Unfortunate: ACLU On The Wrong Side Of A Free Speech Case

from the really-now? dept

Let me start this off by making two things clear, even though I don’t think it should matter for this story. First, I strongly support the rights of gays and lesbians to marry if they choose to. In fact, I find it both depressing and shameful that this is even a debate today or that people have had to fight to change laws to make this possible. And I look forward to the time in the (hopefully) not too distant future, where the world looks back on the fights against allowing such a thing and recognizes it for what it is: a dark day in our history, in which governments were trying to tell people who they can and cannot love.

Second: I’m a big, big supporter of the ACLU and I think they (normally) do amazing work protecting our civil liberties — even in situations where others might shy away. I know many people who work there, and consider them friends. The reputation of the ACLU in taking on cases in which they support individuals or groups with abhorrent positions is a very good thing — such as the very famous case of the ACLU defending the rights of neo-Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois. It is possible to defend the free speech rights of those whose views you find morally abhorrent. And the ACLU has a pretty good track record of doing that.

So I’m left confused by the news that the ACLU is on what I believe is the very wrong side of a case involving a photographer who has a moral objection to gay marriage, and has refused to photograph their weddings. Personally, I think that photographer Elaine Huguenin is on the wrong side of history with her views on gay marriage. But I have tremendous problems with the idea that a New Mexico law against discriminating against gays and lesbians automatically requires her to photograph their weddings and to then “tell their story.” Huguenin argues that forcing her to tell their story when she doesn’t want to do so violates her First Amendment rights against compelled speech.

Of course, I also think that there’s a First Amendment right for everyone else to explain why they shouldn’t want to hire Huguenin in the first place for holding such views. But it’s disappointing to see the ACLU on the other side, and actually willing to argue that the First Amendment is somehow “less important” than making Huguenin photograph a wedding she doesn’t want to photograph. That’s what the ACLU’s Louise Melling told the NY Times:

There are constitutional values on both sides of the case: the couple’s right to equal treatment and Ms. Huguenin’s right to free speech. I asked Louise Melling, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, which has a distinguished history of championing free speech, how the group had evaluated the case.

Ms. Melling said the evaluation had required difficult choices. Photography is expression protected by the Constitution, she said, and Ms. Huguenin acted from “heartfelt convictions.”

But the equal treatment of gay couples is more important than the free speech rights of commercial photographers, she said, explaining why the A.C.L.U. filed a brief in the New Mexico Supreme Court supporting the couple.

Except, as Reason rightly points out, that’s not true. there aren’t Constitutional issues on both sides.

… the Constitution guarantees equal treatment by the government, not by private individuals or organizations. The 14th Amendment cannot justify requiring photographers to treat all couples equally any more than the First Amendment can justify requiring publishers to treat all authors equally. By erroneously suggesting that deciding Huguenin’s case means choosing between competing “constitutional values,” [the NY Times] lends cover to the American Civil Liberties Union, which in this case is arguing that Huguenin’s civil liberties should be overridden by a principle that cannot be found in the Bill of Rights…

So while I strongly support equal rights for everyone, and am greatly saddened that people out there are still opposed to things like gay marriage, I’m equally troubled by the idea that the government can force someone to express themselves in a manner that they are uncomfortable doing. The government absolutely should be required to treat everyone equally and not discriminate on the basis of who they’re attracted to. But it’s going way too far to argue that a private business should be forced both to do business with someone, but also to create expression that they personally disagree with.

And, yes, there is a reasonable concern that allowing a photographer (or someone in another profession) to discriminate the services they provide is an obnoxious and discriminatory practice — but it’s one that is rather easily solved without government compelled work and speech: just by letting the world know of the photographer’s views, which would hopefully have a negative impact on her business. Compelling her to speak, on the other hand, is tremendously problematic. And it seems to go against most things that I thought the ACLU stood for.



Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: aclu

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Unfortunate: ACLU On The Wrong Side Of A Free Speech Case”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
473 Comments
Rikuo (profile) says:

I was initially on the side of the ACLU when I first read this article, but a re-read and a re-think moved me over to the other side of the debate.
The thing that swung me is the fact that it’s not simply a store selling a good/service, but it’s a photographer whose business involves creating speech. I liken this to a hypothetical scenario where a Catholic Christian magazine/newspaper is told by the government to put in ads for birth control products, after an ad agency complains that they were unfairly rejected.

TKnarr (profile) says:

I don’t consider this a matter of speech. That it’s a photographer doesn’t change the fact that it’s a business. The law doesn’t put any requirements on the photographer as far as choosing the subjects of their photography, the models they use or anything that goes into the photographs. At least, not when it’s the photographer doing their own work for sale. What it puts requirements on is the business dealings of the photographer’s business, which isn’t speech. When the photographer goes beyond creating photographs and begins offering their services to the public, then they have to treat all customers equally just like any other business. You don’t get to claim that somehow your selection of customers is free speech, because it isn’t.

Just like if I’m writing and printing my own books vs. if I’m running a print shop printing books for others. The former is my free speech, the latter is a business.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You have some fundamental, deep lack of understanding about what the topic here is so I’ll just go with the parts that have softball answers:

No one is making a claim – nor could they with a straight face – that the “selection of customers” is free speech. The claim is that the service offered here is speech and that the first amendment protects against being compelled to speak, the latter point being inarguable on its own.

Your book printing analogy makes no sense; that would analogize to a photo printing service, which has nothing to do with the issue at hand. A book writing service would certainly analogize, but I doubt you could even remotely convincingly argue that writers shouldn’t have the privilege to refuse to write opinions that they believe are morally wrong.

TKnarr (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Here’s the thing: when you’re running a photography business you aren’t taking the pictures you want to take. You’re taking the pictures your customer wants you to take. And that is the critical difference. If there’s any speech involved it’s the customer’s, not yours, because they’re the ones choosing what is to be photographed. If they want the family car photographed, you as the photographer can’t decide that the house would make a better subject than the car. If you do, they get to sue you for breach of contract because you weren’t hired to photograph the house. So if they can dictate something as basic as that, how is the photograph speech of any sort on the photographer’s part?

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Now you’re getting into the area of editorial control. While yes the clients would have final say over what photos they’d like to keep and pay for, the photographer still has to make many a creative decision when taking the photo.

However…now that you’ve brought it up, there’s a troubling parallel with movie-making. The director of a movie is the ultimate editor of a movie. He hires people to do jobs to help make it. Say a director hires an animation studio for a pro-gay movie, but one of the animators in that studio objects. Should that animator have the right to not be forced to work on that movie or should he be fired?

Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

That animator should be taken off the project and preferably without resorting to dismissal which would lean back around to the studio’s ethics and responsibilities. The individual can walk, run, suck it up or sue and then find a gig that he doesn’t object to.

Your example is one that is between an artist and his employing studio and not really between the artist and the customer.

Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I think that the correct tact here is that photography is an art (yes, even with your little camera phone rigs and even weddings) and all art is a form of speech. As such the medium, the “voice” of the artist, is of paramount concern to the artist before his customer’s voice is ever heard much less considered. If you don’t like the art you do not buy it, likewise, if the artist detests the medium he should not make it. Any in between would be at the behest of the artist.

I could think of little that would be less appealing than hiring a photographer to take pictures of something they’d rather not take pictures of and then paying money for the results.

It’s almost as if because this is an equal rights issue and that the rights of one party supersedes the rights of the other because homosexuality is involved and the acceptance thereof.

I would think that you can not legislate acceptance that forces an artist to provide art for you. An apartment, insurance or the right to marry, sure, but acceptance? Something tells me that that’s not right.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

No, you have a fundamental, deep lack of understanding on this issue, as does mike.

Look at it this way, the same could be said for a sign in a restaurant. The chef considers his meals a work of art, and therefore protected free speech. Which is all good, except when the sign says “whites only”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

AC @5:08 AM:

I think there are differences between your “whites only” scenario and the present situation. In the “whites only” scenario, you are permitting certain clients from entering your establishment and property, while preventing others from doing so. Clearly such exclusion is not equal treatment under the law.

In the case of the photographer, the photographer is going to an event and using creative judgment in capturing images of the event. The photographer is not excluding anyone from any place. The only thing the photographer is refusing to do is to take pictures of an event that the photographer objects to morally. What if the event had been a religious event and the photographer was agnostic? Seems to me that forcing a photographer to take pictures of a religious event in spite of being against religion violates another constitutional prohibition.

Backing off to a wider view, professionals refuse to take on clients for a huge array of reasons, which professionals who provide a service can do. Generally, it is accepted, and logical (more on that in a moment), that if a professional, regardless of whether that person is an attorney, painter, CPA, etc., decides not to take on a client, they do not have to do so. If this photographer is forced to take on clients she does not want, then how will this situation extrapolate to any other service provider? A couple can accuse an attorney of discrimination in not taking on their case. Continue to add examples ad infinitum. As a service provider myself, I decide who I take on as clients, and I have refused to take on many clients for a variety of reasons (though none because they were homosexual). I can see being accused of discrimination, even though it would be unfounded, and forced to perform when I do not wish to perform.

One has to wonder whether it is advisable to force someone to perform a service that person does not wish to perform. Will they really provide their best work? I suspect that even with the best of intent, their efforts will be less than what they are capable of performing. Logically, why would you hire a professional who does not want to perform a service for you? After all, are they likely to give you 100% of their effort, or feel as though they had been coerced to perform?

Heather says:

Re: Re:

Except writing and printing your own books is the equivalent of taking photographs and distributing them. They’re both free speech. You can’t compel someone to write about something that they don’t want to, even though that might be their business. I’m not saying that the photographer is right (because she’s not), but both writing and photography imply a personal connection to the work.

T Teshima (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Sorry, but I agree with the people who see this as a service issue first. If you are a writer or publisher or photographer offering a service to the public, you are not allowed (as a matter of law) to discriminate against certain groups. Now some people will object to having gays put in this category, but tough. That fight is already lost. You can’t discriminate against people on the basis of race, religion, or sexual orientation. I think that trumps any free speech issue. If you are offering a service to the public, you just can not discriminate, period.

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The counter to that argument is that if offering the service involves (what would be constitutionally protected) speech, then any law forbidding discrimination in the offering of that service would be a law “restricting the freedom of speech”, and would therefore be in violation of the First Amendment – meaning it would be unconstitutional, and should be struck down. (And probably disobeyed in the meantime.)

In that sense, this isn’t a challenge to the inclusion of gays in the “may not discriminate against” category, but to the application of that category to services which involve acts classified as speech.

I’m not sure there’s any clean, no-compromises solution to this; at least one side is going to end up being dissatisfied, no matter how you analyze it. The best we can really hope for is that whatever no-one-is-satisfied compromise solution we end up with is not worse, overall, than what we started out with.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I don’t consider this a matter of speech. That it’s a photographer doesn’t change the fact that it’s a business.

It most certainly is a question of speech. Yes, it is a business as well, but that business makes their money from protected expression. Forcing the photographer to take a job against her will would literally mean the government is forcing people to express themselves in a specific way, and that’s certainly a First Amendment violation.

Even if it wasn’t, this likely isn’t an illegal violation of gay people’s rights. Generally speaking, businesses only have to respect peoples’ rights for public accommodations, and photography for hire wouldn’t qualify.

