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Supreme Court turns down appeal in New Mexico photography, same-sex marriage case

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  • Demiurge San Diego, CA
    April 8, 2014 7:43 p.m.

    The tide has turned people. It is no longer considered ok to discriminate against someone based on sexual orientation. It's only going to become more so as the older people die and the younger move up.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    April 8, 2014 5:23 p.m.

    @Lost in DC

    You said, “Look at recent SCOTUS rulings on the rights of corporations.”

    Since the US Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal, your point is moot.

    You said, “Your argument says people of conscience have no right to make a living.”

    My argument says no such thing. My argument is if you want to conduct business under state license you have to obey state law. If you are unwilling to do that you need to find a different line of work. New Mexico’s Human Rights Act states that businesses such as Elane Photography can’t refuse can’t a customer simply because of gender.

    You said, “talk about hatred!” Your hyperbole is duly noted but the correct term you were looking for is “pragmatic.”

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 8, 2014 4:21 p.m.

    @Badgerbadger: "Best comment - The photographer 'uniform' should state that they support keeping the traditional definition of marriage."

    Great! Show they are unprofessional in a way they would not be able to deny. If I saw that I would plaster the internet with pictures of a wedding photographer making a scene like that...

    "Mozilla didn't choose to keep all their clients. They chose the militant half over the peaceful half."

    But World-Vision, an organization that feeds children, just lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in "Christian" pledges because they said they would hire gay married couples. The "peaceful half" punished the children...

    Boycotts currently in place from the religious right:
    Disney
    JC Pennys
    Archie Comics (Yeah, the right is boycotting Archie, Jughead and the gang)
    Starbucks
    EA Games
    General Mills - including Betty Crocker, Green Giant, Haagen-Daz, Pillsbury,and Yoplait)
    Home Depot
    And Girl Scouts, hurting local troops by not buying cookies.

    I think the real problem is calls for boycotts by the right are usually flops - the company goes on. When the left calls a boycott it has a bite that impacts sales and is noticed.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    April 8, 2014 3:39 p.m.

    county mom
    Monroe, UT
    "So, if I do not believe in the Girl Scouts and refuse to buy cookies from them, does that make me prejudice? Does it make me a bad person?
    What if I won't sell a drink of lemonade to a girl scout because I don't believe in what she represents?
    There are literally thousands of places to get a drink and hundreds of different cookies.
    The problem with this ruling is they are judging intent.
    Honestly if any of these people refused to help but gave no reason, there would be nothing to rule on.
    Unless of course it becomes illegal to believe or think for yourself."
    ----------

    No -- read my other post.

    Should we not try to walk in the other person's shoes, as Jesus told us?
    --- how many woman wedding photographers are in that town? Probably only the one.
    --- what laws should we ignore?

    The people wanted her, but she did not say no
    -- she basically told them that the greatest thing that ever happened to them was wrong, due to her religion

    The woman was unkind

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    April 8, 2014 2:50 p.m.

    Best comment - The photographer 'uniform' should state that they support keeping the traditional definition of marriage.

    Those of us with morals really need to have a website where we can push every visitor to sign a petition. Eich might still have his job if the our half of society had made our voice heard in the same way the pro-homosexual movement did. Mozilla didn't choose to keep all their clients. They chose the militant half over the peaceful half. They have the homosexual agenda-ists to thank for cutting their business in half.

    So suing businesses for large amounts of money, and dividing their clientele in half certainly looks like the militant homosexual movement is very hard on businesses.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    April 8, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    My baptism was over 30 years ago, so it is prior, and baptism is a definitely a commitment.

    So saying I have a prior commitment is the absolute truth.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    April 8, 2014 10:47 a.m.

    arand, please do not claim that Eich lost his Mozilla job because he believed in "promoting marriage between a man and a woman". Proposition 8 did not "promote" anything; it excluded the rights, privileges, obligations and dignity of marriage for a substantial minority of Californians.

    I, for one would love to see real steps taken to "promote" marriage and responsible childbearing. We could use classes in financial literacy, apprentice programs for blue-collar workers, grade and high school counseling for at-risk students, programs to prevent homelessness--you get the idea. None of these denies the dignity of our gay citizens--which was the sole focus of Proposition 8 and Amendment 3.

  • USU-Logan Logan, UT
    April 8, 2014 10:12 a.m.

    @arand

    Didn't evangelical Christians just force World Vision to change their policy on gay employees? Do you call that double standard too?

