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Own A Business? Say Goodbye to Freedom of Religion

Elaine-Huguenin-with-cameraYesterday the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Elane Photography of Albuquerque, meaning that the legal case of the photographer who refused to take photos at a gay wedding is now over.  The refusal to hear the appeal means the decision of the New Mexico Supreme Court will stand and that court ruled against the photographer, Elaine Huguenin.  If you aren’t familiar with this case, Huguenin refused to take pictures for a gay wedding because doing so would violate her religious beliefs.  The gay couple was offended and sued her for discrimination. 

Justice Richard Bosson of the New Mexico Supreme Court wrote in the ruling that “when Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the [New Mexico Human Rights Act] in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races.”

Bosson further wrote that although the studio owners may object on religious grounds to a same-sex wedding, they must offer the service because their business is open to the public.  Bosson apparently isn’t aware that the First Amendment to the Constitution says the government cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion.  Passing a law that says your religious beliefs are null and void if you open a business sure seems like prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

The most outrageous part of the ruling was that having citizenship means Huguenin must change her conduct.

“The Huguenins are free to think, to say, to believe, as they wish; they may pray to the God of their choice and follow those commandments in their personal lives wherever they lead. The Constitution protects the Huguenins in that respect and much more. But there is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life.

In the smaller, more focused 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. 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. That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship.”

What this court, part of the government, is telling Elaine Huguenin and everyone else is that your religious beliefs had better stay at home if you own a business.  Where in the Constitution does it say that taking out a business license is surrendering your First Amendment rights?  To my mind, the most ridiculous statement was that the Huguenins have to “leave space for other Americans who believe something different.”  Why should they be the ones leaving space instead of the gay couple, who were not the ones having their Constitutional rights trampled? 

Clearly, if you have conservative religious beliefs, it is inadvisable to have a business that provides services for weddings in New Mexico.  No doubt other states will follow over time and eventually there will be no place in the nation where freedom of religion isn’t trashed so as to not offend a gay person.  I have said many times before and it seems more true all the time – Gay people will not stop fighting until their abominable lifestyle is completely mainstreamed and it is Christians who have to remain in the closet.  With this preposterous ruling from the New Mexico Supreme Court, we are one step closer to that becoming a reality.

2 comments to Own A Business? Say Goodbye to Freedom of Religion

  • This does not bode well for Christians who happen to own businesses. Of which, there are more than a few. I am afraid you are right that Christians will soon have to remain in the closet, while the abomination that is homosexuality will be completely in the open and accepted as normal. That is, after all, what they want and the Supreme Court just handed them a big step in that direction on a silver platter.

    • Or at least, as Christians, don’t own a business that could end up being forced to provide services that would violate your freedom of religion. Because apparently, courts will force you to do so lest a gay person feel bad.

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