Since 2006, a small New Mexico town has been the backdrop for a scene that has played out in various other places across the nation. A business owner refuses service to homosexual clientele based on personal moral objections and is immediately targeted by the ever-tolerant left.
In this case, a Christian couple who own a photography business in Taos declined a contract to provide their services for a lesbian wedding. Despite the fact the women found another company willing to take photos of the ceremony, they still felt compelled to contact the state’s Human Rights Commission, which initiated an investigation.
The case advanced to the New Mexico Supreme Court, which ruled that Elane Photography’s owners, Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, violated the same-sex couple’s human rights.
In a unanimous decision written by Justice Richard Bosson, the court stated that the business could “no more turn away customers on the basis of their sexual orientation … than they could refuse to photograph African-Americans or Muslims.”
Nearly nine out of 10 respondents in a recent Rasmussen poll sided with a business owner’s right to refuse service, and Bosson himself wrote that the Huguenins are being “compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives.”
Though he seems sympathetic to the Christian couple, he continues by mandating that they “compromise” and “accommodate the contrasting values of others.”
If only the lesbian couple had afforded that courtesy in the beginning, there would be no need for a Supreme Court ruling and thousands of dollars in fines levied against the Huguenins.
This decision illustrates a much larger shift in culture, according to a lawyer defending the photographers.
Calling it a “blow to our client and every American’s right to live free,” Jordan Lorence of Alliance Defending Freedom explained that religious liberty is being specifically attacked.
“What you have here is the government punishing someone who says, ‘I, in good conscience, cannot communicate the messages of this wedding,’” he noted.
As radical leftism continues to infiltrate more and more aspects of our lives, the Bill of Rights becomes increasingly irrelevant. While our founders knew that protecting freedom of speech, expression, and religion were vital components to a lasting republic, today’s leaders are much more fond of regulating any behavior they deem unacceptable.
While the U.S. Constitution ostensibly protects us from such restriction, this incident further proves that a few individuals in black robes can unilaterally take it all away.
Photo credit: Travis S. (Creative Commons)