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Supreme Court turns deaf ear on New Mexico gay wedding photo case

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  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    April 16, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    The bottom line here is that since 1964, the Supreme Court has essentially refused to acknowledge that private business owners have ownership over their own, private businesses. The argument that because a business claims to be “open to the public” that it must serve every member of the public, regardless of the objections of the business owners themselves, is full of fallacy and has no legal basis. A private business owner ought to be entitled to provide or reject service to anyone, for any reason, and an individual should not be able to find any legal recourse that would allow him or her to force that business owner to provide him or her with service. The purpose of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was to end the state-mandated discrimination that existed as a result of Jim Crow, which directly interfered with the free market. Those who object to a business’s practices are and should be free to patronize its competition instead. The state should have no role in these matters at all.

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    April 16, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    Utah needs to take the lead of Mississippi that just passed their religious liberty protection bill. The bill protects any business from legal action that decides to refuse service to homosexuals based on sincerely held religious belief. Photographers, wedding cake makers, restaurants, doctors, etc. that may for religious religions, object to homosexual conduct.

  • scorra2 Lehi, UT
    April 16, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    I really struggle with this one. I have family that I love and care about deeply that are gay and are waiting to get married.

    However, I still view homosexual relations as completely immoral and against my religious beliefs.

    I doubt the government would have an issue with a camera person refusing a request to take nude photos of a man and a woman on their wedding night. Morally I view this as the same thing. This lady was asked to take photos of acts that she viewed as immoral and she refused. I completely back her in her decision to refuse this service.

    For me, it would depend on the service being rendered. Baking a cake for a homosexual couple I would not have a problem with.

  • Screenusnomus USA, CA
    April 15, 2014 7:34 a.m.

    Maybe the Supreme Court's ear wasn't so much deaf as it was cognizant to hearing reality.

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    April 15, 2014 6:14 a.m.

    @Ranch

    It also says pray for them that despitefully use you. I guess this applies when one side gets sue happy

  • Liberty For All Cedar, UT
    April 14, 2014 9:49 p.m.

    They won't stop attacking religious liberty until we are forced to change our doctrine cannot teach that homosexuality is a sin.

    They won't stop until we are forced to allow them into our sacred temples for sealings and use of our facilities to perform that which is ungodly.

    They will prosecute us in a court of law if we attempt to excommunicate or shun them for their civil marriages.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 14, 2014 6:38 p.m.

    @techpubs;

    Does it really make a difference to the person you're going to discriminate against if you "nicely" tell them "why I'm going to discriminate against you is...."?

    No.

    It is still discrmination. It is still against the law. You are NOT A GOOD CHRISTIAN if you refuse to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Period.

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    April 14, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    Two things that the photographer can do in the future.
    1. As Dr. Thom suggested taking really lousy photos, out of focus, too high, too low, et cetera and just refund the money and refuse to re-take.
    2. When the person officiating says "If anyone objects let him speak now ..." immediately spend the next 10-15 minutes explaining why you object to a SSM ceremony.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    April 14, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    Yes, the current laws are messed up. Just saying that up front. But the line should be drawn between private and public -- that is between private enterprise and government business. A school or library should not be able to discriminate; fire, police and legal protection should be available to all without bias; services private or public which if denied threaten life or well being (IE medical services, the only food in town, shelter in adverse conditions, etc). But private business outside of this should be able to discriminate for any and whatever reason, no matter how repugnant -- including race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, handicap...

    The remedy is the marketplace -- IE others boycotting said businesses because of their discriminatory practices -- not the court system. Successful businesses will cater to the widest possible pool of customers and patrons -- reserving their right to discriminate to only those things which their conscious or other needs dictate because it limits THEIR business.

    In other words, despite the nobility and intent, and the greater good it would seem, of the 1964 Civil Rights Act -- they got it wrong.

  • Commodore West Jordan, UT
    April 14, 2014 11:34 a.m.

    Businesses have the right to refuse service. A smart business will refuse to disclose the reason why they are refusing to do a job. A stupid business looking to get dragged into a lawsuit will be frank and tell people why they are not doing business with them.

    Be the smart business and conceal your reasons for denying service. Take a small fragment of the money you have now saved from dodging a lawsuit and treat your employees to lunch. =)

  • Dr. Thom Long Beach, CA
    April 14, 2014 5:23 a.m.

    Well, there is the option of taking really bad photos of the wedding and then refunding the money when the customers are not happy with the results. That way the homosexual wedding get their pictures taken, the photographer complies with the law and everyone is satisfied. I would have a backup photographer just in case.