    "There is a big difference between denying service and actually having to participate in a service."

    the law in NM specifically forbids discrimination on sexual orientation, as well as race, age, gender etc.

  • arand Huntsville, u
    April 8, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    Do you really believe that Laura? We have a man that just lost his job at Mozilla by donating to a political cause promoting marriage between a man and woman. There is a double standard and anyone who does not believe it has their head in the sand. There is a big difference between denying service and actually having to participate in a service.

  • USU-Logan Logan, UT
    April 8, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    @arand
    "What if the KKK was having a party and they went to a Black photographer?"

    Is being KKK protected under anti-discrimination law, as race, gender, sexual orientation?
    I don’t think so.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    April 8, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    @arand, yes, the black photographer would have to do the KKK gig and the gay photographer would have to do the hate group's fundraiser. As far as the porn shoot, I don't think there's a problem turning that one down, as long as you don't do nude videorecording /photography at all.

  • arand Huntsville, u
    April 8, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    What if the KKK was having a party and they went to a Black photographer? What if a Religious group was having a fundraiser to denounce same sex marriage and they went to a gay photographer?

    There is a big difference between denying service, for say a meal or a hotel room than there is for denying service that promotes something that goes against what you believe in. Would I be forced to takes pictures at an adult porn movie shoot in Hollywood? This was a very bad precedent the courts set in action.

  • nycut New York, NY
    April 8, 2014 7:07 a.m.

    @ Social Mod Fiscal Con

    You suggest sexual orientation is merely a behavioral choice, and therefore opposition to gay people is not discrimination or bigotry.

    By this logic, you should be perfectly willing and able to stop your heterosexual "behavior" if enough people agree that you should. So if you're a man, no kissing, falling in love, marrying or sex with a woman.

    It might occur to you that you'd still be as heterosexual as you ever were, just suppressing it.

    Comparisons to racial discrimination are appropriate: Asking someone to change their sexual orientation by not *behaving* gay/straight is like asking someone to stop being black or hispanic or Asian by wearing a paper bag over their head.

    Like race, heterosexuality or homosexuality is inseparable from who we are.

    To defend against accusations of bigotry, you say it's OK to *be* gay-- just don't *do* gay. You accept "them" as long as they "know their place," which is to do what you say, based on what you want. That should have a uncomfortable, familiar ring to it.

    For all of us, who we love comes from who we are.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    April 7, 2014 10:52 p.m.

    @ Social Mod Fiscal Con

    You claim that objecting to the behavior is not discriminatory because unlike race, behavior is not immutable. But I'm not sure that I buy that your objection is really to the behavior. Because heterosexuals also engage in the sexual behaviors that homosexuals engage in. Is there something different about these behaviors when heterosexuals participate in them? There is ONE difference - the gender of one of the participants. Gender is immutable.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    April 7, 2014 8:45 p.m.

    Nothing turns a man into a feminist faster than having his fully qualified daughter turned down by a medical school.

    Nothing turns a conservative, Bible thumping moralist into a questioning one--if not an outright liberal--faster than having his beloved adult child come out as gay.

    And for Fred Vader and the others who suggested doing the work and donating the proceeds to an anti SSM group--please do so. There is a palpable joy at a gay wedding, different from any straight wedding you've ever been to. You don't have to attend more than a few of them before you will start to question all the trash talk you heard--or perhaps said yourself.

  • intervention slc, UT
    April 7, 2014 8:42 p.m.

    @Laura Bilington
    thats the funny (sad not haha) thing about this whole debate those (including the DN) that claim to object to same sex marriage on moral grounds think nothing of using lies, misrepresentation and deceit to defend their positions.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    April 7, 2014 8:09 p.m.

    I'm fascinated with all of these good, moral letter writers who suggest that business owners pretend to already be booked that day. I thought it against your morals to lie.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    April 7, 2014 7:56 p.m.

    @country mom

    "The problem with this ruling is they are judging intent." the courts judge intent on a regular basis, for example the difference between man slaughter and murder is intent. Free speech did not end and business did not shut down by the thousands when people could no longer discriminate based on race and this will be no different.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    April 7, 2014 7:09 p.m.