Besides, I’m pretty sure this photographer’s business is going to be ruined anyway, once this gets widespread attention. And deservedly so, IMO.

Lizzie says:

Re: Re:

A business has the right to refuse services to anyone for ANY reason. While I find homophobia, misogyny and racism to be horrifying, disgusting and inhuman, it’s the right of the proprietor to refuse service if they don’t care for the customer.

She has a right to say no, they have a right to find someone who WANTS to photograph the wedding.

Because honestly, who would want someone taking pictures of a monumental day, when the person taking the pictures is (possibly) disgusted and angry about being a witness to the event?

The pictures would come out badly, or be poorly done, or lack heart and understanding.

As a dog trainer, I have a right to refuse service to anyone, including Michael Vick. As a photographer, she has a right to refuse service to anyone, including gay or lesbian couples.

I really, really hate coming down on the side of a homophobe. But she has rights as well.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Do you even know what a homophobe is? Have you ever seen even one person who had an unreasonable fear or any fear of a gay person?

Now what I really dislike is people who practice infanticide. Many of the same people who are concerned with gay rights don’t mind killing the unborn. Even unborn gays.

Your morals are artificial and change with the wind.

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Do you even know what a homophobe is? Have you ever seen even one person who had an unreasonable fear or any fear of a gay person?

This is one of a constellation of similar terms; one of the others is “xenophobia”.

The underlying idea is that all hatred, anger, et cetera, is inherently rooted in fear.

Whether or not that’s accurate, the word has come to refer to an attitude of active antipathy towards homosexuals and/or homosexuality, and – at least in common discourse – no longer has anything directly to do with fear, regardless of what its roots may mean.

Someone says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Have you ever seen even one person who had an unreasonable fear or any fear of a gay person?”

I think after reading some of the threats that gay people made on this list to the general population, I just acquired that very fear. Not because of their sexuality, but because of the high probability that gay people are bullies and not safe to know.

Hope this helps,

A bulliphobe

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Nice DARVO. Attack the bullied ones, then claim it’s in offence to ‘bullies’. If you are truly against bullies, then you shouldn’t be picking on the ‘gay people threats’ only, but sticking up for anyone bullied.

Speaking of which, I haven’t seen any “threats that gay people made on this list to the general population” in this conversation…

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

‘Homophobe’ is a blanket label meant to slander anyone who objects to homosexuality. You cannot bully people into affirming your sexuality, least of all by infringing upon their 1A rights. Doesn’t seem to matter to the gay activists how many businesses they ruin, lives they destroy or rights they infringe upon, so long as they get their way. But it’s all for the greater good, right?

HegemonicDistortion says:

Re: Re:

I understand your view and believe your argument is both logical and persuasive, but ultimately I think the argument that photography is “speech” or expression and is therefore something different than, say, a restaurant, hotel, auto repair shop, etc., is slightly more persuasive.

One nice “bright line” way of distinguishing between an “expressive” service vs a “regular” service is copyright, i.e. is the product subject to copyright? In the case of photography, yes, it is: the photographer holds a copyright on his/her photographs

jblog says:

Re: Re:

“When the photographer goes beyond creating photographs and begins offering their services to the public, then they have to treat all customers equally just like any other business.”

Actually, she doesn’t — if you strip away the constitutional arguments here, there is absolutely no legal requirement compelling the photographer to take this couple’s business or anyone else’s — she has the right to refuse to take anyone’s business for any reason.

That’s why the ACLU is attempting to argue this case on constitutional grounds — without that argument, as flimsy as it is, they have absolutely no case.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Actually, she doesn’t — if you strip away the constitutional arguments here, there is absolutely no legal requirement compelling the photographer to take this couple’s business or anyone else’s — she has the right to refuse to take anyone’s business for any reason.

That’s why the ACLU is attempting to argue this case on constitutional grounds — without that argument, as flimsy as it is, they have absolutely no case.

Actually, that’s kinda backwards. There IS a “legal requirement” for the photographer in the form of the anti-discrimination law. The photographer is arguing a First Amendment right and saying that forcing her to do this is unconstituional.

The ACLU is NOT arguing for any constitutional right (because there is none on their side of the argument) – they are arguing against the couple’s First Amendment stance. (Which makes me wonder how often the ACLU actually argues against the First Amendment. Have they EVER done so before, in a case where there were no constitutional issues on the other side of the argument? I’m curious.)

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes. The issue is, does the KKK member act ‘normally’, or are they breaking some law, such as actively abusing the business owner. Then you get them for that. But business of any kind is not a licence to discriminate, or you’ll simply find businesses using the flimsiest excuses to discriminate (oh, it’s against my 1st amendment religious rights to serve Irish catholics/sons of Ham/mooooslem ‘pagans’…)

You want to make a business serving the public, you have to follow public rules. In a case like this of work for hire, the photographer should go with it.

What happens when someone doesn’t want to cover a mixed-race wedding, or a bar mitzvah, or even something like someone getting remarried (adultery to some Christians)?

Tom Bosworth (user link) says:

Re: Free speech

” if I’m running a print shop printing books for others. “

So if you were a publisher you could be forced by the government to print neo-Nazi hate tracts, and you have no problem with government having that power over you?

How about if you were a gay publisher and the government ordered you to print anti-gay tracts?

How about if you were a commercial writer and the government ordered you to write pro-Nazi, anti-gay propaganda because “you are in the writing business”?

Doubting Rich says:

Re: Re:

Where in the First Amendment does it say that speech is not speech when it is involved in a business? I think that the news industry would be concerned to hear your comment on that.

Thee only other interpretation of your comment that I can think of is that the ACLU is acting against this photographer’s business practices, not her photography, but a photographer’s business practice is photography, they cannot be separated.

Patrick says:

Re: Re:

Curious if this position applies to for-profit newspapers or news networks?

The NY Times, MSNBC, WasPost, Fox News are all commercial (profit) driven enterprises. They don’t “create” the news, they simply provide the content to their audience. Or something.

The photographer here is being asked to “report” the event in a positive light. So can the government then step in and tell MSNBC to provide positive coverage of a conservative politician?

When in doubt, drop the emotional plea-bargaining we do in our head (“I support gay marriage”) and turn it around. See if it still makes sense. If the answer differs, then we’re doing it wrong.

Respectfully,

Patrick

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The photographer here is being asked to “report” the event in a positive light. So can the government then step in and tell MSNBC to provide positive coverage of a conservative politician?

Apparently the other side thinks that this would not apply to reporters because they do not do news on demand.

But wait! Many local news stations have at least one feature where they invite people to call in. “If you’ve been ripped off, call our investigative team!” So they’re advertising this service… to the public… does this mean they lose all control and must investigate and report on whatever anyone demands?

Sheogorath (profile) says:

Re: Re:

When the photographer goes beyond creating photographs and begins offering their services to the public, then they have to treat all customers equally just like any other business. You don’t get to claim that somehow your selection of customers is free speech, because it isn’t.
I would agree with you if the photographer ran her business in the UK, but she doesn’t, she’s in the US. As much as I dislike her for being a homophobic bigot, she’s in the right on this.

Reformed Trombonist (user link) says:

Re: Re:

Should a Jewish photographer be required to photograph an American Nazi Party convention? Or a black photographer to photograph a KKK gala? I would argue, no, to compel them to do so would violate their freedom as an American and their dignity as a person.

> When the photographer goes beyond creating photographs and begins offering their services to the public, then they have to treat all customers equally just like any other business.

The hypothetical Jew or black photographer would fall under the same arbitrary restriction you’re setting up for the Christian photographer. “The public” includes American Nazis and KKK Grand Kleagles, though fortunately they’ve become rare.

Annonimus says:

Re: Re:

I take it you’ve never heard of a site called Not Always Right? Look it up if you have not. It deals with the kind of stupidity and bullshit people try to pull on business with the same logic that is being used to sue this photograph. I honestly do not need more of a reason then the contents of that site to think that winning against Elaine Huguenin in this case will come back to haunt the ACLU big time.

Beech says:

I’m not sure why this is a lawsuit. If someone is really THAT vehemently against photographing your wedding, why would you try to force them to do it? And if the government can compel this lady to take pictures at the wedding, can it compel her to take good ones? What if she, “accidentally” or otherwise, leaves the camera out of focus? Or only takes pictures of everyone’s feet? Or only takes pictures of derp faces?

It’s not like there’s not a huge number of options of photographers. Wouldn’t you want to choose someone more progressive anyway?

TKnarr (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I don’t know. If a straight couple hired a photographer and they left the camera out of focus, only took pictures of everyone’s feet, only took pictures of derp faces, would that couple have grounds to sue for failure to complete work as contracted? It seems to me that they would, since that kind of stuff fails the test of a minimum quality of work one could reasonably expect from a professional photographer offering their services as such to the public.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

So you believe that forcing your beliefs upon others is the right way to go about bringing understanding and acceptance?

Honestly, you sound like the Westboro Baptist Church… IMHO, this couple would have a better go at hiring a bum on the street to photograph, than try to force some bigot to participate against their will.

I say next we force the KKK to join in Hanakkah celebrations next…

TKnarr (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

That argument was lost when the voters passed the matter into law. The majority of society there decided it wasn’t acceptable for businesses to refuse service to certain classes of people. We’ve done it before, deciding it wasn’t acceptable to refuse service to blacks, or to Chinese, or to Catholics (yes there was a time when businesses in heavily-Protestant areas would refuse service to Catholics).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. I feel this is basically a publicity stunt on both sides. One side is a couple trying to out a bigot, which in fact isn’t so bad. On the other side, we have a religious wacko that won’t offer a package deal because of beliefs. In the meantime, this couple has limited rights due to state actions such as health insurance, if they move out of state. Sounds like a hard won battle to out this one idiot, considering NM is one of the few states to actually recognize same sex marriage.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

The issue of gay marriage is only thirty years or so old, according to Wikipedia, the result of two male students wanting to wed. Before that, no one but Caligula had even considered it.

The reason it’s come up is because of laws that provide special favors to married couples, e.g. health or death benefits. That means that, in states where gay marriage is not recognised, you can’t even visit your partner in hospital because they don’t recognise your relationship.

With each law that infringes on their rights to be treated as a couple or as members of a family, or that prohibits acts that take place in private between consenting adults, we create a longer chain to tangle ourselves up with. We used to pretend it doesn’t exist but gay won’t go away because some of us find it objectionable. We need to learn to accept it and treat gay people fairly, otherwise, they do what every oppressed group in history has done: fight back till they win. And they will. Because you do when your back is against the wall.

We really need to stop trying to regulate human relationships and stay the hell out of people’s bedrooms. That’s where all of this has come from. It’s why I can’t stand authoritarians. Ultimately, they are responsible for this, and the harder they try to force the genie back in the bottle (discourage all mention of homosexuality and force them all back in the closet), the more likely they are to simply break the damn thing. It’s too late. It’s here now, and the world hasn’t come to an end so live and let live.

As for the photographer, it’s unfortunate that she has taken this stand, but if people want to go against the grain, let ’em. The last thing we need is to live in a world where you have to watch every word you say in case you end up in jail. Approved speech. All comments and blog posts, etc., checked for political correctness and the risk of being sent to reeducation camps if you say the wrong thing. It’s getting like this in the UK, now, isn’t it? Do we want it here? No, thank you.

