State Attorneys General File Brief in Support of Christians Ordered to Shoot Same-Sex Ceremonies

ElanePhoto1 ADFWASHINGTON — Eight state attorneys general, along with 18 wedding photographers, have filed amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a Christian photographer that is fighting for the right to decline photo shoots that violate her faith.

As previously reported, Elane Huguenin and her husband Jon run Elane Photography in Albuquerque. In 2006, when Vanessa Willock, a lesbian, approached Elane and requested that she photograph her commitment ceremony, Huguenin declined, stating that she only covers traditional weddings.

The situation soon ended up before the New Mexico Human Rights Commission, who ruled against Huguenin in 2008, stating that she was guilty of violating the state’s “sexual orientation” discrimination law. New Mexico law prohibits “any person in a public accommodation to make a distinction, directly or indirectly, in offering or refusing to offer its services …to any person because of…sexual orientation.” The commission then ordered the photographer to pay nearly $7,000 in fines for refusing to shoot the ceremony.

Huguenin appealed the decision in December 2009, arguing that forcing her to go against her beliefs regarding homosexuality would be like forcing African Americans to photograph Klu Klux Klan members. Last June, the Mexico State Court of Appeals released a 45-page opinion upholding the guilty verdict.

The Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) then appealed the decision to the state Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously in August that Huguenin must shoot homosexual weddings despite her convictions. The panel was comprised of Justices Patricia Serna, Petra Jimenez Maes, Edward Chavels, Richard Bosson and Charles Daniels.

“[W]hen Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the NMHRA in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races,” the court concluded.

Justice Richard C. Bosson, who wrote a concurring opinion, had even stronger words regarding the matter. He asserted that while the Huguenins are being forced by the court to compromise the commandments of God, everyone must make concessions in life over matters that violate their conscience. He outlined that the Huguenins may freely live out their faith privately, but when it comes to running a public business, they will have to “pay the price” and check their Christian convictions at the door.

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Elane and Jeremy Huguenin
Elane and Jon Huguenin

“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,” he stated.

ADF then petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case and affirm to the nation that businesses have the right to conduct commerce in accordance with their faith. It explained that the Huguenins “will serve anyone; they do not turn away any customers because of their protected class status. But they will decline a request, as the First Amendment guarantees them the right to do, if the context would require them to express messages that conflict with their religious beliefs.”

Last Friday, 18 wedding photographers, eight attorneys general and even two advocates of same-sex “marriage” filed briefs in support of the Huguenins, stating that they should have the right to choose which jobs they will accept.

Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma and Virginia were all represented by a brief led by Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.

“[T]he real slippery slope arises from the state court’s rule that the government can use public-accommodations laws to compel persons who create speech to create certain kinds of speech, Strange wrote. “Under the state court’s rule, a law firm would be obligated to take on a homosexual client who wants to make arguments in favor of same-sex marriage, in the same way this photographer is being forced to photograph a same-sex ceremony.”

“States can protect against invidious discrimination and can still protect First Amendment rights,” he asserted. “The government can make its views known without coercing the Huguenins to spread the message.”

ADF notes that a recent Rasmussen poll shows that 85 percent of Americans believe that a Christian photographer should be able to decline projects that violate their faith.

“All Americans should oppose unjust laws that force citizens–under threat of punishment–to express ideas against their will,” said Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence. “As those who filed supportive briefs in this case understand, a government that forces any American to create a message contrary to her own convictions is a government every American should fear.”


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  • Mark

    Add my name to the list of supporters. I STRONGLY detest sex devainst complaining about Christains refsuing to serve them. These deviants know full well that’re asking for trouble and acting like bigots too.

  • Lesli

    I want direction from the church. Homosexuality is a sin. So is lying, so is not working and living off the government when you are able to work, so is gossip, so is adultery, so is divorce, so is envy, so is putting yourself before others. But Jesus said mercy not judgment. I honestly don’t know what Jesus would say or do. We are all sinners, every single one of us.

    • http://ChristianNews L. D.