    @SoCalChris

    "The photographer did not discriminate based on sexual orientation. She had gay clients. She did not want to participate in an event that violated her beliefs." please do remind us what was the event?" a gay commitment ceremony, i think you are trying to split a nonexistent hair and claiming since she had not discriminate in the past that this was not discrimination is kind of like saying well he never committed a crime before so this is not a crime, it does not make sense

    "Should a gay printer be forced to provide flyers in support of prop 8 for a religious group? Does the printer sacrifice his right to decline because of his business license?" Yes

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 7, 2014 7:01 p.m.

    @Commenter88: "It's important to realize that this isn't like traditions in the South or elsewhere where African-Americans were refused the opportunity to eat, drink, or lodge. This is very different because it involves a wedding. That makes all the difference."

    In '79 I was stationed at the Navy Hospital in Pensacola. A man I worked with, who was black, was marrying a woman, also active duty Navy, who was white.

    Locally the Klan was active. When they heard about the wedding they made specific threats to the point the Naval Inestigative Service requested the ceremony be moved from a local church to the main chapel of the Pensacola Naval Air Station. The base was on high alert with extra security patrols, the couple and their families had armed security escorts - as Hospital Corpsmen that meant Marines who were locked and loaded.

    The ceremony was uneventful.

    But the vitriol of the Klan was focused on interracial marriage violating the will of God and the teaching of the Bible.

    This is same song, new verse.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    April 7, 2014 6:50 p.m.

    "A business does not have the right to "refuse service to anyone". There are things one sacrifices to have a license to opperate a buiness, such as to conduct the business within the confines of the law, which would include not discriminating on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation. It is the law."

    The photographer did not discriminate based on sexual orientation. She had gay clients. She did not want to participate in an event that violated her beliefs.

    Should a gay printer be forced to provide flyers in support of prop 8 for a religious group? Does the printer sacrifice his right to decline because of his business license?

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 7, 2014 6:25 p.m.

    @lost in dc
    “your argument says people of conscience have no right to make a living. talk about hatred!”

    I am sorry but that was a stretch, This photographers right to believe what she wants has not been taken away, her ability to use it to inflict (an action) what we know to be a social harm has been. We know the horrible effects of allowing discrimination in the pursuit of commercial enterprise and we as a society have the right to protect ourselves from such harms. The first amendment (or any other for that matter) is not a cover for causing social harms and never has been.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    April 7, 2014 5:30 p.m.

    Here is but one example on this post of the lack of understanding and hypocrisy of the right.

    " That being said, businesses discriminate all the time. What about "no shirt, no shoes, no service"? What about "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone"? Can't tell you how many times I've seen those signs posted in restaurants. If they couldn't enforce those policies, why even put them up for everyone to see in the first place?"

    To not see the difference between no shirt and no shoes and an inborn trait like color and sexual orientation is stunning.

    But this is compounded by the hypocrisy of in the same paper the same people ranting against a business who fires it's CEO for behavior they found embarrassing to their company.

    So a company can do anything it wants unless we disagree. My, my my folks.

  • Social Mod Fiscal Con West Jordan, UT
    April 7, 2014 5:18 p.m.

    @FatherOfFour

    I don't have an issue with a business posting what you have put up. It advertises what they stand for and lets people decide if they want to do business with them. I have no issues with interracial marriage, but I do support someone else's right to be opposed to it, and let others know how they feel.

    Everyone seems keen on making the SSM issue the same as interracial marriage issue. It isn't. It is completely different. In the case of race, one cannot simply stop being black, white, hispanic, or asian. In the case of homosexuality, it is not about someone *being* same-sex attracted, it is about the *behavior* of homosexuality, and the effect a person believes the public acceptance of that behavior has on society.

    For me to claim moral opposition to a person because of their race is truly to be discriminatory, a bigot. For me to claim moral opposition to a person because of their behavior it not discriminatory or bigotry at all. It is strictly about morality.

    You may not like or agree with that difference, but you disliking it does not make it untrue.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 7, 2014 5:02 p.m.

    @Social Mod Fiscal Con: "...I am forced to serve you regardless of my personal religious beliefs...The law forces me to act against my conscience, but it doesn't require me to give 100%."

    1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

    Colossians 3:22-23: Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

    Ephesians 6:5-8 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

    If this was about "deeply held religious beliefs" you'd follow the above instructions and do the best job possible.

    This is bigotry and prejudice. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • JenPen Woods Cross, UT
    April 7, 2014 4:54 p.m.

    It is sad when the principles of religious freedom this nation was founded on are being denied in the nation's high courts. We are grateful for women like this photographer who stand for what they believe and are willing to take the heat for their integrity. We pray our nation will return to honoring religious freedom.