Bear in mind that, considering the political climate, this could go either way. You don’t want to be crushed beneath the boot of the extreme left or right. All extremism is harmful and restrictive, after all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group”

Simple Merriam-Webster’s dictionary: link

— a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group

Sounds like she is not accepting the beliefs of another group to me. (PS Accepting and agreeing are totally different as well.)

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

I’m not engaging in your game of linguistic gymnastics. Practically everyone is either a member of or otherwise affiliated with a group, faith or other social construct. Should a black photographer be compelled to render his/her service to a KKK rally? Should someone be allowed to walk into a Jewish bakery and demand a bagel in the shape of a cross? I could go on but what’s the point when the answer is so obvious?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Why do you slap the bigot label on the photographer for adhering to her beliefs?

Perhaps because her beliefs are bigoted.

Either there’s a valid, logical reason that marriage has been recognized as between a man and a woman for thousands of years

First, marriage as we know it today is not thousands of years old. It’s actually fairly recent.

The “valid, logical reason” that marriage has historically been between a man and a woman is because it was directly and solely concerned with setting the chain of inheritance of property and with the maintenance of political bloodlines.

For most of history, if you had no property or power, marriage was a nonissue. You were considered “married” if you publicly declared that you were (and if you were a member of an Abrahamic religion, once you had sex). That’s all.

our modern notion of marriage is just that: modern. We made it up. There’s nothing wrong with adjusting it as we see fit.

For the record, I think that government-sanctioned “marriage” shouldn’t exist at all. Leave it to the beliefs of the people who want to get married. The governmental side should replace “marriage” with a specialized form of incorporation (which is what it really is, legally speaking, anyway) that can be entered into by anybody who can legally enter into contracts.

Think of the benefits all around — the government is out of the marriage game, so all this arguing about same-sex marriage is nullified instantly. Additionally, the incorporation can happen between anybody. it would be really convenient to, for example, enter into the incorporation with an aging parent instead of the patchwork and inconsistent process needed to get the rights to speak on the parent’s behalf when it comes to medical care, etc.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

There was a thing called “brotherment” back in the day…

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823110231.htm

Maybe the whole persecution of gays thing is what’s recent. Nobody seems to have given much of a damn till the moral hysteria started building up around it. Now we have groups speaking out against cartoon characters holding hands. Madness!

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“our modern notion of marriage is just that: modern. We made it up. There’s nothing wrong with adjusting it as we see fit.”

Maybe with regards to same-sex but definitely not hetero.

“For the record, I think that government-sanctioned ‘marriage’ shouldn’t exist at all. Leave it to the beliefs of the people who want to get married. The governmental side should replace ‘marriage’ with a specialized form of incorporation (which is what it really is, legally speaking, anyway) that can be entered into by anybody who can legally enter into contracts.”

Ok, I can agree with that. However, you do realize that the tax benefits were originally provided to traditional marriages for the benefit of giving birth to and raising children, right?

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Maybe there’s a valid, logical reason that slavery has been recognised as being between a master and his slave for thousands of years …or everyone else had it wrong because, y’know, you know better.

Feel free to come up with those ‘valid, logical reasons’ that don’t actually exclude many existing hetero marriages. And “I think it’s icky” or “it’s tradition” are not logical or valid reasons. Traditions change with time and culture, and what you think is icky is purely subjective.

Letting same-sex couples marry will no more ‘destroy’ ‘traditional’ marriage any more than mixed-race or mixed-age marriages do. Go pick a fight with divorce and adultery, they are a far more existential threat to ‘traditional’ marriage!

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“Maybe there’s a valid, logical reason that slavery has been recognised as being between a master and his slave for thousands of years …or everyone else had it wrong because, y’know, you know better.”

You’re conflating apples and oranges in order to give your argument an air of victimhood.

“Feel free to come up with those ‘valid, logical reasons’ that don’t actually exclude many existing hetero marriages. And ‘I think it’s icky’ or ‘it’s tradition’ are not logical or valid reasons. Traditions change with time and culture, and what you think is icky is purely subjective.”

Well if you’re setting the terms of the discourse then there’s nothing to discuss. Society decided long ago what constituted marriage until government and activists stretched the definition.

“Letting same-sex couples marry will no more ‘destroy’ ‘traditional’ marriage any more than mixed-race or mixed-age marriages do. Go pick a fight with divorce and adultery, they are a far more existential threat to ‘traditional’ marriage!”

No, it won’t destroy traditional marriage but then that’s beside the point. The idea is to legalize it so as to set a precedent for anti-discrimination rights which in practice discriminate against religion.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“Why do you slap the bigot label on the photographer for adhering to her beliefs?”

For the simple and obvious reason that something being a religious belief does not disqualify it from being bigoted. It may be that you are right and God is a bigot, but that he is God does not make him NOT a bigot. Pretty simple really….

“Either there’s a valid, logical reason that marriage has been recognized as between a man and a woman for thousands of years”

…or that recognition is pure fantasy on your end, since different societies have had different views on homosexuality, marriage, and promiscuity going back those thousands of years. Even the Judeo-Christian faith didn’t see marriage as “one man, one woman” for most of its history, it was more like “one man, and how ever many women he wants”. Sort of puts a damper on your fake traditional marriage stint, huh?

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“For the simple and obvious reason that something being a religious belief does not disqualify it from being bigoted. It may be that you are right and God is a bigot, but that he is God does not make him NOT a bigot. Pretty simple really….”

How much more absurd does it get than this? Disagreeing with someone’s sexual practices makes someone a bigot, going by your retarded logic. Since God created everything, He gets to determine what’s moral and what isn’t. We’ll see how pompous you are when you’re standing before Him.

“…or that recognition is pure fantasy on your end, since different societies have had different views on homosexuality, marriage, and promiscuity going back those thousands of years. Even the Judeo-Christian faith didn’t see marriage as “one man, one woman” for most of its history, it was more like “one man, and how ever many women he wants”. Sort of puts a damper on your fake traditional marriage stint, huh?”

By all means, pull a straw man and deflect from the subject. The Catholic Church does not allow for men to marry several woman. Society decided that marriage is between a man and a woman. Just because a bunch of socialist liberal activists hijacked the government/state and took it upon themselves to redefine marriage without public approval doesn’t suddenly mean that we’re going to change our morals to suit their immoral view.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“How much more absurd does it get than this? Disagreeing with someone’s sexual practices makes someone a bigot, going by your retarded logic.”

Disagreeing with and calling something a sin are two very different things, my friend. I can disagree with you for liking waffles. But the moment I say that anyone who inherently enjoys waffles is deficient in the eyes of almighty God, I’m a bigot. Savvy?

“He gets to determine what’s moral and what isn’t.”

That’s your belief, but even YOU don’t believe he gets to make up the definition of words. If God believes judging an entire inherent class of people is The Way, that’s fine, but it doesn’t make judging an entire inherent class of people NOT bigotry.

“We’ll see how pompous you are when you’re standing before Him.”

Hold on, let me see if I have this right. YOU claim to know the mind and will of an almighty creator for which you have no earthly proof…..and I’M the one who is pompous? Whoo boy, you are too far gone….

“The Catholic Church does not allow for men to marry several woman.”

Well, technically the New Testament only forbids polygamy by Church leaders, but you’re generally correct. That has more to do with Roman law than any Catholic teaching in the bible, however.

“Society decided that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

What society? As I said, that isn’t uniform amongst all of Earth’s societies, today or in the past. This is a meaningless statement.

“Just because a bunch of socialist liberal activists hijacked the government/state and took it upon themselves to redefine marriage without public approval doesn’t suddenly mean that we’re going to change our morals to suit their immoral view.”

You don’t have to. Nobody is asking you to. What you believe and worship in your religion is your business, but you don’t get to apply your religion to the secular government. That isn’t my rule, and I dare say Thomas Jefferson probably wasn’t a socialist when he made it the rule of the land.

You severely need a history lesson my friend….

Billius Barns says:

Re: Re: Re:

I have seen professional photographers botch wedding pics before. All slightly not centered and faintly out of focus. Obvious when some were enlarged but not in the original smaller pics. Not to mention how many closeups of hands and feet were in the roll. I’ve always wondered how the conversation went between the bride and photographer during the hiring process and sunup.

Anonymous Coward says:

if they do get the photographer ordered to work for them, are they going to sue if they don’t like the photos? what stops the photographer from sandbagging the product by taking photos from angles that chop off people’s heads, using the wrong lens, or doing any of the dozens of little things that you hire a professional photographer for their skill in doing? Is the photographer going to be compelled to do a job, or to do a “good” job? If the latter, who decides whether they did a good enough job?

Can a court compel a professional editor to copy-edit an anti-gay press release by the Westboro Baptist Church on the basis that to refuse to do so is religious discrimination?

Almost Anonymous says:

Re: Re:

Yeah, I wondered about that too. How do you codify quality?

“You must take pictures of their wedding, and they must be GOOD pictures.”

Yeah, let’s see how far that flies. I seem to recall a recent similar story involving a bakery. If the baker doesn’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding, then the baker is undoubtedly an asshole, so you want to force an asshole baker to make your cake? I have serious doubts that it will taste good, or that your guests won’t get food poisoning.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

AC @3:59:

I think the issue gets very complicated when you mix issues, such as race and sexual orientation. What if the issue was vegetarianism, and you catered solely to vegetarians? If the photographer is forced to take pictures, which in the mind of the photographer is an endorsement of a lifestyle that the photographer finds abhorrent, then a vegetarian may be required to take on non-vegetarian clients, attorneys may no longer be able to refuse service to a client, painters may be required to take on any job, etc.

Regardless of whether I agree with the photographer, she is not refusing to permit someone into her establishment, she is refusing to travel to a private event and perform at that event. Don’t magicians, mimes, musicians, and even DJ’s have the same right at this time? You are going to take the right to refuse a client away from service people who work from their homes and/or perform at a client site.

By the way, if the photographer had a studio and a gay couple came into the studio and the photographer refused to take their picture, I would be on the opposite side. Once you have a facility that is open to the public and you perform your service on site, you can’t discriminate. That goes for hair dressers, massage parlors, etc.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 It is complicated...

Michael:

The government decided a long time ago (the 1960’s, in fact) that if you have a business that is open to the public, that you cannot discriminate against anyone. Note that the key here is “open to the public.” Shop owners, bookstore owners, etc., must admit anyone who walks in off the street.

Now, is there an argument that a service provider can refuse to provide service to a specific client? If there is a legitimate issue, for example, a medical reason, for refusing service, I would say the answer is yet. Otherwise, you have to serve anyone who walks through the door.

Note that professional services such as legal, accounting, etc., are usually not open to the public, and they avoid laws regarding discrimination in that way, though I suspect very few do so. After all, a paying client only has one color, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.: green.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:4 It is complicated...

You mean discrimination with regards to interstate commerce. But this is a red herring with regards to homosexuals because, unless they explicitly state their sexual proclivities, the shop owner would have no way of knowing either way. Besides, nowhere in the Constitution does it grant government the authority to enact commerce laws which can prohibit you from exercising your 1A rights.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 It is complicated...

