Jun 14 2012
Court: Christians can be ordered to violate beliefs [Excerpts]
A ruling from Judge Tim L. Garcia in the New Mexico Court of Appeals says states can require Christians to violate their faith in order to do business, affirming a penalty of nearly $7,000 for a photographer who refused to take pictures at a lesbian “commitment” ceremony in the state where same-sex “marriage” was illegal.
Judges Cynthia Fry and James Wechsler joined in the ruling by Garcia, which involved Elane Photography, whose owners, Elaine and Jonathan Huegeunin, are Christians and declined to do photography for lesbians Vanessa Willock and another woman.
The women complained under the state’s anti-discrimination requirements and a state commission, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission, imposed the penalty, which now has been affirmed by the appeals court judges. The judges explained in the 45-page ruling that the photography company is a “public accommodation” and those cannot discriminate under state law based on “sexual orientation.”
“The owners of Elane Photography must accept the reasonable regulations and restrictions imposed upon the conduct of their commercial enterprise despite their personal religious beliefs that may conflict with these governmental interests,” the judges wrote.
Officials with the Alliance Defense Fund, which has been representing Elane, said there would be an appeal.
(Unruh, "Court: Christians can be ordered to violate beliefs," World Net Daily Online, 6/4/12).