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    April 7, 2014 4:26 p.m.

    So, if I do not believe in the Girl Scouts and refuse to buy cookies from them, does that make me prejudice? Does it make me a bad person?
    What if I won't sell a drink of lemonade to a girl scout because I don't believe in what she represents?
    There are literally thousands of places to get a drink and hundreds of different cookies.

    The problem with this ruling is they are judging intent.
    Honestly if any of these people refused to help but gave no reason, there would be nothing to rule on.
    Unless of course it becomes illegal to believe or think for yourself.

  • Commenter88 Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 7, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    The justices got this wrong, but not because same sex unions don't deserve legal recognition. It's important to realize that this isn't like traditions in the South or elsewhere where African-Americans were refused the opportunity to eat, drink, or lodge. This is very different because it involves a wedding. That makes all the difference. It is compelling the vendor to participate in the very act that contradicts the adherent's long-standing religious doctrine.

    It is different than having tolerance as well. One may respect and tolerate same-sex couples getting married, but it may still be against one's religious beliefs and should not require involuntary servitude to facilitate it. Racially-bigoted vendors are required to serve food because it does not reasonably violate a longstanding religious tradition. The court believes that the religious underpinnings in a marriage (which has been a religious rite much longer than a legal event), can be properly extracted so that it is viewed as a strictly legal event. Both the 1st and 13th amendments have now been subordinated to the 14th amendment in the event of any conflicts. That's a big change.

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    April 7, 2014 4:20 p.m.

    FatherOfFour's second posting (the one changed to interracial) really makes one take notice if for nothing else as being rather dated. I wonder if the first posting (SSM) will seem as archaic in a few years.

  • brainoncapitalist Orem, UT
    April 7, 2014 4:15 p.m.

    When you incorporate, your business becomes an entity of the State and is therefore subject to public policy law. You want the benefits of incorporation? Then you must abide by those laws that apply to corporations, period. Don't want to have to photograph a gay wedding? Don't incorporate your business. Simple.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    April 7, 2014 4:00 p.m.

    Could she wear a "I support traditional marriage" t-shirt while taking the pictures?

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    April 7, 2014 3:57 p.m.

    Jesus "participated" in social events with sinners quite frequently, and was criticized for it.

    Where exactly in scripture is this 11th Commandment: "Thou shalt not take pictures or make cakes for only the sinners who are gay"?

  • FatherOfFour WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    April 7, 2014 3:51 p.m.

    @Social Mod Fiscal Con

    Let me address the same thing you just said, but with the language you would have used fifty years ago. It is the same argument then as it is now:

    "My suggestion. If you are a small/private business, post the following in your window.

    Because the law has removed my 1st amendment rights, I am forced to serve you regardless of my personal religious beliefs. However, please note the following.
    1. I do not support Interracial Marriage, and I volunteer my time to organizations which oppose it.
    2. If you ask me to (photograph/bake for/DJ/etc..) your Interracial Wedding or Commitment ceremony, I will donate 100% of the proceeds to the Aryan Nations.
    3. The law forces me to act against my conscience, but it doesn't require me to give 100%.
    4. I realize you will assume I am bigot because of these views, but in fact I like you as a person just as much as any other person. I am simply opposed to certain behaviors becoming acceptable in our society."

    I only changed a few words and the overall argument is the same then as it is now.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    April 7, 2014 3:42 p.m.

    Let's address what actually took place:

    ---There is a law of equal public accommodation for businesses in New Mexico.
    If you are writing from Utah, etc, remember that the law trumps opinions.

    --- No one can force you to take photos or bake a cake -such stories are lies- but if you violate the law, you have consequences.

    ---There are few female wedding photographers. Naturally, lesbians might prefer a woman (who might understand women better), so it is obvious that this lady would get requests.

    ---If the photographer deserves the trouble, if she was stupid and rude enough to say to the couple that taking the pictures violates her religious beliefs, rather than saying "I'm booked then" or "Would you mind if I asked you to get someone else, because my heart won't be in it?" She deserves the trouble she started.

    I am totally appalled by the comments of folks urging her to take bad pictures and ruin a wedding out of extremely non-Christian spite. Doesn't this forum belong to the lds church?

    As for "radical" -- certainly Joseph Smith was a radical to most of America, but he stuck to his beliefs.

  • Dad San Antonio, TX
    April 7, 2014 3:40 p.m.