I stand by what I said. If you have a photography studio that is open to the public, and your business is taking pictures in your studio (portraits), then you cannot refuse to serve anyone who walks in off the street. I would love to see the ACLU take on that case, because I think they would lose.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 It is complicated...

I stand by what I said. If you have a photography studio that is open to the public, and your business is taking pictures in your studio (portraits), then you cannot refuse to serve anyone who walks in off the street. I would love to see the ACLU take on that case, because I think they would lose.

And why would the ACLU take on that case? You do realize they are siding AGAINST the photographer, right? (I know, it’s confusing that the ACLU is opposing the free speech argument and supporting the side whose only constitutional argument is to argue against free speech, but that’s how it is.)

Also, your statement is incorrect. The business does not have to take anyone who walks in. They just can’t discriminate against a protected group.

Bergman (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 It is complicated...

The problem is you’re not talking about someone refusing to flip burgers for a homosexual, you are talking about an artist being compelled to produce art.

The former is simply an assembly line service, no art at all. The latter, however, is government-compelled speech that the speaker does not agree with.

If the government can compel you to say nice things about someone or take pictures you despise, then they can compel any artist to ‘speak’ against their will. Paintings, sculptures, poetry, they all could be compelled.

Where does it end?

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

There is no moral imperative to abstain from providing a service for someone because of their race. However, homosexuals are not their own race. It is a sexual preference, a choice, otherwise there wouldn’t be such a thing as gay people who change and straight and visa versa — yet there are.

All people are created equal but not all actions are, nor should they ever be considered to be. Nobody has an “equal right” to be photographed. If government can compel private business owners to violate their conscience then we’re in fact operating under a communist-leaning judiciary, which is unconstitutional.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 It is complicated...

‘It is a sexual preference, a choice, otherwise there wouldn’t be such a thing as gay people who change and straight and visa versa — yet there are.’

1) Science says otherwise, and your continued insistence on this matter just demonstrates your willful lack of knowledge regarding the subject.

2) So, by that logic heterosexuality is also a ‘choice’ people make. So then, when did you choose to be straight, how long did it take you to decide, and what was your thought process throughout the decision making?

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:3 It is complicated...

You mean bunk science produced in order to show a desired result, due to pro-gay influences in the background. There’s no ‘gay gene’ nor anything of the sort. Indeed, even the man responsible for striking homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses in the APA, Dr. Nicholas Cummings, said that 20% of homosexuals who went to him changed their sexuality. So, quite frankly, you’re full of it.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 It is complicated...

There’s no ‘gay gene’ nor anything of the sort

No, there isn’t, and again your insistence on strawmen arguments like this is doing nothing more than showcasing your willful ignorance of the matter.

Sexuality is far more complex than the black and white, ‘straight’ or ‘gay’ issue you seem to think it is(sexual orientation follows more of a sliding scale model actually), so the idea that a single gene determines sexual orientation is both a gross (incorrect) oversimplification of the issue, it’s also a sure sign that the person making that argument has no idea what they’re talking about.

Also, I notice you didn’t answer my question, so I’ll ask again: if homosexuality is a ‘choice’, it follows that heterosexuality is as well, so when did you choose to be straight, how long did it take you to decide, and what was your thought process throughout the decision making?

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:5 It is complicated...

It’s not a straw man argument; it goes to the very epicenter of the gay movement: the man who struck homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in the APA stated that 20% of the homosexuals who went to him changed their sexuality.

I was attracted to girls starting at about 4 or 5 years-old. So what are you driving at? Wait, let me guess where this is going: you’re going to say that some people are “born gay”. If that really were the case then homosexual activists wouldn’t so hellbent on engaging in indoctrination in public schools, in order to brainwash and recruit children while they’re most vulnerable and confused. That’s the reason why they do it.

Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 It is complicated...

Born, choose, decide, flip a coin .. the only persons giving any fucks are the ones that aren’t getting their way with regards to other individuals .

The hills are to your left and to your right. Running is an option and for some it’s even a good option.

Homosexuals exist and being that they exist as individuals they can co-exist, until death. That’s the reason they do it.

And so…

The diversity of humanity is exactly the thing that I believe will progress it.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:7 It is complicated...

Vegetarians also exist. Maybe they should push for onerous anti-discrimination laws to protect them from such “hate crimes” as preferring red meat.

People with same-sex attraction are not the issue. Problems arise when they try to force the world to cater to and affirm their sexuality.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 It is complicated...

‘brainwash and recruit children while they’re most vulnerable and confused. ‘

Ooh, poor choice of words…

I’m sorry, how early does your church start teaching children how terrible those gays or people from other religions are? How people who don’t do what your ‘holy book’/church tells them to will not only suffer eternal torture, but deserve it? How science is wrong if it contradicts what your ‘holy book’ says, despite any evidence to the contrary? How doubting or objectively questioning(and especially thinking about leaving) the church/bible is a sign of sin, and something to be avoided lest that ‘eternal torture’ thing happen to them?

‘Brainwash and recruit children while they’re most vulnerable and confused’ is the absolute last accusation a fundamentalist religious person should be throwing out, considering how insanely easy it is to toss it right back at you.

That out of the way, maybe they’re teaching children that homosexuality isn’t this terrible disease, or a ‘choice’ that indicates a person is full of sin or somehow bad, to counteract people like you, who go around trying to teach children those very things, despite all the scientific evidence that shows your position to be rubbish.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:7 It is complicated...

“I’m sorry, how early does your church start teaching children how terrible those gays or people from other religions are? How people who don’t do what your ‘holy book’/church tells them to will not only suffer eternal torture, but deserve it? How science is wrong if it contradicts what your ‘holy book’ says, despite any evidence to the contrary? How doubting or objectively questioning(and especially thinking about leaving) the church/bible is a sign of sin, and something to be avoided lest that ‘eternal torture’ thing happen to them?”

Well for one thing, we’re not in public schools under the banner of anti-bullying and tolerance to brainwash other people’s children to “tolerate” us. Second, whatever religious values parents decide to instill in their children is none of your business. Lastly, Christianity doesn’t teach us that it’s acceptable to hate the person, only the sin, because (we believe) we’re all sinners.

“‘Brainwash and recruit children while they’re most vulnerable and confused’ is the absolute last accusation a fundamentalist religious person should be throwing out, considering how insanely easy it is to toss it right back at you.”

Show me all the curriculum in public schools where Christians are brainwashing children.

“That out of the way, maybe they’re teaching children that homosexuality isn’t this terrible disease, or a ‘choice’ that indicates a person is full of sin or somehow bad, to counteract people like you, who go around trying to teach children those very things, despite all the scientific evidence that shows your position to be rubbish.”

It’s hard fact that that STDs and urinary tract infections are more prevalent among homosexuals. Homosexuality isn’t a sin; homosex is.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 It is complicated...

Well for one thing, we’re not in public schools under the banner of anti-bullying and tolerance to brainwash other people’s children to “tolerate” us.

Yes, of course, teaching children scientifically backed facts regarding homosexuality and how it doesn’t turn someone bad or indicate that there’s something ‘wrong’ with them is ‘brainwashing in tolerance’. /s

Second, whatever religious values parents decide to instill in their children is none of your business.

That would be true only if those ‘religious values’ weren’t having a negative impact on others around them. If a particular family/group wanted to teach their children that (pulling a hypothetical example out here) a particular fruit was special because it was ‘God’s favorite’ or something, no one would likely care.

If, on the other hand the ‘religious values’ they were teaching their children was something along the lines of ‘People from group X are bad people, sinful people, and you should avoid them’, then you better believe people are going to object to that, because suddenly it’s affecting them too, which makes it their business.

Lastly, Christianity doesn’t teach us that it’s acceptable to hate the person, only the sin, because (we believe) we’re all sinners.

Which is a meaningless distinction here as you’re also teaching children that homosexuality is a choice, and therefor those that are homosexual have chosen to ‘sin’ and are therefor sinful/bad people. How is that not supposed to lead to them thinking worse of, if not actively hating, homosexuals?

Show me all the curriculum in public schools where Christians are brainwashing children.

Ah I see, it’s ‘education’ when you agree with it, and ‘brainwashing’ when you don’t…

Though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it ‘brainwashing’, the religious have certainly had an affect on schooling, with the two most obvious the repeated attempts to try and shove religion masquerading as science into the classroom in the form of ‘ID’ or ‘Teach the controversy’, and hamstringing effective sex education by objecting to anything other than ‘Abstinence Only'(with the completely expected results of higher teen pregnancy and STD rates).

It’s hard fact that that STDs and urinary tract infections are more prevalent among homosexuals. Homosexuality isn’t a sin; homosex is.

If it’s a ‘hard fact’, present the facts, because I seem to recall the last time STD’s and gender orientation came up Karl(or another commenter, can’t remember exactly offhand) pointed out that the rates were more along the lines of, highest in homosexual males, lowest in homosexual females, with heterosexual couples being in the middle. Assuming that’s accurate, there is a common link between the rates, but it’s not sexual orientation.

Another explanation for the different rates could be the still very much alive social stigma attached to homosexuality in some groups/areas, which would prevent those who thought they might be at risk, or infected, from getting the same treatment as others, for fear of their orientation becoming public, or worry about telling another.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:9 It is complicated...

“Yes, of course, teaching children scientifically backed facts regarding homosexuality and how it doesn’t turn someone bad or indicate that there’s something ‘wrong’ with them is ‘brainwashing in tolerance’. /s”

The state has no business teaching morals (or in this case immorals), just as politicians have no business legislating behavior.

“That would be true only if those ‘religious values’ weren’t having a negative impact on others around them. If a particular family/group wanted to teach their children that (pulling a hypothetical example out here) a particular fruit was special because it was ‘God’s favorite’ or something, no one would likely care.

If, on the other hand the ‘religious values’ they were teaching their children was something along the lines of ‘People from group X are bad people, sinful people, and you should avoid them’, then you better believe people are going to object to that, because suddenly it’s affecting them too, which makes it their business.”

No, see, neither you nor the state has the authority to dictate what people are allowed to believe, a violation of the 1A. The state does not have authority to promote a belief system. If children are brought up believing that homosexuality is immoral, that’s their right, just as much as it’s yours to disagree.

“Which is a meaningless distinction here as you’re also teaching children that homosexuality is a choice, and therefor those that are homosexual have chosen to ‘sin’ and are therefor sinful/bad people. How is that not supposed to lead to them thinking worse of, if not actively hating, homosexuals?”

Once again, it’s not up to you to determine what others believe.

“Ah I see, it’s ‘education’ when you agree with it, and ‘brainwashing’ when you don’t…

Though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it ‘brainwashing’, the religious have certainly had an affect on schooling, with the two most obvious the repeated attempts to try and shove religion masquerading as science into the classroom in the form of ‘ID’ or ‘Teach the controversy’, and hamstringing effective sex education by objecting to anything other than ‘Abstinence Only'(with the completely expected results of higher teen pregnancy and STD rates).”

I’ll give you that ID has no place in the classroom, but nor does evolution, that magical tautological “theory” which has never been observed, proven and tested. Inferring that ‘this species descended from that’ in no way constitutes proof. The only people who need education with regards to sex are the ones who can’t figure out the purpose for and differences between genital and rectal cavity.