      Some of us are repentant sinners: we are no longer enemies of the cross. Without repentance, there is no forgiveness. Without our open confession of our faith in The Lord Jesus Christ, continuing therein, and our love for his truth, then we are not under his mercies. His love covers a multitude of sin, but we can’t spite his grace, taking his love and mercies for granted, nor his grace. “to whom much is given, much is required”. God’s grace is sufficient for all those who call upon him in spirit and in truth. We are told in the epistles of John to “Walk in truth”. Jesus is the Truth, the Way and the Life. What he has said still goes: he called the sinners to repentance. We have all sinned and fallen short of his glory, but that is not an excuse to continue in sin: mercy nor grace permits this. “Be yo holy as your Father in heaven is holy”. “Holiness without, no man shall see The Lord.” If you don’t know what Jesus would say or do, then you don’t know him as you should. Not to fret however, for you can know him better than you ever had. Just ask for his truth. That’s what we all must do. Jesus clearly said, “In the beginning, God created male and female…” That’s your answer (found in the book of Genesis and in the gospel of Saint Matthew). Any answer other than this is based on the doctrine of evolution. No true born again (being born again is not a sect, but it is what Jesus told Nicodemus and all believers they must be) believer will deviate from the word of God. The Father spoke from heaven and said, “This is my beloved Son…hear ye him”

    • http://ChristianNews L. D.

      You are right about all the sins you have listed. Here’s what you need to know: homosexuals are unrepentant of their sin of homosexuality. In fact, they deny that it is a sin, so how can they therefore repent of it? They are proud of it much like fornicators, adulterers…. The book of Proverbs warns, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the wages of death”. All sin has the same penalty, death, but those sinners who have repentant, turned from their wicked ways, transgressions are blotted out by God, those who refuse to repent their transgressions remain on God’s books. To love God is to hate every evil way; it’s written in the Bible (KJV). Evil is what God says it is, not what humanity declares it to be. God is love, but he’s also holy. Even when a righteous man falls, he/she must still repent, acknowledge that sin, turn from that wickedness, and then and only then God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins. He’s able to keep that which we truly commit into his hands: body, soul and spirit. Every man is righteous in his own eyes, the scripture reveals, but it also tells us that our righteousness is as filthy rags; those who do not repent cannot justify themselves in the sight of the Most High God; we are only sanctified by his blood and justified by his grace. Jesus is God’s grace, and Jesus made it perfectly clear where he stands on this gay sin, since Jesus was with God from the beginning, and without him there was nothing made that was made; and in the beginning he made male and female (see St. John 1). The Lord our righteousness, that’s Jesus. When folks reject his righteousness , they are rejecting him, and thus his mercy and his grace.

    • http://tjchase.wordpress.com rev TJchase

      First of all, your faith should not be in a building, nor should you make judgement on others. God created gays just as he created you. The only sin here is that of hatred, bigotry and judgement. You need to choose whether to follow the church or the words of Christ.

      • SteveN

        TJ, you’re wrong, God doesn’t make gay people any more than he makes thieves and murderers. Being gay is a lifestyle choice, it’s not genetic, it’s not biological, there is absolutely no scientific proof that there is a ‘gay’ genome. What is crystal clear is the data and statistics that prove the results of a gay lifestyle which are; way higher than normal incidents of suicide, drug abuse, child abuse, crime and death by deadly diseases. It doesn’t take a genius to see that such activity is neither normal or natural.

  • Rebecca Barner

    I believe that they targetted a Christian Business to push their agenda. Christians SHOULD NOT be required to go against their beliefs that Same Sex Marriage is wrong. The court should uphold the religious freedom we as CHRISTIANS are guaranteed in the Constitution. Religious freedom is not just for “other religions” it is also for us CHRISTIANS.

  • Karate Kathleen

    What I want to know is what happened to the right of any person/business owner to be able to chose who they will or will not do business with?

    • http://whiterabbitradio.net Cleric Preston

      Sorry Kathleen that went out with the 60’s when innocent White schoolgirls were forced at BAYONET POINT by the army to ’embrace Diversity’ in their own schools.
      Desegregation remember ?

      Forced integration ended the right of the owner to choose who he would do business with.