    Unlike discrimination of a race, "gay rights" is not be a civil issue. We cannot choose our race, but we can choose to be gay...and regardless of what side you are on, that is the crux of the argument.

    In the name of "gay rights", our society loses it's moral compass and becomes subject to further movements. Uninteded consquences include "acceptance" of more sexual preferences, pornography, lifestyles, beastiality (as long as the animal appears comfortable and gengerally happy), etc.

    Eventually, the very society that was supposed to protect the "rights" of gays will only weaken and eventually decay to a degree where it will be unable to protect the "rights" of anybody.

    We may not all see it now, but the result of this story, and issie in general, is not good for anybody in the long run.

  • Dark Reaver SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    April 7, 2014 3:37 p.m.

    I miss the good old days when you could force those who believe other that you do, out of your state and force them to find homes elsewhere. Religious freedom at it's best. Don't worry, it all turns out great in the end, the people that forced Mormons to leave the eastern US were just exercising their religious beliefs that Mormonism wasn't a real religion. And without those events, there wouldn't be a "Utah".

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    April 7, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    Good decision. Elane Photography violated New Mexico's Human Rights Act by refusing to photograph the same-sex ceremony. As a country, we are on the right path toward liberty and justice for all!

  • Lone Eagle Aurora, CO
    April 7, 2014 3:31 p.m.

    @yodak

    Another easy way to deal with this issue for any business in a similar situation is, after getting the date and other pertinent details, explain that you have other commitments. No need to explain any further. It is a private business and any attempt to get your customer list could have some unsavory consequences. In other words, no one can ask what those commitments are. You don't have to say you'll not be working that day. Just be sure to get ALL pertinent data before committing to the job. That way, there is some truth to saying you have other commitments.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    April 7, 2014 3:31 p.m.

    it is always sad to read comments so full of hate, what makes this particularly bad is that LDS are taught to love, tolerate. I remember the message of this general authority who said: "For the Saints there are two types of people in the world: those who we love and those who we don't know".

    As an LGBT I can tell all of you. You are free to hate, close your homes and churches to us, it is your right and we accept, respect and defend that right.

    However in the open arena of capitalist transactions, the laws are clear and we will use them to protect us and those we see humiliated and discriminated. I hope we can do this without rancor and only as a mean to repair a wrong. Obviously our Supreme Court see it that way.

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    April 7, 2014 3:29 p.m.

    I thought I read somewhere that the photographer had signed a contract to take the photos before knowing it was a SS marriage, but I could be wrong. If that's the case, would be tough to get out of that contract. And I understand why someone would sue if they thought they had a photographer in place, only to have the photographer show up the morning of your wedding and discover it was a SS marriage and refuse services -- would be difficult to find another photographer on such short notice, so I understand how that could be grounds for a lawsuit.

    That being said, businesses discriminate all the time. What about "no shirt, no shoes, no service"? What about "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone"? Can't tell you how many times I've seen those signs posted in restaurants. If they couldn't enforce those policies, why even put them up for everyone to see in the first place?

    I guess one of the key questions in all this is whether or not the LGBT community constitutes a protected class at all.

  • Old Farmer Croydon, UT
    April 7, 2014 3:20 p.m.

    I guess I missed the part in the story that said the photographer was Mormon. Not sure how this discussion turned to comments about Latter Day Saints, but remember that Catholics and Evangelical Christians are also strongly opposed to same sex marriage for the same reasons the Mormons are. Its not just a Mormon issue. This issue is about all people of faith who believe that God created marriage between a man and woman. Simple as that.

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    April 7, 2014 3:16 p.m.

    The handwriting appears to be on the wall.
    Hope folks in Utah and around the country can handle the decision without hurting others with their lack of understanding and lack of acceptance.

  • Fooballguy salt lake, UT
    April 7, 2014 3:05 p.m.

    A business does not have the right to "refuse service to anyone". There are things one sacrifices to have a license to opperate a buiness, such as to conduct the business within the confines of the law, which would include not discriminating on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation. It is the law. I believe in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law. However, if I were part of the gay couple in question, I would have sought a different photographer; one who was more supportive of me.

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    April 7, 2014 3:04 p.m.

    Kirk R. Graves wrote:

    "LDS in southern states do in fact deal with this even today. You don't hear about it, because we learned to just let it flow off our backs."