“If it’s a ‘hard fact’, present the facts, because I seem to recall the last time STD’s and gender orientation came up Karl(or another commenter, can’t remember exactly offhand) pointed out that the rates were more along the lines of, highest in homosexual males, lowest in homosexual females, with heterosexual couples being in the middle. Assuming that’s accurate, there is a common link between the rates, but it’s not sexual orientation.

Another explanation for the different rates could be the still very much alive social stigma attached to homosexuality in some groups/areas, which would prevent those who thought they might be at risk, or infected, from getting the same treatment as others, for fear of their orientation becoming public, or worry about telling another.”

http://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/STD.htm

http://www.fathersforlife.org/dale/aids2.html

As for lesbians being at lesser risk of STDs than hetero women, I refer you here: http://factsaboutyouth.com/posts/health-risks-of-the-homosexual-lifestyle/

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 It is complicated...

The state has no business teaching morals (or in this case immorals), just as politicians have no business legislating behavior.

It’s not ‘morals’, it’s biology and psychology.

No, see, neither you nor the state has the authority to dictate what people are allowed to believe, a violation of the 1A. The state does not have authority to promote a belief system. If children are brought up believing that homosexuality is immoral, that’s their right, just as much as it’s yours to disagree.

I’m sure I’ve pointed this out before, but it bears repeating.

The first amendment protects your right to your own beliefs. What it does not give you is a right to your own facts. Trying to claim that teaching children that what their religion tells them about a subject is wrong is not an infringement of their first amendment rights, anymore than teaching children that the earth is far older than a couple of thousand years is an infringement of the first amendment rights of YEC’s.

Science says that there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality. Schools teach(among other things) science. Therefor teaching people that there’s nothing inherently ‘wrong’ with homosexuality is not teaching them what to ‘believe’, it’s teaching them what is.

Once again, it’s not up to you to determine what others believe.

As the saying goes ‘My right to swing my fist, ends at your nose’. Believe what you want, but as soon as it starts negatively affecting others, then it’s no long just your business, but theirs as well.

I’ll give you that ID has no place in the classroom, but nor does evolution, that magical tautological “theory” which has never been observed, proven and tested. Inferring that ‘this species descended from that’ in no way constitutes proof.

I’m not sure why I bother pointing this out again, as it’s obvious you’ll never believe what’s right in front of you, but evolution is a fact. It has been observed in smaller scales, is in fact taken into account in the medical field to keep things like vaccines effective, and there’s plenty of evidence to support it. Just because you don’t like the evidence and what it says, does not mean said evidence does not exist.

The only people who need education with regards to sex are the ones who can’t figure out the purpose for and differences between genital and rectal cavity.

Or maybe stupid, hormone filled teenagers(so, all of them) who will act on those hormones, and are likely to do stupid things like catch STD’s and get knocked up unless they are taught how to avoid those things.

http://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/STD.htm

Yeah… while you were looking for that page, I suppose you completely missed the link to the left, just an inch or so above that one, about ‘Stigma and Discrimination’? You know, the one that explains why the rates might be higher, exactly as I mentioned?

http://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/stigma-and-discrimination.htm

Of course, even if you did check it out(which I highly doubt, as it would present evidence contrary to your claims), I’d imagine you would have stopped reading at about this point:

‘For example, a Gallup pollExternal Web Site Icon conducted in May 2010 found that more than half (52%) of Americans believed that gay and lesbian relationships were acceptable. Forty-three percent of Americans believed that gay and lesbian relationships are not morally acceptable.’

Can’t have evidence like that popping up, what with your continual insistence that most people object to homosexuality, and it’s only the ‘vocal minority’ pushing through changes to the laws for equal treatment after all… /s

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:11 It is complicated...

Science doesn’t get to determine people’s morals. Science has been more or less hijacked by atheists in recent times, hence all the evolution/multiverse/big bang crap.

No matter how much you try to deny it, it’s hard fact that engaging in homosex poses serious health risks.

Polls are not ‘hard evidence’ since they can be skewed to show any desired result. It’s laughable that you’d even try to bring this into the discussion. If they’re so confident that the public is in favor of homosexuality then why do politicians conveniently bypass public referendum in order to force through same-sex marriage laws?

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 It is complicated...

“No matter how much you try to deny it, it’s hard fact that engaging in homosex poses serious health risks.”

That is blatantly incorrect, as I’ve pointed out to you in the past. The reality is that the most significant health risks of sex are between two males. The LEAST significant health risk of sex is between two females. Heterosexual couples are right in the middle, as you’d expect since this is all a matter of the physics of how these groups have sex.

I don’t know much about your God, but I sure hope he punishes you for being a lying, bigoted asshole….

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:13 It is complicated...

Oh, the irony. God judged homosexual practices as an abomination and we’re called to follow. We’ll see if He punishes me for my firm moral stance, but don’t hold your breath.

It’s widely reported that STDs and such are more prevalent within the homosexual community.

So tell me: why is pedophilia wrong whereas homosex isn’t? If homosexual desire is something people are “born with” then so too must be pedophilia, bestiality, etc. Who are you to say different? They’re merely just another strain of sexual desire, right? I take it that thieves, prostitutes and murderers are likewise “born with” a predisposition to such and therefore cannot help themselves. Let’s just accept everything and make up the rules as we go along.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 It is complicated...

God judged homosexual practices as an abomination…

Just like shrimp, and wearing the wrong clothing, and a whole ton of different animals(apparently this was god’s OCD phase, that or good old Leviticus was venting some crazy and blaming it on god), your point being?

Also, funny thing, but despite considering a whole bunch of things ‘abomination’, forced cannibalization of family members was not only not considered as such, it was seen as an acceptable punishment for heretics, so what exactly is considered bad enough to be ‘abomination’ seems to be random whim at the time.

…and we’re called to follow. We’ll see if He punishes me for my firm moral stance, but don’t hold your breath.

If you’re basing your hatred/disgust of homosexuality on that passage, it also orders that homosexuals are to be killed, so I suppose you believe that’s good and acceptable too, despite your objections elsewhere that the ‘church does not support those that kill homosexuals’?

If not, as I dearly hope is the case, you’re doing nothing more than picking and choosing passages(or parts of them in this case) to justify your hatred and disgust of homosexuality, as you yourself admit that you shouldn’t do everything the bible tells you, meaning you are deciding your morality, not god.

It’s widely reported that STDs and such are more prevalent within the homosexual community.

Regarding any ‘higher rates’, which other than the ones dealing with homosexual men which has been explained to you, you have yet to prove, I again direct you to a link I’m sure you ignored the first time too, explaining why such might be the case:

http://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/stigma-and-discrimination.htm

So tell me: why is pedophilia wrong whereas homosex isn’t?

Because the first has been found to cause harm while the second hasn’t(making people like you go ‘Ew, that’s gross!’ doesn’t count as ‘harm’), and for those of us that base our morality and system of right and wrong on evidence, whether something causes harm is more important than what’s written in some dusty book(something you yourself at least in part agree with, unless you’ve been going around killing people for the countless reasons given in the bible).

As long as we’re on the subject however, since you seem to base your belief of what is and is not acceptable based entirely on the bible, why is pedophilia wrong to you? Bible says nothing about it. Heck, if anything the bible seems to endorse it in the few places the subject comes up(Numbers 31:1-18, Deuteronomy 20:10-14, Judges 21:7-11, Judges 21:20-23, Exodus 21:7-10).

I won’t bother addressing the rest of your comment, given it’s just another pathetic attempt to compare homosexuals with criminals and those in a socially unaccepted position, in this case ‘thieves, prostitutes and murderers’ in order to somehow make homosexuality look bad.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 It is complicated...

As for lesbians being at lesser risk of STDs than hetero women, I refer you here:

…to a website that is funded and promoted by NARTH, “The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality,” a group that advocates for “conversion therapy” for gay people, and that claims to be “secular” but whose leadership often espouses theology and prayer and has ties to Focus on the Family.

If you want a history of this group, read:
http://www.truthwinsout.org/narth/
http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/spring/queer-science
http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/policy/ex-gay.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Association_for_Research_%26_Therapy_of_Homosexuality

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:13 It is complicated...

Well, if they’re really forcing therapy upon others, which I seriously doubt, then homosexual activists are likewise forcing their views. The fact that parents in California wanted to home school their children and a an activist judge prevented them only validates this. Blatant force.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 It is complicated...

homosexual activists are likewise forcing their views. The fact that parents in California wanted to home school their children

…had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with homosexuality, and calling the 2nd Circuit judges “homosexual activists” because of it is complete and utter BS.

It’s pretty clear by now that you’re not basing your beliefs on any kind of factual information. It’s also pretty clear that you’re not basing it on mainstream Christianity. You’re simply cherry-picking from Christian beliefs in order to support your own bigotry and anti-science agenda.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

Sorry, no, that is a stupid position. If I, as a business owner, kick someone out of my business because he is using loud profanity and upsetting other customers, it is not discrimination against loud-mouth assholes.

Discrimination has very specific meanings as it applies to certain groups of people within the law.

Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re: It is complicated...

There is no difference, really. How can there be? The photographer can choose whether they’d like to take pictures of anything they like. To force that photographer to take pictures of any race that they’re not comfortable with is forcing speech from the individual AND attempting to legislate free will.

These are individuals, the picture snappers, there is no Oath of Photography, pictures are art, it is neither a racial nor a moral matter rather it seems an individual liberty matter.

Beech says:

Re: It is complicated...

Same damn thing. If you are a minority, why would you want someone who HATES you for something so arbitrary that is so out of your control? Why would you insist THEY spend a few hours around your friends and family? Why would you trust them to do a good job documenting the festivities? Why would you try to legally compel them to do so?

ChurchSox (profile) says:

Re: It is complicated...

Better question would be, what if the couple was mixed? Until recently, there were always preachers who wouldn’t marry a mixed couple. I don’t know what stopped the practice, but I’m almost sure it did not involve the courts.

IMO, the New Mexico case is two issues: First, taking pictures; second, writing commentary.

Taking the pictures needn’t involve any expression of belief. Just get the composition, light and shutter speed right. Here, refusing service is a simple public accommodation problem.

However, forcing the business to write commentary brings us to government-mandated speech. My objection is the same as when some teacher assigns the kids to lobby for a particular point of view. It’s even creepier than outright censorship.

But the disturbing part of the story, IMO, is to see the ACLU declare that anything — anything — is more important than the Bill of Rights. The business of the ACLU is to defend civil rights, no matter how offensively exercised.

naprotector says:

Point of view

The only problem I see is opportunity loss. Instead of letting this photographer dictate which type of clients she would willingly take and leave a market open for a photographer with no problem taking the picture and “tell their story,” instead forces a person to do the job that they choose to do. At this point if I was the photographer, I would add to my business policy where if I do a job that I don’t like, I bill double the standard amount.

ethorad (profile) says:

similar situation in the UK

There was a recent case of a small hotel owner trying to turn away gay couples, or at least deny them a double room, on the grounds of their religious belief.

They lost their case, and aren’t allowed to let their religious beliefs impact their business.

Basically anti-discrimination trumps freedom of religion when it comes to offering services to the public it seems.

