In the wake of the impending trend across the nation in which states are increasingly amending their policies regarding same sex-marriage, it would be a mistake to assume that all will go smoothly in the aftermath. Just because a law has been passed, it does not mean the tides of public opinion immediately follow. And since this hot-button issue has largely been delegated to the states to tamper with, subsequently, each state will react differently.
Imagine that you are a photographer. You are commissioned by businesses, individuals and families to document their images. Imagine that you are also a photographer of religious convictions and a homosexual couple seeking to document the irreplaceable memories of a wedding ceremony approaches you. You refuse, citing your religious convictions and a burden upon your free speech. The couple states that the practice is discriminatory.
This is what happened in New Mexico, in a case that has the potential to reach the Supreme Court. Elaine Huguenin states that she has no problem with the law in New Mexico that forbids her to discriminate against gay couples, but she does, however, have a problem with telling the story of a same-sex marriage, something she does not believe in.
The article in the New York Times states, “in asking the Supreme Court to hear her challenge to the law, Ms. Huguenin said that she would ‘gladly serve gays and lesbians — by, for example, providing them with portrait photography,’ but that she did not want to tell the stories of same-sex weddings. To make her celebrate something her religion tells her is wrong, she said, would hijack her right to free speech.”
These stories will become more and more common and the question of whether one’s right to wed and maneuver freely throughout society will meet face to face with religious liberty.
Who is correct in this scenario? Should Huguenin take the photos or is she entitled to refuse?