The religious right has repeatedly cited the case of Elane Photography, where a photographer ignored the anti-discrimination laws in her state and refused to shoot a commitment ceremony for a lesbian couple, as an example of their increased persecution. Lower courts have found in favor of the couple, and the owner, Elaine Huguenin, appealed to the Supreme Court. Unfortunately for Elaine, the court has denied cert to the case, handing a huge victory to LGBT people who wish to live our lives without being discriminated against. From the Washington Blade:
The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday it won’t take up a case in which a New Mexico photography business alleges its rights were violated when it landed in hot water for refusing to shoot a same-sex wedding ceremony. In orders published Monday morning, the court listed the case, Elane Photography v. Willock, without comment as among the cases it won’t consider. The case was brought to the Supreme Court by Elane Photography, which was found to have violated New Mexico’s anti-discrimination law for refusing to take a photo for the same-sex wedding ceremony for Vanessa Willock and Misti Collinsworth in 2006. (The wedding was only ceremonial because the incident took place before the state legalized same-sex marriage.)
Elane Photography filed lawsuit in state court, alleging that its refusal to photograph a same-sex wedding is protected on religious grounds. However, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled against the claims, saying the businesses service can be regulated because it’s a public accommodation. Following that decision, Elane Photography asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the lawsuit based on First Amendment protections under the U.S. Constitution.
Joe points out that this is yet another loss for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is both a hate group and a law firm at the same time. Moreover, this bodes well for the future of other similar cases where fundamentalist Christians are asserting a made-up right to discriminate against people they don’t like. There will likely be much bellyaching from the religious right today, but remember: they’re only upset because they’re being forced to abide by the same rules as everyone else.