    I agree that Latter-day Saints have pretty thick skins -- outside of Utah, they've had to. But when the situation warrants it, they've been know to seek relief via the courts, and they absolutely should. The case below came out of Texas and went all the way to the Supreme Court. The Mormon and Catholic families that filed the suit eventually prevailed.

    _____________

    Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe

    "The case was originally filed in 1995, in response to the way that the Mormon family, and a Catholic family that joined them in the suit, were treated by teachers and other students in the school district. Both families felt that their children had been discriminated against and harassed for belonging to a minority religion in the majority Southern Baptist town, according to Mormon News' analysis of news reports and contacts with those involved in the case."

  • Reasonable thinker PAC Country, CA
    April 7, 2014 2:59 p.m.

    This will create a firestorm between the two sides. This isn't over by far.
    The GLBT movement took a huge step backward today on getting others to support their cause.
    I was somewhat impartial until this decision. Now I have taken sides.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    April 7, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    @Henry Drummond

    "My guess if my friends in the LDS faith were refused public accommodations because someone felt serving them promoted religious beliefs they disagreed with there would be an outcry."

    Then you would be quite surprised. LDS have put up with discrimination since before the state of Missouri issued the extermination order. We have pretty thick skins and would likely just walk away and find another business to give our money to.

    LDS in southern states do in fact deal with this even today. You don't hear about it, because we learned to just let it flow off our backs.

  • Social Mod Fiscal Con West Jordan, UT
    April 7, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    My suggestion. If you are a small/private business, post the following in your window.

    Because the law has removed my 1st amendment rights, I am forced to serve you regardless of my personal religious beliefs. However, please note the following.
    1. I do not support Same-Sex Marriage, and I volunteer my time to organizations which oppose it.
    2. If you ask me to (photograph/bake for/DJ/etc..) your Same-Sex Wedding or Commitment ceremony, I will donate 100% of the proceeds to an organization that advocates against Same-Sex Marriage.
    3. The law forces me to act against my conscience, but it doesn't require me to give 100%.
    4. I realize you will assume I am bigot because of these views, but in fact I like you as a person just as much as any other person. I am simply opposed to certain behaviors becoming acceptable in our society.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 7, 2014 2:23 p.m.

    Though no one has said it, or indicated they would make use of this sought after religious freedom to allow businesses to deny service based on race or national origin, it is a concern that it might happen. Many of the comments that follow an article like this say a business should have the right to refuse service to whoever they want. This simply isn't true. Discrimination is like pollution. When one person puts it out it dirties the atmosphere and many suffer. Were the supreme court to rule that service could be denied because of religious conviction, this would potentially begin us on a dark path which would be extremely difficult to correct.

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    April 7, 2014 2:06 p.m.

    Anyone who is in psychology or has worked with troubled teens/youth knows that sexuality is 100 times more complicated than "born this way".

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    April 7, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    Let me take the pictures please, I need to pay for tuition.............

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 7, 2014 1:58 p.m.

    my_two_cents
    doesn't matter if they are private individuals or for-profit. look at recent SCOTUS rulings on the rights of corporations.

    your argument says people of conscience have no right to make a living. talk about hatred!

  • Outside-View Federal Way, WA
    April 7, 2014 1:26 p.m.

    Once again, once knowing their attitude toward gay marriage, the Gays dont want these business owners to actually make the cake or take the pictures. THey just dont want them to have a legal right to deny them this service.

    My solution before was to outsource this service to a competitor. Either that, or you get sick and have to cancel out just prior to the event.

    I hope that some legal right to not be forced to participate on these events will be determined either by the courts or national laws be passed.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    April 7, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    It is clear that gay marriage supporters do not want money going to causes which promote traditional marriage, instead of gay marriage.

    So I think the solution is simple for businesses that have a religious objection to providing services to gay weddings:

    Say, "Thank you." Take their business, as required by law, and let them know you will be donating their money to a cause that supports traditional marriage. My guess is they will change their mind about having you perform services for their wedding.

  • Commenter88 Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 7, 2014 1:04 p.m.

    The New Mexico anti discrimination statute is way too broad if it violates both the 13th and 1st amendment, which it obviously does. One can easily support gay marriage and still see that this chills the blood by compelling involuntary servitude.

    Personally, I would perform the service and wish them well, but I respect religious protections more than I do my own preferences. So for others, one could reserve the right to cancel (penalty-free with enough notice) if mistakes in planning occur (such as double booking) and utilize that excuse with the quiet rationale that an unjust law violating both the 1st and 13th amendments should be subverted.

