The Supreme Court refused to hear the case of Elane Photography, LLC v. Willock. In legal parlance, they denied cert. This means that the New Mexico Supreme Court opinion stands, which makes this a very sad day for the cause of religious liberty.
Elane Photography, LLC refused to photograph a homosexual commitment ceremony on the grounds that it violated their religious liberty and free speech rights. Their argument had nothing to do with whether someone could legally practice homosexuality or celebrate it in some type of marriage-like ceremony. Rather, they simply argued that they had the right to refuse to photograph such a ceremony due to the fact that it would violate their sincerely-held religious beliefs to do so. It is a liberty-based argument, i.e., I shouldn’t be forced by the government to do things that violate my conscience.
The New Mexico Supreme Court, based upon the state’s anti-discrimination laws, disagreed. The concurring opinion is sympathetic to Huguenins (the owners of Elane Photogrpahy, LLC), and therefore all the more chilling in its conclusions. Basically, the court says that sincerely-held religious beliefs must be checked at the door when one enters the realm of commerce, and this Kantian separation of religious beliefs from the rest of life, particularly the public square, is a price of citizenship. Here are the justice’s actual words: [click to continue…]