Although as others have commented – I sure wouldn’t want someone photographing my wedding unless they wanted to be there. So many ways for the photos not to turn out properly without anything obvious being done which would open the photographer up to being sued. No way I would want to risk that!

out_of_the_blue says:

No, all that disclaimer is irrelevant, Mike: you're a CORPORATIST.

Holding that businesses are exempt from common law. You keep putting out the notion that being in biz is like feudal entitlement.

But owners of businesses are bound to serve The Public: the permission they ask for BEFORE can run a business requires that up front. It’s PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION that’s in play here. If you run a business you’re required to serve everyone who has money, can refuse service to none except under common law terms. Merely wanting to not photograph certain people doesn’t reach to any common law exception.


Where Mike daily proves the value of an economics degree.

11:27:32[m-730-5]

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If one is open for business to the public, one must serve all comers. Think barring Blacks from lunch counters.

Not true. It is completely legal for a business to discriminate based on anything it wants to that isn’t in the short list of exceptions such as gender, race, religion, etc.

A business is entirely within it’s rights to refuse to serve you just because they don’t like the shirt you’re wearing, for example.

blaktron (profile) says:

Mike, the problem here is that is that if you offer a service to the public you MUST offer it to the entire public, and not discriminate who you chose. A store can’t hang a ‘no negros’ sign on it, and a photographer can’t have a ‘no gays’ policy.

This is basically exactly the same as the B&B not allowing gay couples to stay. If you don’t want to take pictures of everyone, don’t take pictures of anyone.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Let’s continue that thought.

What if the photographer was black, advertised availability for and was hired to shoot a “fetish modeling session”, only to discover the fetish in question was a mock lynching — guy in blackface in a noose, banner above reading ‘the only good nigger’, and so on? Should that photographer be compelled by law to take that business, or to give up photography completely?

Or: what if a devout Muslim catering service offered to create individualized menus for special events, only to learn that the event was Easter dinner, and the customer’s menu included pork? Or same as above, only the caterer is Orthodox Jewish, and the menu is cheeseburgers? Should those caterers be compelled to touch and serve food they are forbidden as a matter of faith, or lose their livelihoods?

Or: should gay artist Shepard Fairey (he created the 2008 blue-and-red Obama posters) be compelled to accept business from an anti-gay customer that required him to depict homosexuality as evil, or never again produce commercial art?

Or: noteworthy science advocate Neil deGrasse Tyson offers himself to be hired to speak publicly through the Jodi F. Solomon Speakers Bureau. Should he be compelled to speak and be recorded praising young Earth creationism if a client requests him, or give up public appearances?

I hope I’ve made the point that as soon as one gets away from “here are mass-produced things for sale, buy them”, the question becomes far less tenable as a simple discrimination issue.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: The key phrase here is ...

excellent point…

1. kudos to mike for a difficult stance, defending free speech is difficult far too often, because people don’t understand the implications when they go down the censorship road…

2. this is really a difficult clash of morals for me: while NOT a fire-breathing libertariantard, i do appreciate their valuing the right of a private business owner to run their bidness as they see fit…
now, if that means they don’t serve teh gays, or even blacks, or whites, or atheists, or whatever, then that is THEIR bidness…

ASIDE from whatever the law is, they may be acting immorally, they may be acting cruelly, they may be acting intolerantly…
BUT, IF they are truly FREE, are they not free to act in a disagreeable manner ? ? ?

i would HOPE their ‘unfair’ policies would be made public, and i would HOPE that enough of their clientele would disapprove and/or boycott them, they would either change their tune, or go out of bidness and let a more tolerant bidness owner make a go of it…

HOWEVER, the problem that arises, is that the premise of this ‘argument’, is there are OTHER bidnesses of that type to turn to if you spurn the ones that are known to be intolerant jerks…

if you live in small town or rural amerika, you can be run off, ruined, or terrorized by such actions where a small coterie of bigots and big shots rule the roost, and screw over anyone they disapprove of…

(in point of fact, it is just such types of autocratic behaviors which lead to many laws forbidding ‘discrimination’, etc…)

having said that, i don’t care where you live, WHO would want to ‘force’ a photographer (or pretty much anyone) to perform a service for you when they didn’t want to do that, FOR WHATEVER REASON OR NO REASON AT ALL ? ? ?

again, as others have pointed out -and as some seem too stubborn to permit- this is an ARTISTIC exercise, to one extent or another; and you are FORCING an artist who doesn’t like you to do your portrait, etc ? ? ?

that’s fucking weird…

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: The key phrase here is ...

“i would HOPE their ‘unfair’ policies would be made public, and i would HOPE that enough of their clientele would disapprove and/or boycott them, they would either change their tune, or go out of bidness and let a more tolerant bidness owner make a go of it…”

You must be kidding. So if a photographer refuses to photograph a pornographic event or some other such thing which s/he finds morally repungant, are they being “intolerant” or is that false attribution reserved for instances where the offended clientele is gay?

“if you live in small town or rural amerika, you can be run off, ruined, or terrorized by such actions where a small coterie of bigots and big shots rule the roost, and screw over anyone they disapprove of…”

Somehow it’s intolerable for religious people to stand their ground with regard to moral issues, but it’s alright for your side to group people into neat boxes and slap demeaning labels on them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The key phrase here is ...

Ask for a marriage license in a lot of states, or even to recognize your existing marriage license?
Wikipedia

While I find it horrible, I hate to say it, homophobia is still in effect across most of the US. Let’s face it, if this couple was from Utah, this wouldn’t have even made it to trial.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: The key phrase here is ...

Just because the state decides to supercede the public by redefining marriage to appease this-or-that subsect of society doesn’t mean that everyone else must comply. After all, what’s the point in the First Amendment if people aren’t free to make choices, moral or otherwise?

‘Homophobia’ is a nonsensical slander implying fear where none exists. Disagreeing with someone’s sexual poclivities in no way constitutes bigotry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The key phrase here is ...

You are free to make choices, but Government institutions shouldn’t be involved in religious matters. Marriage as such is not a religious thing when the Government requires it for healthcare, taxes, etc…

The only opposition I have ever heard from people about same sex marriage is based on religion, which has imho no place in law.

S. T. Stone says:

I feel torn by this case. I think gay people deserve every right to take advantage of the same public accomodations as anyone else ? and yet, I also think anti-discrimination laws shouldn?t require a ?service provider? to commit an act of ?compelled speech? that goes against their beliefs (religious or otherwise).

When and how does discrimination against a class of people that runs up against the First Amendment in any way (e.g. the right to associate) become a matter upon which the government must intrude to protect those people from discrimination?

I?d come down on the side of protection against discrimination in clear-cut cases where a business open to the public denies its services to one protected class of people while offering said services to other protected classes of people.

I?d come down on the side of the First Amendment in clear-cut cases where a private figure who doesn?t typically make their services available to the general public denies said services in the way described above.

The grey area between those two extreme situations (where I believe this case falls) make up a subject about which we need more thoughtful and insightful discussion: the socially acceptable range of discrimination.

Pitabred (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Is a restaurant a service provider? A hotel? Home repair? Plumber? Electrician?

There’s no difference between a photographer and a restaurant as far as a service provider. If you take advantage of incorporation and all the benefits society gives to encourage business, you can’t section out society that you don’t like. That leads to people who can’t get services because nobody in town will give them.

These things do change over time, but there’s a reason that homosexuality, race, and religion are protected classes. They are things that people discriminate for, and until that stops being the case, there are limits on business practice vs. private speech and action.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Pretty good article. So basically to avoid lawsuits according to Ken, just ask what political party they belong to…
“This hypothetical suffers from the reality that political views and political group membership, including membership in the Klan, are not protected categories under the NMHRA. See ? 28-1-7(F) (prohibiting public accommodation discrimination based on ?race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, spousal affiliation or physical or mental handicap?).”

IE. I don’t serve Democrats this week, and if you switch parties so will I.

This sounds like a disaster even before it starts.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

OHAI!
So I think the photographer has every right to be a bigoted idiot.
The other side of the coin is GLBT people being denied –
Loans, housing, shopping, etc.
While the market is vast to allow someone in a commercial enterprise to cherry pick who to serve harkens back to the days of Jim Crow laws.

There is always going to be someone who thinks group x is icky.
There is always to be a claim that they have some sort of protected right to deny service.

I’m torn because I deal with bigotry on a daily basis. I have to change who I am and how I interact with people to make sure not to offend someone who has a protected objection to my existence. My right to be treated like everyone else is trampled by their protected right to be bigoted.

If it was a gay photographer who objected to shooting a straight wedding, think the pundits would be screaming louder?
What if it was a church that denied access to a gay photographer because the bible says no?

Religious objection law has, in my reading, huge glaring loopholes where they have a right to be an ass and then claim god told them to. They can have gay friends, support gay charities, but once they decide god told them so they can deny gays service.

I don’t know if this is a great case for them to take, but I know what it is like to be treated as a 2nd class citizen.
I know that “forcing” people to be accepting is not the right path, but the flip side is gays are being “forced” to accept being treated like shit with no recourse.

If someone refused to photograph a couple because of their faith beliefs, isn’t there a lawsuit there?
A sign reading NO MORMONS would result in all sorts of lawsuits.

You can’t make people change with a law or lawsuit, but perhaps it is time to consider that if you protect 1 you have to protect all… and as we are unwilling to do such, maybe no one needs protections.

All men are created equal, unless they worship the right god, have the right skin color, or are the right gender to be special.

Try for a moment to look outside your personal bubble.
Imagine media outlets reporting that you are a pedophile because of who you are. Or that you committing yourself to who you love leads to bestiality becoming legal. Or that you can work to protect your city/state/country but you shouldn’t be treated the same as the ‘man’ next to you because it offends someone’s beliefs. That you are sick because they have a “cure” that “works”, even if the cure leads to the death of some people forced to take it.

Let the photographer be a bigot, but lets stop pretending they need special laws to enshrine that right.

Beech says:

Re: Re:

“Religious objection law has, in my reading, huge glaring loopholes where they have a right to be an ass and then claim god told them to. They can have gay friends, support gay charities, but once they decide god told them so they can deny gays service.”

If you really want to get technical, if they really wanted to follow the Bible, they could just stone the homos instead of denying them service…

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

start with the women who aren’t virgins when they marry and lemme know how that works out.

bible also says judge not lest ye be judged, but all these mfer’s pass judgement on everyone all the time (except themselves of course). Don’t see much help for the poor, unless they also accept a heaping plate of the ‘right’ religion with the meal.

according to their book, god created adam and eve, who had 2 sons… and were are all descendants of them. work that one out in your mind.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re:

Thank you, TAC, for making this important point. I’m conservative by nature but comments like yours make me soften my stance because we can’t all be expected by law to “worship the right god, have the right skin color, or [be] the right gender to be special.”

This is why the church should NOT run the state.

I know what it is like to be treated as a 2nd class citizen.
I know that “forcing” people to be accepting is not the right path, but the flip side is gays are being “forced” to accept being treated like shit with no recourse.

I am so sorry to learn that you’re being mistreated and feel that you have to pretend you are somebody else just to get by. What a horrible experience! I don’t have the answers either but I do think we need to have more discussion about this. The more we talk about it openly and publicly, the more of a chance we have to create a better, fairer situation for you.