    Are there no "Gay Friendly" photographers known to the Gay community. When a Jewish friend got married, they hired a Jewish photographer/caterer because they were familiar with the culture and the same can be said for those who provide services for LDS or Catholic couples. When LDS women look for formal apparel (wedding and prom dresses), they go to stores that support their values of modesty, why doesn't the "Gay" community do the same?

    If I were homosexual, I would prefer giving my business to a company that supports my chosen lifestyle (race is a product of genetics) and stop tilting at wind mills. Sooner or later this will spillover to churches who refuse to acknowledge or perform SSM. Just wait, it will eventually be in the courts.

  • Dr. Thom Long Beach, CA
    April 14, 2014 5:07 a.m.

    I would like to know specifically where in the issuance of a business permit in Utah does it equivocally state in writing that a business owner cannot refuse service to someone based on their activities. Bars can refuse service to a drunk patron, movies can refuse service to underaged customers, and most restaurants require everyone (homosexual or not) to wear shoes and shirts. I just checked my local (city, county and state) license and it doesn't appear anywhere in the document.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    April 13, 2014 10:36 a.m.

    This is a tough one for me. I used to work as a voice talent and I was booked for a job without having to audition and with the producers only hearing my demo tape. My agent told me who the candidate was and I said that although I needed the money, I didn't want to do the job because I didn't want to do anything to support this particular candidate. Now, neither I or my agency made a big deal of this and the producers were simply told that I was unavailable. No harm done and those producers used me on another occasion. So while I think that this young lady is discriminating, I know I've done the same thing and felt no remorse about having not used my talents to support the candicacy of a certain Republican candidate. I now think that it would have been more fair if I would have said, "I don't want to do any voice overs for either party." And it might be fair for this young lady to say, "I don't do wedding photos."

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    April 12, 2014 3:23 p.m.

    “Rauch said, 'I have no significant doubt about the outcome. In a few years there will be very few places that will discriminate against gays.'”
    ---------------
    And more and more places that will discriminate against those who hold for traditional marriage.

    Seems like a very unjust balancing act.

  • jffteach Show Low, AZ
    April 12, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    What baffles me is the absolute hypocritical intolerance of the lgbt agenda. They cry intolerance when they claim to be discriminated against but when Christians are panned or not allowed to practice according to their religious freedoms there is nowhere near the uproar. No tolerance going on there. They will sure tolerate as long as we agree with them.

  • AmPatriot Taylorsville, UT
    April 12, 2014 3:34 a.m.

    Maybe some judges of the Supreme Court are coming to their senses and realizing the error of their ways and judgement calls on civil law issues as not the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court but is the direct jurisdiction of the states and their Constitution just like the US Constitution says it is.

    The Supreme court decided wisely to be deaf once, maybe they need to be deaf for all unconstitutional claims driven by civil law enforcment authority of states. These troublesome intolerant civil disorders by groups that are neither defined or legally recognized and defined as a race or species.

    The only reality of this so called gay + rights issue is financially motivated to contradict laws and taxation to avoid paying their "fair" share to the rest of socialist party members. Tax fraud and tax evasion are their only cause and reason to declare they do not want to pay shier share. The homosexuals are not required to prove they are gay to benefit from financial gains like heterosexual marriages are. Bigoted intolerance is their is their only assets which they deny because it proves that they are acting on criminal intent for tax evasion and financial fraud.

  • Samuel L. Murray, UT
    April 11, 2014 8:36 p.m.

    @mark "Samuel L, who are you quoting? I don't remember any of those quotes in the comments. Oh! You're quoting a straw man. Ah well. . ."

    The first one is copy-and-paste from a comment. The other two are one sentence summaries of other's arguments (I only get 200 words). Read all the comments. You'll see that this is what people are saying.

    "If you walk into a Mexican restaraunt and order Chinese you don't get to sue them when they don't serve you egg rolls. You understand that, right?"

    My point exactly. If same-sex weddings are not on the menu, you don't get to sue.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    April 11, 2014 3:37 p.m.

    To avoid all this, simply say, "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm on vacation that week." You don't have such a big legal hurdle to defend that stance. Wouldn't even be a lawsuit.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2014 11:29 a.m.

    "Our country was built upon this, we escaped tyranny to be able to have the laws of God out rank the laws of the state. This sounds more like Communism than "One Nation Under God"."

