Comments about ‘Supreme Court turns deaf ear on New Mexico gay wedding photo case’

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Published: Monday, April 7 2014 9:30 p.m. MDT

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Murray, Utah

So, I'm assuming this would mean a business can't restrict my 2nd amendment rights either, correct?

Idaho Falls, ID

This is just not right! I have lost my faith in the Supreme Court!

Sneaky Jimmy
Bay Area, CA

The really troubling part of this is that there are people living in 2014 that believe its fine to discriminate against others for who they are. Do you really think that God will love you more if you deny services to those that are different than you?

Logan, UT


First, Mozilla did not fire the CEO, It is his own decision to step down.

Second, why this photographer is wrong? Because the law in NM specifically forbids discrimination on sexual orientation, as well as race, age etc.

When the photographer opens her business, she should obey the law. She does not have a fundamental right to deny a customer because the wedding is a gay wedding not a straight wedding. She can, however, explain to the customers and try to reach an understanding with them personally, maybe refer the customer to another photographer, so even if she does not shoot the pictures, she provided some kind of customer service.

Did she try to explain to the customer why she singles out gay wedding but is willing to shoot straight wedding? NO.
Did she refer the customer to another photographer? NO.

Not only she violates the law, not only she offends the customer, she provided bad customer service. No wonder she is sued.

Highland, UT


Funny, I never ever thought of God as being politically correct! He has his laws, and they are unbending. His Love is unconditional, but his commandments are not and never will be.

The photographer could have said up front, "I do not agree with same sex marriage. In order that I do not violate any anti-discrimination laws, I will take your photos for free, as I do not want to profit from something I don't agree with. However, I do not expect that with me you will not get the best results, as I will not be personally invested in ensuring you will get the job you want. Here is the address of another photographer I know, who is happy to photograph same sex weddings. You are welcome to choose either option." Would that have still been grounds for a law suit, I wonder?

Highland, UT

@ Sneaky Jimmy

God will not love me any more or less than anyone else. His love is unconditional and available to all. He does want us to stand for truth and righteousness, no matter what the cost. The photographer may have been extremely kind and compassionate in her conversation with the couple, as God would want her to be. But He would also not want her to remain silent about her beliefs in His commandments.

The gay rights agenda is all about, "Validate my sin. Tell me it's OK for me to break the commandments. And whatever you do, don't say out loud that what I am doing is not OK with you."

(Now I'll brace myself for all the onslaught of hate mail in response .....)

Eagle Mountain, UT

In my years of scripture study, I seemed to have missed the part about needing to be mean and spiteful to those who may live and choose differently than what we perceive to be right and moral.

Jesus, the Savior Himself, the Son of the Man of Holiness allowed a known adulteress (which according to Alma is the worst sin this side of murder) to anoint and wash His feet. He was known to eat dinner with "sinners" He preached that we love those that persecute us, and use and despise us. He never once said "Don't make cake for gay weddings"

I would imagine the "Christian" would have happily taken pictures of a wedding where the bride was pregnant. Why is this any different? Why of all issues, have we picked this one as an affront to everything we hold holy and sacred?

scrappy do

lesson learned, be a smart business person next time, tell them you are all booked up.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

@ Eliot

According to the NM Supreme Court opinion, Ms. Huguenin did not dispute that her business is subject to the NM anti-discrimination law in question. Yet she chose to take an action that violated laws she agreed to abide by when she opened her business.

And this incident didn't take place in a face-to-face interaction where sometimes we don't always think so well on our feet. No, this interaction was via email. She not only had time to think about what to say, she could frown, and scowl, and purse her lips in moral disapproval even as she wrote a civil and dignified response such as, "I'm so sorry. I am all booked up that day. But I'm happy to refer you to Photographer X."

So what purpose did her behavior serve? She had other choices. She chose to be uncivil and unlawful. And then she attempted to avoid the consequences of her choices by crying "religious freedom." Ironically, if she had gotten her way, she would have HARMED the very right she claimed to be exercising.

james d. morrison
Boise, CA

forget about the religious reasons for not taking on a client you disagree with. What about artistic license? I can't imagine liberal "artists" or any one who is involved in any kind of profession being told that they have to take on any and all clients who request the use of their services. Artist usually don't like to be told what kind of pieces they have to create. Also imagine a photographer being forced to work some other event besides a gay wedding that they would feel uncomfortable with because the environment or the message of the event is something they disagree with. Can't an abortion rights supporter refuse to photograph or cater an event held by a pro-life organization? Does a painter who supports OWS have to take on a client who requests a painting extolling the virtues of capitalism?

