Supreme Court lets ruling stand on NM wedding photographer and same-sex couple

YOU GOTTA DO IT: The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from New Mexico wedding photographer Elaine Huguenin, who lost a case after she refused to photograph a same-sex wedding. Photo from the Alliance Defense Fund.

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog

SANTA FE, N.M. — It looks like a same-sex couple has won and the wedding photographer has lost.

The legal dispute over a wedding photography studio in New Mexico that declined to photograph a ceremony involving a same-sex ceremony will not be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court after all.

The justices on Monday refused to hear an appeal on behalf of Elane Photography of Albuquerque.

That means the decision of the New Mexico Supreme Court, which sided against the photographer, will stand. The U.S. Supreme Court did not elaborate on its decision, issuing a simple one-line order saying it would not hear the case of Elane Photography vs. Willock.

Last August, New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Richard Bosson wrote in a concurring opinion that although the studio’s owners may object on religious grounds to a same-sex wedding, they must offer the service because her business is open to the public.

The owners of Elane Photography, Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin “are free to think, to say, to believe, as they wish” Bosson wrote. Nevertheless, in the “world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different.”

Doing so, Bosson said, is “the price of citizenship.”

The case has drawn attention because it highlighted the collision between claims of religious freedom against state anti-discrimination laws.

Contact Rob Nikolewski at rnikolewski@watchdog.org and follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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