    You need to learn your history. The Founders of this country in no way expected the "laws of god" to "outrank" the laws of the state. If you think they did show me in the Constitution where they stipulated this. Also the tyranny you are talking about WAS the laws of god outranking the laws of the State.

    This concept is not communism, rather it IS the basis of the United States Constitution. As Furry points out, it is Constitutional law. What you suggest, though, sounds like sharia law. Actually, not just sounds like it but is.

    Oh, and "one nation under god", if you can find that phrase in ANY founding documents I'll buy you lunch.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    April 11, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    As much as it pains me, as much as it forces me to suppress my emotional knee-jerk reactions, and as much as I look like I'm sucking a lemon while typing this, I can't support prosecution of this lady's business. Would I support widespread ridicule, demonstrations, and word-of-mouth driving her out of business? Yes; yes I would. I would stand up and applaud, doing the rainbird dance and throwing in a series of fist pumps for good measure.

    However, the free market should decide her fate. From a practical POV, forcing a business owner to do work for a client they don't want just begs for poor work anyway. Insisting that someone who really objects to your existence do work for you doesn't seem right. Were the photog's actions illegal? Probably so. Should they be? No, they shouldn't.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    April 11, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    @
    LovelyDeseret 11:40 p.m. April 10, 2014

    @mark
    "No one in the U.S. ever has the authority to decide that the laws of THEIR god outrank the laws of the state."

    Our country was built upon this, we escaped tyranny to be able to have the laws of God out rank the laws of the state. This sounds more like Communism than "One Nation Under God".

    -----------------

    Actually you got that backward. The First Amendment to Constitution specifically provides that the government cannot create an establishment of (i.e., an act of establishing) religion. Your suggestion that the governmkent should be constituted "to have the laws of God out rank the laws of the state" is the establishment of religion, and is prohibited by the Constitution. That's not Communism. That's Constitutional Law, and is the law of the land.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2014 2:22 a.m.

    "Further proof that this is all about forcing your way down others throats. If all you wanted was a wedding and a photographer then just find somone else."

    Yeah that's right. And Mr. Samual Tucker should have just found another library, and those four freshmen in Greensboro should have just found another place to get a sandwich.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    April 10, 2014 11:40 p.m.

    @mark
    "No one in the U.S. ever has the authority to decide that the laws of THEIR god outrank the laws of the state."

    Our country was built upon this, we escaped tyranny to be able to have the laws of God out rank the laws of the state. This sounds more like Communism than "One Nation Under God".

  • BryceDeMann Murray, UT
    April 10, 2014 8:58 p.m.

    Further proof that this is all about forcing your way down others throats. If all you wanted was a wedding and a photographer then just find somone else. If she wants to lose business for moral reasons then it's her loss right? It's not about equality, it's about spite. What if she took the job and exercised her free speech rights to say she was against the wedding? Would she be able sue them when they fired her?

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 9, 2014 6:58 p.m.

    Samuel L, who are you quoting? I don't remember any of those quotes in the comments. Oh! You're quoting a straw man. Ah well. . .

    "Perhaps I don't see why a hindu who serves other meat should refuse to serve me beef. Is it just to force him to do it or go out of business? Should I take personal offense, accuse him of hate, and sue him if he refuses?"

    Uh. . . No.

    Do I really need to explain this?

    Okay, yeah, I guess I do.

    Someone that runs a restaraunt gets to choose what is on the menu. If you walk into a Mexican restaraunt and order Chinese you don't get to sue them when they don't serve you egg rolls. You understand that, right? Pretty easy to get. No straw men needed.

    Now, on the other hand, if they refuse you service because of your race, religion, sexual preference, etc, then sue away. (Do people really not understand how the law works?)

    ----

    On another note:

    No one in the U.S. ever has the authority to decide that the laws of THEIR god outrank the laws of the state.

  • BusStopRatBag Layton, UT
    April 9, 2014 5:58 p.m.

    What if...

    She agreed to take the job and committed to doing her level best in providing value for money but made it clear up front she will donate all proceeds to an organization to which the customer is vehemently opposed.

    The customer could then spread the word and possibly, given enough like-minded individuals, effect a reduction of business to the point she has to close the doors.

    However it would turn out, no lawyers were paid which nearly everyone would agree is a win-win.

  • Samuel L. Murray, UT
    April 9, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    "There is no difference between straight weddings and gay weddings. Must be hate"
    This is willful blindness. There are obvious differences with respect to the photographer's convictions. We may not personally think those differences are important but they are to her, and we should respect that. Perhaps I don't see why a hindu who serves other meat should refuse to serve me beef. Is it just to force him to do it or go out of business? Should I take personal offense, accuse him of hate, and sue him if he refuses?

