The Religious Right finally has the cherry on top of the martyrdom story they’ve been flogging for years, about Elane Photography in New Mexico, which refused to photograph a lesbian wedding based on their “deeply held beliefs.” We’re sorry, Elane Photography and any other anti-gay folks who want the nation to create special exceptions in the law to accomodate their bigotry, but the New Mexico Supreme Court has just ruled that you have to play by the same rules as everyone else. This is from the ACLU’s press release:
The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled today that Elane Photography illegally discriminated against a same-sex couple by refusing to photograph their commitment ceremony due to the business owner’s religious beliefs.
The opinion stated: “We conclude that a commercial photography business that offers its services to the public, thereby increasing its visibility to potential clients, is subject to the antidiscrimination provisions of the [New Mexico Human Rights Act] and must serve same-sex couples on the same basis that it serves opposite-sex couples. Therefore, when Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the NMHRA in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races.”
“When you open a business, you are opening your doors to all people in your community, not just the select few who share your personal beliefs,” said Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “The Constitution guarantees religious freedom in this country, but we are not entitled to use our beliefs as an excuse to discriminate against other people.”
The Religious Right has, for years, simply assumed that they only have to follow the law if it makes them happy, seeing themselves as the Real Americans in the equation. Sadly, this is not the case, bless their hearts.
As Jeremy explains:
If you conduct business with the public in states with inclusive nondiscrimination laws, you have two choices: (a) do your job, regardless of the potential clients’ race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, etc.; or (b) brush up on your acting skills so that you can hid your desire to discriminate behind an “ah shoot, we’re all booked up at the moment” claim. Citing your personal objections to a “lifestyle” is not going to work.
It really is quite simple.
Get ready for the anti-gay caterwauling to commence within the next fifteen minutes or so.