As I said, I learn a lot from comments like yours and it helps to change the way I think about issues like this. It’s not as black-and-white as we’d like it to be.

If someone refused to photograph a couple because of their faith beliefs, isn’t there a lawsuit there?
A sign reading NO MORMONS would result in all sorts of lawsuits.

As would “No Blacks or Irish.” That was a thing, back in the day.

You can’t make people change with a law or lawsuit, but perhaps it is time to consider that if you protect 1 you have to protect all… and as we are unwilling to do such, maybe no one needs protections.

Good point.

Try for a moment to look outside your personal bubble.
Imagine media outlets reporting that you are a pedophile because of who you are. Or that you committing yourself to who you love leads to bestiality becoming legal. Or that you can work to protect your city/state/country but you shouldn’t be treated the same as the ‘man’ next to you because it offends someone’s beliefs. That you are sick because they have a “cure” that “works”, even if the cure leads to the death of some people forced to take it.

Media outlets seem to forget about the “straight” perverts who prey on children of the opposite gender. Does that make them superior or something? I think not.

Let the photographer be a bigot, but lets stop pretending they need special laws to enshrine that right.

That sounds reasonable to me.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

A majority of pedophiles self-identify as heterosexual, I don’t think if they are hetero, gay, bi really matters.
What matters is they abuse children, and every word trying to find a perfect box to put them in distracts from dealing with the actual problem.

I don’t expect everyone to love me, but I would like to walk down the street and not hear faggot under people’s breath.
I would like to just be me and not have to worry that someone is gonna get the bright idea I should be beaten because I’m a faggot.
Yes I am doing that whole using the offensive word thing, cause I don’t care if people say it… I care if they act on it. Words are just words, the only have power if you let them.

I’m part of the group that is popular to blame for bad things and we are a favored whipping boy right now.
Brown people, those of the Muslim faith, “illegals” in the shades of brown, Sikhs, and them damn fatties also get some blame as well.
A religion of peace and love where people need to shove others down to lift themselves up.

I don’t have the solution, but I think what is happening on both sides right now only inflames the issue and drives people to be more steadfast in refusing to listen, a great example of this effect would be Congress right now.

Thank you for listening to what I said and considering it.
I really am mostly a nice person unless your a lawyer working for Pretenda. 😀

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re:

“All men are created equal, unless they worship the right god, have the right skin color, or are the right gender to be special.”

Please, get off your high horse. Disagreeing with your sexual proclivities isn’t discrimination any more so than you disagreeing with my religious beliefs is. Gay people try to make it seem as though they’re suffering persecution just because some private business owner didn’t bake them a friggin’ cake. Tell me, do you know what it’s like to be threatened with decapitation due to your beliefs? Christians do. Does that give me the right to go bitch and moan about how bad we’ve got it, demanding special rights and legal protections not afforded to others as gay activists do?

“Try for a moment to look outside your personal bubble.
Imagine media outlets reporting that you are a pedophile because of who you are. Or that you committing yourself to who you love leads to bestiality becoming legal. Or that you can work to protect your city/state/country but you shouldn’t be treated the same as the ‘man’ next to you because it offends someone’s beliefs. That you are sick because they have a ‘cure’ that ‘works,’ even if the cure leads to the death of some people forced to take it.”

You mean like how in the former USSR, Christians were labeled as mentally disordered and sent for treatment, ultimately resulting in genocide by the tens of millions?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Tell me, do you know what it’s like to be threatened with decapitation due to your beliefs? Christians do.

You think Christians have it bad? Try being an atheist — still the most detested subgroup around. According to polls, they’re less well-liked than terrorists.

Does that give me the right to go bitch and moan about how bad we’ve got it, demanding special rights and legal protections not afforded to others

Christians already have those things. Additionally, Christians run this nation. It’s hard to make the case that you have it bad when you make the rules.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“You think Christians have it bad? Try being an atheist — still the most detested subgroup around. According to polls, they’re less well-liked than terrorists.”

Well that’s stupid. Atheist, gay, straight, whatever. We’re all human. Perhaps it has something to do with the open hostility towards religion, which it seems most all prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher, etc. make careers engaging in. Not to say that there aren’t ‘religious’ people with extremist views, e.g. abortion clinic bombers. Either side blaming the other for “all the problems of the world” is patently ridiculous and doesn’t solve anything.

When I was a little kid, I was bullied and sometimes even got beat up. But I didn’t need to go around playing victim because of it. The cold truth is that there’s more than enough misery and suffering in the world, people who have it far worse than anyone on these forums will ever experience.

“Christians already have those things. Additionally, Christians run this nation. It’s hard to make the case that you have it bad when you make the rules.”

Which Constitutional rights are denied to gays?

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’m sorry did someone see your bible and advance the idea of “bible panic” in a courtroom to justify murder?

I’m not sure there is an open season in the US on Christians, but lots of GLBT people are beaten and murdered. The police often refuse to look into those cases. Oh and if you want to play the “we’ve got it worse around the globe card”, your church supports leaders pushing for laws to have my people put to death… but it’s only bad things that happen to your people.

When is the last time someone in the US threatened to decapitate you?
For me its been 3 weeks since someone threatened to kick my faggot ass.

I’m glad you glossed over what I actually said in my post, it makes you the poster child for knee-jerk asshattery.

How many people of other faiths have been murdered in history by believers of your faith? You seem to miss this little thing called the crusades.

For everything you hold up as examples of the world being against you, in many cases they mirrored the behavior that “good” Christians were doing to them before.

Perhaps if we learned from history we could stop repeating it.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“I’m not sure there is an open season in the US on Christians, but lots of GLBT people are beaten and murdered. The police often refuse to look into those cases. Oh and if you want to play the “we’ve got it worse around the globe card”, your church supports leaders pushing for laws to have my people put to death… but it’s only bad things that happen to your people.”

First off, when they passed the law recently in India to punish homosexuals, the Catholic Church condemned it. The Church is pro-life. As far as homosexuals being beaten and killed, guess what? So does everyone else. Recently an old nun was beaten and raped. Should Christians respond by pulling the victim card and pushing for draconian legislation to ahem “protect” ourselves from the hate?

“When is the last time someone in the US threatened to decapitate you?
For me its been 3 weeks since someone threatened to kick my faggot ass.”

Tell me, are homosexuals the only people in the US who ever get bullied?

“I’m glad you glossed over what I actually said in my post, it makes you the poster child for knee-jerk asshattery.”

Play the victim card, then throw demeaning labels. That’s your sole strategy.

“How many people of other faiths have been murdered in history by believers of your faith? You seem to miss this little thing called the crusades.”

I went into the whole Crusades thing awhile back here on Techdirt. I’ll just restate that the Crusades was in response to widespread Christian persecution back at that time.

“For everything you hold up as examples of the world being against you, in many cases they mirrored the behavior that ‘good’ Christians were doing to them before.”

Right on cue, an attempt to slander Christianity. Shall I bring up some of the atrocities committed by homosexual dictators and then, in true Alinsky fashion, infer that you were somehow also responsible on account of your having the same sexual preference?

“Perhaps if we learned from history we could stop repeating it.”

Agreed, let’s not wind up like the Roman/Greek Empires.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“First off, when they passed the law recently in India to punish homosexuals, the Catholic Church condemned it. The Church is pro-life. As far as homosexuals being beaten and killed, guess what? So does everyone else. Recently an old nun was beaten and raped. Should Christians respond by pulling the victim card and pushing for draconian legislation to ahem “protect” ourselves from the hate?”

And the bishops in Africa who push for laws to have them murdered and preach hate from the pulpit?
If the Church is so pro-life why are so many followers so supportive of the death penalty?
Maybe you missed where those nice church people play the victim card all the time already. They do seem to have these nice laws protecting them and scream how their rights are being trampled because another group might get treated as equals.

“Tell me, are homosexuals the only people in the US who ever get bullied?”
No many women who aren’t believers in your religion are bullied by people who think they have a right to mandate their morality and medical decisions. Doesn’t matter if they were raped or the pregnant might kill them – the life of the “unborn” has to trump all.
Homes and businesses are bombed, harassing phonecalls are made, people dealing with truly tragic things are called more horrible things by these “loving caring compassionate” people of faith.

I do not have to slander Christianity, it makes a compelling case all on its own. And suggesting that I was throwing demeaning labels around just proves you did not actually read my original response, you saw gay and your eyes rolled up into your head and assumed what it was I wrote. Had you read, you might have noticed I didn’t think the lawsuit was the right way to proceed and I did insult the photographer with the label bigot.

Your response has been this huge religion is so under attack, and your all mean to us. You speak of attacks all over the globe trying to disconnect them from what were the actions that lead to them happening.

If I wanted to have ‘fun’ taking out the religion we’d go back to discussing pedophiles and a group of people who enable them. A group spending money to make sure those pedophiles they protected do not face the law. A group more concerned with their own coffers than compensating the victims. A group that created more victims because their “good name” trumped turning a child molester into the authorities. A group that shuffled known child abusers to remote locations and gave them new victim pools. A group that attacks those victims believing that it is all just because people want to slander the church. We could discuss one of the wealthiest religions who still require people give more money, while the efforts they make to serve the poor are lacking and are being used to bully people into accepting the “right” religion before they can be helped.

You don’t have to like GBLT people, but trying to force your beliefs onto the rest of the country/world is wrong. If a loving couple get married it has no effect on you, so why do we have to make sure it doesn’t offend your imaginary friend in the sky? Why are they not protesting football? Same section, same denouncement… way less bitching.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“And the bishops in Africa who push for laws to have them murdered and preach hate from the pulpit?”

They’re wrong too and not in line with Catholic teaching.

“If the Church is so pro-life why are so many followers so supportive of the death penalty?”

I’m sure that there are but that doesn’t necessarily make it right.

“Maybe you missed where those nice church people play the victim card all the time already. They do seem to have these nice laws protecting them and scream how their rights are being trampled because another group might get treated as equals.”

What do you call being treated equal, forcing Churches to perform gay/lesbian marriages? Government telling municipal workers that if they dare voice support for family values or traditional marriage it’s a hate crime? Anti-discrimination laws which in practice discriminate against religious institutes such as Catholic adoption agencies? IRS crackdowns on protestors, priests and pastors who oppose the gay agenda, birth control and abortion? Is this the “equality” you’re after?
Once again, which Constitutional rights are others afforded which you’re denied on account of your sexuality? And don’t say marriage because that’s not a Constitutional right.

“No many women who aren’t believers in your religion are bullied by people who think they have a right to mandate their morality and medical decisions. Doesn’t matter if they were raped or the pregnant might kill them – the life of the ‘unborn’ has to trump all.
Homes and businesses are bombed, harassing phonecalls are made, people dealing with truly tragic things are called more horrible things by these ‘loving caring compassionate’ people of faith.”

You’re just cherry-picking a few extremists in an effort to smear Christianity. I could likewise highlight extremism and violence perpetrated by homosexuals but that would solve nothing.

“I do not have to slander Christianity, it makes a compelling case all on its own. And suggesting that I was throwing demeaning labels around just proves you did not actually read my original response, you saw gay and your eyes rolled up into your head and assumed what it was I wrote. Had you read, you might have noticed I didn’t think the lawsuit was the right way to proceed and I did insult the photographer with the label bigot.”

