Court: Christian Photographer Can't Refuse Gay Ceremonies

Court: Christian Photographer Can't Refuse Gay Ceremonies

Attorneys for a Christian wedding photographer say they will appeal a New Mexico court decision that ruled she violated anti-discrimination laws by refusing to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony, the Religion News Service reports. "Americans in the marketplace should not be subjected to legal attacks for simply abiding by their beliefs," said Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defense Fund, which is representing the photography studio. The controversy began in 2006 when Elaine Huguenin, co-owner of Elane Photography, refused to photograph a lesbian "commitment ceremony" because her Christian faith viewed marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman. The May 31 decision by the New Mexico Court of Appeals upholds a lower court ruling in 2008 that places of public accommodation could not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. "The government cannot make people choose between their faith and their livelihood," Lorence said. "Could the government force a vegetarian videographer to create a commercial for the new butcher shop in town? American business owners do not surrender their constitutional rights at the marketplace gate."

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