The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear a New Mexico photographer’s case where studio owners refused to provide photography services for a lesbian couple's commitment ceremony.
Albuquerque-based Elane Photography co-owner Elane Huguenin said taking the photos for Vanessa Willock and her partner would violate her religious beliefs.
In the Elane Photography v. Willock case the New Mexico Supreme Court said that she must pay “the price of citizenship,” and use her creative talents to communicate a message with which she disagrees or suffer punishment.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Elane Photography and its owners, Jonathan and Elane Huguenin, are hopeful the court will rule in favor of religious freedom.
“The fact that the justices took no action today means that, under the Supreme Court’s rules, the justices are actively considering the case. Most likely, the court will consider the case again on Friday. We hope that the justices will take the case and rule that the government cannot force people to express ideas they do not support.”
The Family Research Council (FRC) expressed disappointment regarding the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear the case claiming it leaves the anti-free speech, religious liberty ruling of the New Mexico Supreme Court in place.
"The Supreme Court ignored an opportunity to reaffirm the basic principle that the government may not trample on fundamental rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion,” said Tony Perkins, president of FRC. “These rights do not stop at the exit door of your local church, and instead extend to every area of a religious person's life.”
A July 2013 Rasmussen poll found that 85 percent of Americans believe a Christian photographer has the right to say no if asked to create pictures at a same-sex ceremony that conflicts with the photographer’s religious beliefs.