Monday, April 7, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Will Not Hear Appeal on Ruling Against Photographers Who Nixed Same-Sex Ceremony

Posted By on Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 9:59 AM

At the height of the February debate at the Idaho Legislature over a pair of so-called "religious freedom" bills, supporters of the measures (which ultimately died) continually pointed to a case in New Mexico where some Christian photographers had been fined and admonished by the New Mexico Supreme Court for declining to work a same-sex ceremony.

"As you may be aware, a photographer in New Mexico who has a similar belief that same-gender marriage is against God's law was asked to photograph a same-sex wedding. The photographer had done portrait work for gay and lesbian clients, but because of her religious objection to same-gender marriage, she declined," Boise Republican Rep. Lynn Luker wrote to Boise Weekly in explaining his sponsorship of the bills.

But this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the photographers, thus letting the admonishment stand.

Elane Photography was sued by a same-sex couple after the couple argued that the wedding photography shop was a public business and was required to follow the same anti-discrimination laws as any other company.

Ultimately, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in August 2013 that the photographers' refusal to work the wedding ceremony was a violation of the state's Human Rights Act.

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