City, Ut

TA1 said-- "replace the word "Gay" with the word "Mormon" as to who is being discriminated against and how that might feel."

Having lived in the Bible belt, I can tell you it happens very frequently to Mormons.

Where Gays and Lesbians can learn from Mormons is this:

We realize there are some people who do not like us, and we get over it, and we move on... we do not bring lawsuits.

Sioux City, IA

As James d Morrison said, "forget about religious reasons and look at it this way.
Since someone already used the restaurant as an example I will attempt to use that to show what I'm talking about.
If you walk into my restaurant and order a meal under normal conditions I must serve you that meal.
On the other hand if I also do some catering work from that business there is a different set of rules. I am now contracting my services and should have the right to not accept any catering jobs I choose not to. Maybe it is too far away and I don't feel the food will be the correct temperature when served. Maybe it's too early in the day or too late at night. And maybe I just don't want to accept that job.
Should I be forced to do every job that I am offered or do I have the right to refuse from time to time?
What if I build houses? Can you force me to build yours by claiming discrimination?

West Jordan, UT

Those screaming the loudest for tolerance of their chosen lifestyle are also the ones who are intolerant of anyone who does not condone or accept said lifestyle.

Unfortunately, tolerance only seems to go one way these days.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I think there is another story behind the Supreme Court refusing to take up this case.

The lawyers answering Utah's appeal of the Gay Marriage decision are saying that the Tenth Circuit Court should use a "heightened scrutiny" standard in deciding the case, not just "rational basis." If federal courts eventually decide that past persecution of Gays makes them a "suspect class" it will make it virtually impossible to appeal cases such as the New Mexico Photographer's case in federal court.

The Ninth Circuit Court has already applied that standard to a case where Gays were excluded from a jury. If the Tenth Circuit Court follows suit, it will affect not only Gay Marriage cases, but public accommodation cases as well.

Logan, UT

"do I have the right to refuse from time to time?"

It depends on why you refuse. if you refuse because the customer is gay, or black, or woman, or Mormon etc, which are covered under anti-discrimination law, then No

Ogden, UT

@ImaUteFan 10:42 a.m. April 8, 2014

Those screaming the loudest for tolerance of their chosen lifestyle are also the ones who are intolerant of anyone who does not condone or accept said lifestyle.

Unfortunately, tolerance only seems to go one way these days.


What an excellent indictment of those who are anti-gay!

Honolulu, HI

Tekakaromatagi wanted me to explain why I think it is acceptable for a company BOD to ask for the resignation of a CEO whose personal and political views are not in sync with the company culture, but it is not ok for a business to refuse to provide services to an individual whose personal lifestyle is contrary to the company owner's religious beliefs . . .

1. Boards have the right to hire/fire CEOs that do not represent their company culture.

2. It is against the law for a company discriminate against it's customers by refusing to provide them services on the basis of their sexual orientation.

I believe that sums it up.

West Point, UT

It seems to me that we need to redefine religious freedom in this case to discriminatory freedom. That's all it is. A way for people to discriminate and feel ok about it. I find it hard to believe that Jesus would do such a thing. Just take a look who he surrounded himself with, it definitely wasn't the self righteous.

Orem, UT

I think we probably need to separate businesses into two classes: those that provide needs-based services, such as a medical treatment center, a restaurant, grocery store, etc., and those that provide non-essential services, such as a photographer or web designer. I agree that no one should be turned down from receiving a meal or emergency medical treatment, but I think other types of businesses should be able to turn away anyone.

For example, I'm not religious, but as a web developer there are plenty of types of websites that I simply have no interest in building. I shouldn't have to cater to anyone who asks me to make them a site.

Stephen Daedalus
Arvada, CO

Despite the optimistic speculations about opponents of SSM quoted in this article about how SCOTUS is somehow waiting for some legal dust to settle, the most likely reason SCOTUS let stand the ruling by NM Supreme Court, is because all the issues raised by the photographer (seeking exemption from an anti-discrimination/public accommodation statute) have been asked/answered by SCOTUS over the past 30 years or so.

In other words, the law is settled.

Google: SC33,687.pdf and to see how NM Supremes applied the many SCOTUS opinions which have held that a business cannot claim an exemption to a neutral law of general applicability on religious grounds. Public accommodation laws fall into that category.

The constitutionality of SSM-bans -is- unsettled law and those cases are definitely in play.

But SSM played only a small cameo role in NM case -- among her many arguments, the photog claimed she did not violate NM public accommodations statute because she refused on the basis of conduct (SSM ceremony) and not the sexual orientation of the customers. SCOTUS makes clear this is an insufficient distinction.

This was just a plain-vanilla discrimination case, no more, no less.

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