  • Samuel L. Murray, UT
    April 9, 2014 10:36 a.m.

    "When the photographer opens her business, she should obey the law."
    If the law is unjust, then it should be changed. Surely the advocates for redefining marriage can appreciate that. I would rather live in a society where my feelings sometimes get hurt than one in which we force people to violate their deeply held moral convictions at gunpoint.

    "She just hates gays"
    Really? Suppose she had a deep moral objection to softball games, for whatever reason. She has softball playing clients, but declines to photograph a game. Do we logically conclude "she hates softball players?" Of course not. But somehow the advocates of SSM can't (or won't) see the distinction. Instead the thought police drum up accusations of animus.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 9, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    Nimocks argued that a court that upholds the right to anti-Semitic or racist speech would be oddly positioned if it allowed a state to coerce speech from an artist."

    That is an incredibly simple and logical argument.

    And, of course, the pro-homosexual crowd reguses to see it.

    To those on the left, don't blame me, I'm merely saying what is true; it IS a clear argument and your side refuses to acklnowledge it."

    Yeah. Except it isn't true. And it's a bad argument. And it's not logical. And I acknowledge that it's wrong.

    The state is NOT coercing speech from an "artist", or anybody else. The photographer, whether she thinks herself an "artist", or not, is NOT functioning as an artist. She is functioning as a business person. When she hung her tile out saying she would accept business from the general public she became a business person running a wedding photography business. A business cannot discriminate.

    If she wanted to be an artist then she needed to get her art in a gallery and try to sell there. Then nobody would be able to tell her what her subject is.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    April 8, 2014 5:19 p.m.

    I think the bakery case in another state is a better test to take to the Supreme Court. In that situation the couple had been customers of the bakery and served no problem, the religious objection was just for the wedding cake they were asked to make. Cupcake, birthday cake, loaf of bread fine. It was just participating as vendors to the celebration. A wedding a public event. All present are witnesses and participants. Some religions just can't participate and profit from that ceremony/celebration.

  • Ariz Madison, AL
    April 8, 2014 5:13 p.m.

    @zabivka
    "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,"

    Who gets to make the distinction? The problem is what one person considers perfunctory another person may consider essential, important, expressive, or spiritual. That goes for both customers and providers. The guy that works on cars may feel as strongly about his work as a photographer. Having the government make such personal distinctions has no place in a free society. It would be much more damaging than occasionally having to be involved in a business transaction with someone with whom you disagree.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    April 8, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    Article quote: "Huguenin argued that wedding photography is storytelling, and that coerced “expressive speech” violated her First Amendment protections. “Something that should never be beyond the pale in this country is free speech — no matter what the speech is, whether you agree with it or not,” said Austin Nimocks, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizon-based religious liberty legal organization, which represented Huguenin in the case. Noting that the Supreme Court has long upheld rights to engage in “the most vile and disgusting speech,” Nimocks argued that a court that upholds the right to anti-Semitic or racist speech would be oddly positioned if it allowed a state to coerce speech from an artist."

    That is an incredibly simple and logical argument.

    And, of course, the pro-homosexual crowd reguses to see it.

    To those on the left, don't blame me, I'm merely saying what is true; it IS a clear argument and your side refuses to acklnowledge it. This is just one more irrefutable proof that the left does not really want "free speech" or "tolerance".....they really want "control".

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    April 8, 2014 3:02 p.m.

    @SO-Cal Aggie:
    Difference between asking for pictures after the ceremony and outside the Temple as opposed to during the ceremony and being a part of the ceremony as a result of that.

    @Willem:
    From most of what I have witnessed over the last 5 years this fight will not be over until everyone agrees that SSM is not only allowed but is approved of by all. In my opinion the LGBT community appears to not be willing to stop at just being allowed to marry, but insists that religious people who do not believe in SSM must also approve of and support it.

  • ImaUteFan West Jordan, UT
    April 8, 2014 3:00 p.m.

    CDM1525 - Jesus told the adulterous woman "Go thy way and sin NO MORE."

    He did NOT say "Go thy way and do whatever you want as long as it makes you happy."

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 8, 2014 2:46 p.m.

    @K

    Darrel. The photographer at the wedding isn't contributing to the woman being pregnant before marriage.

    ===========

    Nor did she contribute to the couple choosing each other to marry in the real life scenario. The point I am illustrating is that nobody is perfect, and refusing service to someone because you think yourself above them (very UnChristLike) is a mockery of what I hold sacred.