    There may also still be legitimate ways of getting around it for religious reasons. For example, it may be against a religious belief to photograph same sex ceremonies that involve both certain iconography and same sex union, such as the cross, or more likely, a wiccan symbol. Then, it is not simply a summary dismissal of service based on sexual orientation; it is also based on an element that is more concretely identifiable to both the service performed, the religious tradition, and the practice of one's worship.

  • Ballplayer Spanish Fork, UT
    April 7, 2014 12:55 p.m.

    Hop in the hand basket folks, we're going for a ride.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    April 7, 2014 12:53 p.m.

    @Lost in DC,

    The courts don't seem to agree. A for profit business is a for profit business, not an individual, and subject to the laws regarding conducting business within the state.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    April 7, 2014 12:47 p.m.

    My guess if my friends in the LDS faith were refused public accommodations because someone felt serving them promoted religious beliefs they disagreed with there would be an outcry.

    Cornell Law Professor Sherry Colb notes that the upholding of the case against the photographer's actions "recognizes and affirms the importance of protecting people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. It acknowledges the humiliation and suffering that come of being turned away by a business on the basis of one’s identity and relationships."

    Professor Colb also states:

    "The plaintiff chose to run a photography business as a public accommodation. Rather than compelling a pro-same-sex-couples narrative, then, the law simply demanded that the public accommodation extend its services—the same services that it chose to provide to the public for money—to everyone, without regard to sexual orientation."

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 7, 2014 12:25 p.m.

    Too bad the SCOTUS no longer values the 1s amendment.

    Next time she should take the photos, but make sure none of them are in focus. Or improperly frame the subjects.

    Boring guy,
    Yes, the system will work – the “couple” had plenty of other options. ANY law that requires one to violate their religious conviction is totally contrary to the 1st amendment. ANY! So the constitutionally delineated, named rights of freedom of religion are trumped by a convoluted, tortured piece of judicial mumbo-jumbo.

    my_two_cents_worth
    yep, this IS the right tree – any state licensing requirement that requires one to violate their convictions is contrary to the 1st amendment.

    militant gays and their radical supporters who continue to use anti-discrimination laws to punish people of faith for following their convictions should consider whether their actions help or hurt their efforts to have such anti-discrimination laws pass in Utah.

  • Here Sandy, UT
    April 7, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    I think same-sex attraction may be complicated and exist to some degree, but it is not uncontrollable. Nor is desirable for a nation that wants virtue to rule it. How could such a small faction convince so many otherwise? Through smoke and mirrors. While all were talking about equality, few were questioning the appropriateness of BASING equality on an unhealthy and controllable behavior.

    I also believe that if you don’t believe in God Who has some absolutes (and a prophet as well), then anything goes. Any argument can be made attractive enough as a philosophy of man that people will buy it. I respect your right not to believe in God or His prophet. But then you can’t be guaranteed the safety of obedience if you choose not to follow them.

    Why do we hesitate to say these things? Because some angry person will call us a bigot or some other equally-inaccurate label.

  • BoringGuy Holladay, UT
    April 7, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    Bigotry comes from the same place and is wrong and un-American in every form. Whether the bigotry is against Mormons, gays, women, men, minorites, or any other class -- it's wrong and has no place in our free society. The Courts recognize this and are acting exactly how they should in the spirit of the Consitutuion.

  • Here Sandy, UT
    April 7, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    I believe we do not have to agree with the SCOTUS in our hearts. We do have to obey, yes. But agree, not so much. God is the ultimate judge. Making this woman violate her conscience or go out of business is not appropriate. It truly is part of the slippery slope, which, I believe, the GLBT community knows, but won’t mention, hoping we won’t notice either.

    Up until about 10-20 years ago, gay-rights were not even an issue. Citizens, politicians, and judges all recognized that gay behavior is unhealthy for individuals, organizations, and societies. Somehow, the GLBT community has convinced them all that gay behavior deserves “equal protection” under the law. At least in this country, they never HAD the right to engage in such behavior (or institutionalize it) so I don’t believe anyone is taking away their rights. They never had them to start with, not in this country.

    There is an undergirding premise that you must buy into to accept gay behavior as an equal rights issue. It is that it is genetically uncontrollable. I for one don’t buy it.

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    April 7, 2014 11:55 a.m.

    I couldn't agree more with Yodak. What's wrong with "I already have a commitment that day."

