Pastor Matt tweeted about this story from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a pro-religious liberty group.
In 2006, Vanessa Willock asked Elaine Huguenin—co-owner with her husband, Jonathan, of Elane Photography in Albuquerque—to photograph a “commitment ceremony” that Willock and another woman wanted to hold in the town of Taos. Neither marriage nor civil unions are legal between members of the same sex in New Mexico. Huguenin declined because her and her husband’s Christian beliefs are in conflict with the message communicated by the ceremony, which Willock asked Huguenin to help her “celebrate.” Willock found another photographer for her ceremony, but nevertheless filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission accusing Elane Photography of discrimination based on “sexual orientation.” The commission held a one-day trial in January 2008 and then issued an order several months later finding that Elane Photography engaged in “sexual orientation” discrimination prohibited under state law. The commission ordered Elane Photography to pay $6,637.94 in attorneys’ fees to the two women who filed the complaint. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys took the case to the New Mexico court system to appeal the commission’s ruling. The state’s Court of Appeals upheld the commission’s ruling, and Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys appealed it to the New Mexico Supreme Court.
The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled Thursday against a photographer who declined to use her artistic expression to communicate the story of a same-sex ceremony. In a concurrence accompanying the opinion, one of the justices wrote that the photographer and her husband, Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, “now are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives,” adding “it is the price of citizenship.”
“The idea that free people can be ‘compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives’ as the ‘price of citizenship’ is a chilling and unprecedented attack on freedom,” said Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence. “Americans are now on notice that the price of doing business is their freedom. We are considering our next steps, including asking the U.S. Supreme Court to right this wrong.”
A Rasmussen poll last month found that “If a Christian wedding photographer who has deeply held religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage is asked to work a same-sex wedding ceremony, 85% of American adults believe he has the right to say no.”
In other statements in the concurrence, Justice Richard C. Bosson wrote, “At its heart, this case teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others…. That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people…. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship.”
Compromising your beliefs to avoid offending unstable people who think that the world revolves around them is “the price of citizenship”.
I was always surprised, during the Supreme Court trial on gay marriage, to find lots of Christians who had changed their Facebook profile image to an equal sign, indicating their support for redefining the definition of marriage. I suspect that they did this because they imagined that Christianity had nothing to do with what the Bible said, but was instead about telling non-Christians nice things in order to be liked by them. Just tell people that God is anything they want God to be. Just tell them that God isn’t holy and doesn’t care how they act. Just tell them that whatever they do in order to feel happy is fine with God.
I wonder what the people who supported the redefinition of marriage will say to Christians who were prosecuted by gay rights activists on Judgement Day? Here’s a pro-tip for non-Christians. You want to avoid making it harder for other people to know God and to follow him. When you make it harder for other people to know God and follow him God is not happy with you for doing that. In fact, making it harder for Christians to know God and follow him is about the worst thing you can do to offend God. It’s a bad idea to use the government to take away someone’s basic human right to religious liberty just because they disagreed with you. Feeling offended is not a good justification for you to force your views on other people using the power of government.