    I can disagree with my daughter's choices, and still wish her all the happiness in the world in my heart.

    If your child was marrying someone of the same sex, would you go to their wedding? Would you as a parent "Give your daughter away"? Or would that be against your religion? What would Jesus do?

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 8, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    @lost in DC
    I guess had she been hired to photograph a stripper at a bachelor party and she refused, she would somehow be OK? You mean strippers’ rights are less important than gays' rights?

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

    You really don't see a difference between photographing something adult and obscene (which is not protected under the first amendment) and a wedding?

    I would be much more inclined to be on her side if she can site where it is an abomination to photograph a same sex wedding. If she could also show me were she had declined serving a couple with a child out of wedlock, or a couple for whom this was not their first marriage, or a couple with tattoos, or a wedding on the Sabbath.

    It seems rather a selective enforcement, in my opinion of her views. The Jesus I worship extended his hand to sinners, ate with them, was seen with them, healed them, allowed them to anoint his feet; suffered for them.

    The two great commandments are Love God, and your neighbor; how exactly was she showing that?

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    April 8, 2014 2:39 p.m.

    Lets face it this is just a phony scamjob to refuse services to homosexuals in the name of preserving religious freedom. People get a life . marriage equality is here to stay ,this fitght is over the gay community won!

  • K Mchenry, IL
    April 8, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    Darrel. The photographer at the wedding isn't contributing to the woman being pregnant before marriage.

  • rok Boise, CA
    April 8, 2014 1:53 p.m.

    If money donated for political causes can be considered a form of speech and constitutionally protected, can't one argue that discrimation and using money to discriminate can be constitutionally protected? Like the people that are boycotting the organic farmer in Oregon because of his views, aren't they doing the same thing the wedding photographer did? They are perfectly within their rights to do so. We all do a little bit of discriminating every day for a variety of reasons in our variety of choices we make.

  • So-CalAggie Park City, Ut
    April 8, 2014 1:31 p.m.

    I'm still perplexed as to why the Desnews is so enthralled with this case? This seems like a good thing for members of the LDS Church; imagine being discriminated against like that because you are Mormon? "Hey can you take some pictures outside of the temple after my wedding?" "Nope, sorry, we don't take pictures of Mormons!" Come on, this should be a no brainer; discrimination of any kind is never good. Imaging all the chaos we invite when we start allowing everyone wily nilly discriminatory practices based on some sort of personal religious bias! Are we some backwards Middle Eastern Country? Or is this the United State of America, where we come together and celebrate our differences? This kind of behavior seems almost barbaric, if not downright immature.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    April 8, 2014 1:16 p.m.

    Oh techpubs (page 2 of comments) Well Said!!

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    April 8, 2014 1:16 p.m.

    @Pianoman
    I find all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth very interesting. As someone who has held minority views(like being an atheist) for a long time, it's really interesting to watch Christians squirm now that the shoe is on the other foot, and that they no longer have a majority of opinion, that we are now supposed to accommodate them. You've treated non Christians like second class citizens for a long time, why do you expect them to treat you with the utmost respect?

  • CDM1525 West Point, UT
    April 8, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    I can tell you this, Jesus definitely wouldn't have discriminated against anyone. Way to go, once again, trying to justify discrimination. God bless

  • USU-Logan Logan, UT
    April 8, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    @techplus

    You are right, if you rejected a customer but he has no proof that you rejected him due to his race, age, sexual orientation, etc, he can not win in the court.
    This is certainly not the case for that NM photographer.

    @lost in DC
    "you mean like the coach who “resigns” after a 5-77 game season? No, he was forced out."

    You are exactly right. Just like a coach who has negative impact to the team, fans can exercise their free speech to force him stepping down.

    Because of Brandon Eich's controversy, Mozilla's employees and customers can also practice their free speech to force him stepping down.
    and in the end, Brandon Eich understood that his resignation would be the best for the company, so he chose to resign.

    Plain and simple.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    April 8, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    @ Vanceone
    As someone who served a mission for the LDS church, reads scriptures everyday, teaches the young men at church and sat through 10 hours of conference this weekend with friends and family who I invited over to listen and who supports the legalization of same-sex marriage, I can assure you that my goal is not to get "families torn apart and their children removed if they so much as open a Bible."
    My goal is completely the opposite. My goal is to support marriage for all people, strengthen families that exist--even if they are step parents, adoptive parents, or gay parents.
    I think you are misunderstanding why many people support SSM.
    If you are LDS, I encourage to review Elder Zwick's message from conference about his wife in the truck. His wife acted in a way he thought was wrong. His first impulse was to think it was irrational. When they both stopped and asked each other why they had done what they did, they realized they were both acting out of love with the information they had.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    April 8, 2014 12:42 p.m.