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    April 7, 2014 11:49 a.m.

    This is about revenge, not justice.

    I avoid giving my money to people that bash Mormons. Why would a same sex couple want to give their money to photographers or bakers that oppose their life style? It isn't like they can find photographers and bakers that are willing to take their money.

    These people want to punish those who disagree with them. That is called revenge.

  • belgie Tualatin, OR
    April 7, 2014 11:47 a.m.

    Declining to serve someone dinner because they are gay is completely different from declining to participate in a gay wedding ceremony.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    April 7, 2014 11:44 a.m.

    I wonder what would happen if she took the pictures but didn't seem as enthusiastic about it as the client wanted. Would she be liable for a failure to smile? Or, not smile broadly enough? What if she actually voiced her reluctance? Would her right to express her opposition to being forced to do something she felt was wrong be something for which she could be penalized?

    The fight for the freedom of thought and expression is something that effects **everyone**!

    I hope the fight continues!

    I know I'll never stop.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    April 7, 2014 11:43 a.m.

    For all those bemoaning the "assault" on individual religious freedom, you're barking up the wrong tree on this one. As an individual, this person still has the right to believe how she chooses. When, however, you seek a license from the state to open and run a business you do so with the understanding that your business must comply with the laws of the state in which you plan to do business. If those laws prohibit discrimination in the conduct of your business based on gender, as was the case here, then you have broken the law. Period. Jesus understood that and for those of you who seemed to have missed that in Sunday School, I'd suggest you take a look at Matthew 22:17-21 or Mark 12:14-17.

  • BoringGuy Holladay, UT
    April 7, 2014 11:29 a.m.

    In a free society, businesses cannot practice institutional discrimination. The system won't work if individuals are denied services based on religion, race, or sexual orientation. This same debate happened during the civil rights movement when businesses wanted to retain the right to decline serving minority groups, and the nation took a big step forward by ending such a horrible practice.

    It's time to extend the same rights to all Americans regardless of sexual orientation. It's the right thing and American thing to do.

  • yodak Dallas, TX
    April 7, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    Easiest way to solve this issue: "I'm sorry, I'm not working that day. Here are three of my competitors you should feel free to contact."

  • apm22 sparks, NV
    April 7, 2014 11:24 a.m.

    It becomes more apparent everyday that "rights" are now privileges for certain "protected" classes. Gone are the days of natural rights being protected by our laws. We now live under a system where those with power rule according to their desires, without any restraint but self-restraint.

  • As If! Layton, UT
    April 7, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    Bummer. I guess if I wanted to run a business like her, I'd have to stop advertising. These courts are out of control. These judges have too much power. What a sad commentary on the state of our country.

  • Stop The Nonsense El Paso, TX
    April 7, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    Can't all businesses reserve the right to refuse service to anyone? What makes this any different? So if I'm a caterer and someone asks me to cater to a bachelor party with strippers, do I have to do it even though it violates my religious views? By refusing their service, could I be sued for discriminating against the practice of immorality in bachelor parties? What a sad day for religious freedom.

  • Old Farmer Croydon, UT
    April 7, 2014 11:12 a.m.

    So, if you believe in God's plan for marriage and don't want to; bake a cake for a gay wedding, take photos at a gay wedding, rent a room at your bed and bath to a gay couple, or you want to donate some money for a proposition that supports traditional marriage, stand by to be attacked by gay rights activists. Seems like all the hate they talk about is coming from them.

  • Jim Cobabe Provo, UT
    April 7, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    I cannot believe that any aspect of this case represents more than a pyrrhic victory. That the Supreme Court now declines to hear the appeal has far more implications than punitive damages for a photographer or whether or not one can decline to take pictures at a homosexual celebration. Perhaps the greater question to deliberate on is whether we are still justified in considering ourselves a "free people", and what are the qualities that would make us truly free.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    April 7, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    "The justices on Monday left in place a state Supreme Court ruling . . . "

    And this is what they likely will do with the ruling of Judge Shelby and others that permit same-sex marriage.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    April 7, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    This is a sad day for freedom of religion and for the country. As the nation pivots away from God's commandments His Spirit will be withdrawn from the people. Our country will increase in violence and natural catastrophes, and decline economically. God will no longer be able to bless America.

  • AllBlack San Diego, CA
    April 7, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    She'd be better off just snake rubbish photos and risk being sued for that instead...cheaper in the long run..