This story derives from a lawsuit over a wedding. Jonathan and Elane Huguenin own Elane’s Photography in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2006, Vanessa Willock requested that Elane’s Photography to photograph the commitment ceremony between Vanessa and her lesbian partner.
The Huguenin’s turned down the job stating it violated their Christian beliefs. Ms. Willock being upset at this rejection filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission. The complaint said she was discriminated against based upon her sexual orientation.
In 2008, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission ruled that the Huguenins engaged in sexual orientation discrimination and ordered them to pay Willock $6,639.94 in legal fees. The case then went before a trial judge who upheld the commission’s decision.
In 2009, the Alliance Defense Fund appealed the court’s decision which moved the case before the New Mexico Court of Appeals who just rendered their decision to also uphold the commission’s ruling. Contained in the 45 page ruling, the court said that the photography business is a public accommodation and as such cannot use their faith to discriminate against others based upon sexual orientation. Part of the ruling read,
“The owners of Elane Photography must accept the reasonable regulations and restrictions imposed upon the conduct of their commercial enterprise despite their personal religious beliefs that may conflict with these governmental interests.”
Jordan Lance, senior counsel and senior vice-president of the Office of Strategic Initiatives for the Alliance Defense Fund commented about the ruling saying,
“Americans in the marketplace should not be subjected to legal attacks for simply abiding by their beliefs. Should the government force a videographer who is an animal rights activist to create a video promoting hunting and taxidermy? Of course not, and neither should the government force this photographer to promote a message that violates her conscience. Because the Constitution prohibits the state from forcing unwilling artists to promote a message they disagree with, we will certainly appeal this decision to the New Mexico Supreme Court.”
If this ruling is upheld by both the New Mexico Supreme Court and US Supreme Court, it could be used as the legal precedent for any homosexual to sue a Christian business if they believe they have been discriminated against in any form. It will also be used to force any Christian operating a business that is open to the public to do things that are against their faith or face a lengthy court battle and end up having to pay hefty fines and legal fees.
I am not making this an issue between right or wrong or unfair treatment against a religion group. I do not think you would see this type of action against a Muslim photographer, but then you do not have police watching the activities of Christians either. This is only about showing that there is coming a time when the religious freedoms that we thought we had will no longer be as clearly defined or enforceable.
This time is coming soon and will be good for Christians in the America. It is time that people had to face repercussions for their beliefs and it will not be as easy to blindly say that you love Jesus without some sort of persecution being associated with it or a blatant conforming of the world’s view of right or wrong.
Rejoice Christians! The time of the thrashing floor is coming.