    Pretty Simple: Gays say Mozilla corporation can fire their CEO because he doesn't "uphold their standards." But that this poor businesswoman cannot have standards and uphold them.

    The common thread: The only standard is what is acceptable to the gay community. Like the borg, you cannot resist. On another site, I ran across a gay rights advocate saying his goal is to make it child abuse for anyone, including religious people, to teach "bigotry." By which he meant the standard doctrines of most any Christian religion. He stated he will work hard towards that goal. I.E. to get families torn apart and their children removed if they so much as open a Bible. That's the real goal here.

  • Pianoman Salt Lake City, UT
    April 8, 2014 12:36 p.m.

    I think those who support SSM might want to reconsider their views if their cause is bent on frivolous lawsuits and ruining people's lives and defaming their characters. I supported SSM but then saw how the people were treating those who were politely against it for reasons of non bigoted beliefs. I told myself that I cannot align myself with people who cannot reason or be civil.

    It seems the saying rings true to those who support SSM (and all of us who don't see our own problems): "You got a finger pointing at me but three are pointing back at you."

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    April 8, 2014 12:35 p.m.

    @USU-Logan:
    @techpubs
    "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"

    So basically you are saying that since there is no way to prove that I am not discriminating against anyone in a protected group I must write up a contract and accept their business if I do not already have a contract with someone else that prevents me from doing what they want me to.
    Just saying to the Judge, "I just didn't want their business" without a specific reason is not likely to be accepted as proof that I didn't discriminate. Sometimes it could be as simple as not liking their attitude when you meet them.

  • Aephelps14 San Luis Obispo, CA
    April 8, 2014 12:29 p.m.

    I don't feel like she is standing up for anything but an inability to empathize with and love individuals who make different choices than her. I know this is a harsh statement, but she is materially damaging the ability of individuals to protect real religious freedoms in the future by damaging the credibility of religion in general by focusing on issues that are so, well, petty/small. I worry about people being forced to perform abortions if they object to them, pastors being forced to perform marriages, physical harm coming to individuals because they practice a religion or not being allowed to practice them at all. If you want to share the truth in your life that makes you happy, refusing to participate in a commitment ceremony will not achieve that objective, it is achieving the opposite. This behavior indicates someone who wants a fight instead of someone who wants to love and share what gives them joy in their life.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 8, 2014 12:29 p.m.

    Darrel,
    How is it being mean and spiteful to politely decline to photograph a ceremony you personally believe is wrong?

    I guess had she been hired to photograph a stripper at a bachelor party and she refused, she would somehow be OK? You mean strippers’ rights are less important than gays’ rights?

    Many of you are saying she should LIE and say she is booked? You advocate LYING? MUST be BO supporters!

    Substitute the word “Mormon” for “Gay”… tell me where in the constitution it specifically delineates protections for homosexuality as it does for religion. It does not exist but by convoluted, tortured judicial gobble-d-gook.

    CDM1525,
    “go thy way and sin no more” does not seem to be the language of one who condones sin. Adhering to an unalterable standard is discriminatory freedom? Talk about calling good evil and evil good.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 8, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    Furry – Jim Lynch
    Licensing laws that force someone to abandon their faith just to legally operate are contrary to the intent of the 1st amendment. But we know liberals despise the 1st amendment. Furry, you’re right, liberals definitely are NOT tolerant.

    Tekakaromatagi,
    Why is it OK for Mozilla to fire their CEO for his beliefs but not OK for this small business owner to stand by her beliefs?

    Because only liberal beliefs are to be tolerated. You see, liberals cannot function in a world without a double-standard that heavily favors them.

    USU-Logan,
    Stepped down of his own accord – you mean like the coach who “resigns” after a 5-77 game season? No, he was forced out.

    The NM law IGNORES the 1st amendment to the constitution. Plain and simple

  • Stephen Daedalus Arvada, CO
    April 8, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    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.

  • zabivka Orem, UT
    April 8, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    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.

  • CDM1525 West Point, UT
    April 8, 2014 11:51 a.m.

    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.

  • waikiki_dave Honolulu, HI
    April 8, 2014 11:49 a.m.

    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.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    April 8, 2014 11:34 a.m.

    @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!

