

    My gay friends said this would never happen.
    They said there is no "agenda."
    They said they are not militant.
    They say the courts would never DEMAND that churches perform same-gender wedding ceremonies in their chapels, synagogs and temples.

  • Jared NotInMiami, FL
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:46 a.m.

    "The idea that free people can be 'compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives' as the 'price of citizenship' is a chilling and unprecedented attack on freedom."

    Exactly, this is chilling. As unfortunate as other recent same-sex rulings have been, this is one of the worst because it punishes people for their moral and religious convictions.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Aug. 23, 2013 1:37 a.m.

    "Tolerance" seems to be a one-way street.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Aug. 23, 2013 12:43 a.m.

    Without a back story on whether she had been a public figure against marriage equality, and telling us exactly what she said to the prospective couple, we can't say much for sure, other than noting it is illegal for a business to discriminate in New Mexico.
    If the woman had said, "I can't say no, but, since my heart will not be in it due to my beliefs, I would rather you got someone else." --- most Gay folks would say thanks and leave.
    If she openly flouted the law, if she made the mistake of saying that she was a Christian and would not do it (implying that they are not Christians), if she brought up the Bible, etc etc
    --- she belongs in court being sued.
    If you don't agree, think about "I'm a Baptist and we don't serve mormons" (in a State where discrimination is illegal)

  • HappyHeathen Puyallu, Wa.
    Aug. 23, 2013 12:29 a.m.

    It’s amazing how many people think their religious beliefs should be the tail that wags the dog when it comes to civil rights. The court made the right decision.

  • onceuponatime Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 12:24 a.m.

    Unfortunately the gay rights groups only believe in their rights and not those who are different. They don't tolerate those who are different and the Democrats have given them the power to bully those who don't see the world like they do.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Aug. 23, 2013 12:05 a.m.

    And the meltdown here begins in 3,2,1...