  • USU-Logan Logan, UT
    April 8, 2014 11:33 a.m.

    @techpubs
    "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

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    April 8, 2014 10:59 a.m.

    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.

  • ImaUteFan West Jordan, UT
    April 8, 2014 10:42 a.m.

    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.

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    April 8, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    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?

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    April 8, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    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.

  • james d. morrison Boise, CA
    April 8, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    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?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    April 8, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    @ 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.

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    April 8, 2014 9:31 a.m.

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

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 8, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    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?

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    April 8, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    @ 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 .....)

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    April 8, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi

    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?

  • USU-Logan Logan, UT
    April 8, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi

    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.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    April 8, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    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?

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    April 8, 2014 8:58 a.m.

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

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    April 8, 2014 8:46 a.m.

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

  • Eliot Genola, UT
    April 8, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    A lesbian couple approaches a photographer and asks her to take pictures at their commitment ceremony. The photographer declines. The couple seek photography services elsewhere and easily find them, paying less than what the first photographer charges. All is well and everyone is happy. The first photographer does not have to photograph a ceremony she does not feel comfortable with, the couple get a cheaper rate on their photography and the second photographer gets a gig and makes some money. But all is not so blissful because the couple decides to sue the first photographer for discrimination and the photographer is fined over $6000. When she decides to defend herself, explain why she chose not to photograph the ceremony and seek to overturn the court-imposed fine, she is labeled rude and an in-your-face religious fanatic. This is an unfair characterization of the photographer who has, in fact, behaved with dignity and civility throughout the entire process.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    April 8, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    "With marriage equality becoming a reality, it is now important to expose legislators who will propose bigoted laws that allow business to refuse services to homosexuals in the name of preserving religious freedom."

    You need to explain why it is bigoted if a business does not want to accomodate a business?

    A few days ago you were saying that it was OK for Mozilla to fire their CEO because they did not agree with his views. Why isn't that bigoted and this is?

    People are beginning to talk about "Puritans of Progressivism" and the "Tolerance Taliban" to describe what is happening in America.

    I wonder what a PC god would think of the oppression being commited in his name?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    April 8, 2014 7:48 a.m.

    Why is this such an issue? I've been in business for decades. If I don't want to serve a particular customer, I just tell them I can't accommodate them. I don't have to say why and usually don't. What's the big deal?

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    April 8, 2014 7:00 a.m.

    “Nobody believes that people should not have religious freedom,” Wolfson said.

    Biggest lie in the article.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    April 8, 2014 6:59 a.m.

    Certain Christians have religious conflicts with acts of profiting and participating in the actual wedding of a same sex couple. It's not they aren't taking their pictures or baking them things and selling those products to everyone. It's just the wedding ceremony/celebration they can't participate in. In the baker case they were long time customers. Perfectly happy to sell a cupcake or birthday cake and serve them in their shop before and after it was known they were a couple. It's just the wedding part.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    April 8, 2014 6:54 a.m.

    How irresponsible! This is one of the key examples of people claiming freedom vs freedom that surrounds this issue.

    I guess the Supreme Court cares enough to give businesses free speech, but not enough the ownership and control of property and the freedom to choose what one participates in or who one does business with.

    Liberals are demanding a world where only Liberals are allowed to do business.

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    April 8, 2014 6:45 a.m.

    @KellyWSmith:

    The standard you cite applies to private organizations/individuals. If the individuals in question had no advertising, had no storefront (real or virtual), or never solicited business, then they would not be subject to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or the decision of Heart of Atlanta Motel v. U.S.

    Basically, if you put it 'out there' you want to cater to people's wants and needs in exchange for monetary compensation, you must be willing to provide services to anyone who is willing to meet those monetary demands. Business can refuse to provide services in certain situations so long as the refusal to provide said services is not based upon a discriminatory position. For example, a lawyer can refuse a client because he/she does not feel there is a legal argument (a case) to be made, but that lawyer cannot claim to turn down business because a prospective client is of a certain race, creed, gender, or sexual orientation.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    April 8, 2014 6:39 a.m.

    Some religious people seem to think it a virtue to trumpet their “deeply held religious beliefs” at every opportunity, as if they are duty bound to let everyone know who they and their god disapprove of and why. In a business setting, why is this even necessary? Surely we each have enough grace and style to avoid a business transaction we don’t want to be a party to without sticking our personal beliefs in the other person’s face. Doing so isn’t a virtue. It’s just rudeness.

    I don’t believe that this photographer’s crusade has been about fighting for religious freedom. I think it has been about trumpeting her religious bona fides. We get it, Ms. Huguenin. You’re pious. Now show us you have some manners too.

  • JimLynch King George, VA
    April 8, 2014 6:33 a.m.

    We're free to discriminate as much as we want in our private lives. If we want to invite our neighbors over for a cook-out but not that gay couple down the street, that's our right. But when we open a restaurant serving barbeque to the public then we're in a whole different arena and we have to respect laws that we the people have put in place, including sanitation, safety and, yes, non-discrimination.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    April 8, 2014 6:30 a.m.

    Coercion is a terrible way to resolve this. If you are forced to provide a wedding cake or photography services you have some other, more sinister ways, to decline the business.
    Perhaps you simply will not show up at the service and feign that you thought it was nest week.
    Or you take the photos and explain to them that your camera was malfunctioning and all the photos were severely overexposed.
    Or perhaps your computer malfunctioned and wiped out all the files.
    "I'm so sorry about this. There will be no charge."
    Of course, to be "legal" you have a disclaimer about the entire sordid mess on your contract.
    Forcing people to perform duties they don't want to do leads to creative rebellion.

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    April 8, 2014 6:10 a.m.

    I do not understand why this is such a surprise to anyone. Discrimination in the public market is illegal and for some very good reasons - for example - replace the word "Gay" with the word "Mormon" as to who is being discriminated against and how that might feel. That should make it very easy to understand why all discrimination is illegal.

  • Ariz Madison, AL
    April 8, 2014 5:56 a.m.

    If one is to accept the notion that the 10th amendment trumps other rights such as due process or equal protection then that person should have no issue with the supreme court's action in this case. After all the Supreme Court allowed to stand a law duly enacted by the state of New Mexico.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    April 8, 2014 4:52 a.m.

    when Elaine Huguenin opened her business, she got a business license. To get the license she AGREED to follow the laws in place concerning the operation of a business. One of those laws she AGREED to obey was a prohibition against discrimination based on sexual orientation. By denying service to a gay couple, she broke the law she AGREED to obey. She was rightly held accountable for her breach of the law. The Supreme Court was right not to hear the case.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    April 8, 2014 12:08 a.m.

    KellyWSmith: "We as a society are being forced to accommodate a lifestyle that we do not agree with . . . "

    Next thing you know, some of us really religious people are going to find ourselves living in a society that accommodates smoking, drinking, skiing on Sunday, bad movies, body art, birth control, rap music, coffee drinking, interracial dating and novels that tell about people doing stuff. Why, it may get so bad that mothers who are selfish enough to work outside their homes will expect us to accommodate their lifestyle by paying them almost as much as men get. It's enough to make a fellow want to move to, to, to . . . well, somewhere else.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    April 7, 2014 11:30 p.m.

    The Supreme Court doesn't want to be the final arbitrator on all things gay. It turns a democracy into a 9 member nanny government.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    April 7, 2014 11:11 p.m.

    @ KellyWSmith

    "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service," has to do with sanitation standards. Business owners can't discriminate against a protected class of people (such as race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion)

  • Demiurge San Diego, CA
    April 7, 2014 11:03 p.m.

    You never had that right, Dave, at least in the past 1/2 century. The signs have no legal meaning.

  • JoCo Ute Grants Pass, OR
    April 7, 2014 10:41 p.m.

    No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service is very much alive as are many other Health Department regulations. Discrimination is not an area addressed by Health Departments. Refrigeration standards, employee health and sanitation requirements are all alive and well and have not gone anywhere.

    However; "We reserve the right to refuse to service anyone" is a myth. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly prohibits restaurants from refusing to serve "anyone". Businesses cannot refuse service to patrons because of race, color, religion, nation of origin or a "lifestyle" they don't happen to like.

    Businesses can still refuse service to disruptive customers, or because a lack of room, customers lacking adequate hygiene, inebriated customers etc. etc.

    If people going to complain about a legal matter they should at least have their facts straight

  • waikiki_dave Honolulu, HI
    April 7, 2014 10:28 p.m.

    This is the new cause for gay people and their friends to rally around! With marriage equality becoming a reality, it is now important to expose legislators who will propose bigoted laws that allow business to refuse services to homosexuals in the name of preserving religious freedom.

  • KellyWSmith Sparks, NV
    April 7, 2014 10:02 p.m.

    Whatever happened to "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service," or, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone"?

    We as a society are being forced to accommodate a lifestyle that we do not agree with and we are losing our rights in the process. A society that goes that route does not have long to live.