IOW you’re in favor of homosexuals trampling upon others’ rights. Do you even know why privacy is essential to a free society, let alone realize how this photography case is an attempt to set a precedent to destroy it? If you want for unscrupulous judges to arbitrate people’s beliefs and actions then you want tyranny.

“Your response has been this huge religion is so under attack, and your all mean to us. You speak of attacks all over the globe trying to disconnect them from what were the actions that lead to them happening.”

Just showing how pathetic it is when you pull the victim card. Think about it.

“If I wanted to have ‘fun’ taking out the religion we’d go back to discussing pedophiles and a group of people who enable them. A group spending money to make sure those pedophiles they protected do not face the law. A group more concerned with their own coffers than compensating the victims. A group that created more victims because their ‘good name’ trumped turning a child molester into the authorities. A group that shuffled known child abusers to remote locations and gave them new victim pools. A group that attacks those victims believing that it is all just because people want to slander the church. We could discuss one of the wealthiest religions who still require people give more money, while the efforts they make to serve the poor are lacking and are being used to bully people into accepting the ‘right’ religion before they can be helped.”

You are aware that the majority of those pedophile cases were few and far-between and were committed by gay priests, right? You’re further aware that out of over 100,000 priests in the US, only around 260-300 or so were prosecuted for sexual crimes, right? Even if the actual number was twice as much, it would still be less than 1% — hardly the epidemic you and the liberal mainstream have made it out to be. Lastly, you’re aware that cases of molestation and pedophilia are disproportionately greater within the homosexual community on a per capita basis than the hetero, right?

“You don’t have to like GBLT people, but trying to force your beliefs onto the rest of the country/world is wrong.”

Nowhere did I state that I don’t like homosexuals; I don’t approve of their lifestyle nor their forceful methods. One would hope you’d see the irony in your side claiming to be all about free speech, tolerance and diversity, then turning around and attempting to take away others’ right to express their opposing views. How intolerant.

“If a loving couple get married it has no effect on you, so why do we have to make sure it doesn’t offend your imaginary friend in the sky? Why are they not protesting football? Same section, same denouncement… way less bitching.”

Society decided long ago what constituted marriage; it was the homosexual activists who decided they wanted to alter the definition to be this all-inclusive hodgepodge. Go have your make-believe weddings and whatever but don’t think that we’re going to cater to your demands.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I suggest not clicking the link unless you have a strong stomach.
http://imgur.com/bcLZo9Y

This is someone burned alive in Uganda where some of these wonderful faithful followers sent money to pass the anti-gay laws. They did it in front of children.

When’s the last time a roving band of gays held someone down and forced them to have a make over?

So which side has forceful methods again?

And once again you still are unable to read my original post on the issue. I didn’t support the lawsuit, I thought it was stupid… like your responses.

The myth of the ‘gay’ priests infiltrated the church and molested children and ignoring that the pedophiles were just moved to new hunting grounds with no warnings by the church is totally ignored by you.

Gay does not equal pedophile.
Just like gay marriage doesn’t force churches to have to marry people, that is just a red herring meant to keep people terrified. Marriage is a civil thing not a church thing.

And I’m all for the Government actually making sure that Churches follow the rules that protect their tax free status. If they want to meddle in elections, they need to pay up like everyone else.

You keep mentioning all of these horrors that will be visited upon those of faith and how ‘my people’ are attacking you… but you seem incapable of noticing that you have a protected right to be a bigot and launch attack on others.

Try for a moment to reverse the situation in your head… imagine a world where all of us evil people out to get you had the right to treat you like you treat us, to push for laws and the right to treat you like less. You suffer these imagined attacks on your self… I don’t have to imagine them, I live them.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Again, where did I condone violence towards homosexuals? Show me where the Catholic Church approves of this. While your example is no doubt horrible and there’s no justification for it, nor is there for the estimated 100,000 Christians who are martyred every year for their faith.

We can go back and forth playing ‘who’s the victim’ but it’s all a diversion from the main subject: our rights. I find it astounding how you can decry the erosion of our liberties and privacy by the government, corporations and spy agencies, yet when religious freedom is threatened act like it’s no big deal. Homosexuals’ feelings do not take precedence over our Constitutional rights.

tracyanne (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

imagine a world where all of us evil people out to get you had the right to treat you like you treat us, to push for laws and the right to treat you like less.

The problem with bigots, and especially religious bigots, is that they do imagine that scenario. They imagine it to be the case, while condoning or advocating that treatment of others.

mr. sim says:

how can anyone fight for their rights, only to trample the rights of others and stand on the moral ground? Businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone. if someone does not want to cater/photograph/officiate or otherwise preside/participate in your LGBT weddings or events it is their right.

It is YOUR RIGHT to choose another business to shower your money on.to simply, use the courts to force someone to do these things is immoral. When you go to court to FORCE them to take your business, you are impeding their rights, and the message is sent your not wanting equality, your DEMANDING them to put your rights above theirs.

and that is the reason so many people are against marriage equality.

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The problem comes when everyone says “I don’t serve blacks, go find someone else”. Rights are always a byplay – my right to swing my fist any way I like is always impeded by your nose’s right to stay unhurt.

So, someone can just ignore your local speeding laws because they ‘impinge on their right to drive how (fast) they like’? Better hope they’re not driving in your neighbourhood!

s0beit says:

well...

I do like that the ACLU defends the rights of those they find ‘abhorrent’, but I’m still confused as to why they believe the second amendment is not a civil liberty. That is the primary reason I’ve never donated a cent to them, and probably never will.

And in this a case their bias shines through again. The ACLU not only has ideologues there, but it now seems anti-business is more important than free speech.

Defending the morally ‘abhorrent’ does not sheild you from criticism when you explicitly favor a particular party. That is clearly what is happening. It is the opposite side of that coin.

If you want to be morally consistent, you can’t just defend the rights of those who you disagree with, but you must not also particularly favors the rights of those you may sympathize with more often. The trampling of rights is just that, intent is irrelevant.

Niall (profile) says:

Re: well...

You can be for the Second Amendment, but not agree with the prevailing interpretation. There’s very few countries I know of who would treat anyone old enough to hold a gun as ‘well-regulated militia’. Even Switzerland and Israel have some criteria on who can be militia and have guns.

If you actually had to join the National Guard or some similar body, that would be one thing, but allowing four-year-olds to own and use guns, when they can’t drive a car for 12 years, or marry for 14?

out_of_the_blue says:

This part by "Reason" is particularly insidious baloney:

“the Constitution guarantees equal treatment by the government, not by private individuals or organizations.” — The Constitution is about guaranteeing FAIRNESS in the basics of the playing field, especially economics. IF were only by the gov’t, then it’s meaningless! All persons have minimum inalienable rights, NOT TO BE disparaged by other individuals or organizations. It’s not a far step from the “Reason” position that slavery was perfectly okay, so long as not done by the gov’t. — And YES, many whites DO have exactly that opinion, it’s quite close to the “States Rights” notion where they argue that the federal gov’t had no justification to fight for the rights of and free the slaves. But States don’t have rights, NOR do corporations or organizations, only “natural” persons have rights. So as this actually only requires the photographer to TAKE THE MONEY and treat everyone the same, it’s PERFECTLY and EXACTLY Constitutional.


Most “libertarians” want to be FREE of government only because FAIR trade interferes with their own economic cheating.

11:42:14[m-765-5]

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m with the ACLU on this one. A photography business is no different than any other and should be subject to the same laws. You’re allowed to have racist, prejudiced, and intolerant beliefs but you cannot act on them without breaking the law. If this was any other group, race, or religion you’d see the issue. There’s no excuse for discriminatory homophobia.

Dave smith says:

Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

The key is that she is not refusing to photograph them. As she said, if they came in for individual photos she would photograph them.

Photographing a wedding is completely different. You have to attend the wedding as a participant! To force someone to participate in a ceremony they disagree with, for whatever reason, is immoral.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

Yes, but if she objected to a mixed-race wedding, or a Jewish or Islamic wedding, would that be considered ok?

I would say yes. It would perhaps be bigoted of her, but she should have the right to not attend a wedding she disapproves of.

It doesn’t matter if that wedding is between two women, or a white and a black, or a 12 year old and a 42 year old, or an atheist and a Catholic, or a man and a tree, or a widow and a divorcee, or an arranged marriage, or an eloping couple, or a polygamist and two women, or a Hatfield and a McCoy. If she finds that particular wedding to be morally objectionable, she should not have to attend.

And Utah should not be able to override that by declaring polygamists to be a protected class, or by saying that she’s discriminating against an offshoot group of Mormons by refusing to photograph their weddings. (“But Utah wouldn’t do that!” Yes, I know, but if this ruling goes the wrong way they COULD, and it doesn’t matter if the wedding isn’t recognized by the state, they can still have a ceremony. Which nobody should be forced to attend just because they ordinarily do weddings.)

tracyanne (profile) says:

Mike what I don't understand

is what speech has to do with refusing to provide a service.

If I refuse to provide a service because the person requesting that service has a Linux operating system, a common occurrence here, what does that have to do with speech?

Similarly if I refuse to take photos at any wedding, what does that have to do with speech?

Surely in both cases, that is my prerogative. Or is the problem here that the photographer stated their reason, and that reason is based on an opinion, that is based on religious bigotry? And would they not have been smarter to simply have given a different reason

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Mike what I don't understand

In the article it says

“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. “

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Mike what I don't understand

The reasoning runs like this:
The First Amendment says Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. Basically, you can say what the fuck you want, and the government cannot compel you to say something you don’t want to. If a law is passed, whether state or federal, that forces you to make speech you don’t want, then that law runs afoul of the First Amendment and is unconstitutional.
The woman, Ms Hugenin, is a photographer. Photography has long been accepted as a medium of speech. Every photo you take is held to be you saying something. While yes it is bad in my opinion and others that she refuses service to homosexuals, her reasoning is correct: the law about businesses refusing service to classes is unconstitutional when it comes to services that are speech oriented. Here the government and the ACLU would be compelling the photographer to say something, which would be a violation of her First Amendment rights.

Rapnel (profile) says:

What the II..?

OK, wait, so, there’s this couple who wants to marry and there’s this photographer (a *person*) who would rather not photograph that event, because reasons, and the couple still wants that person to capitulate and take their pictures because other reasons?

That’s incredible.

Couple: Please take our pictures.
Photog: I’m afraid I’m not comfortable with that.
Couple: Why? Because we’re gay?
Photog: Pretty much.
Couple: We’re going to sue you if you don’t.
Photog: Oh, I didn’t know you were *that* kind of gay couple. Yeah, still no.

The last time I looked at the yellow pages finding a photographer was not bereft of options.

Dealing with a single, solitary individual that photographs is extreme “a corporation is a person” thinking (not that the premise alone isn’t extreme enough).

They need to get off their proverbial high horse and get back down to planet earth. That’s what I think. As a matter regarding the rights of an individual the ACLU doesn’t seem to have chosen wisely. i.e. I have the right to not be forced to dry heave while doing what I do for a living and I’m not about to quit, because reason.

Fuck.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: What the II..?

“Serving lunch is not art.”

Neither are wedding photo’s, photo’s can be art and they can express the speech or opinion of the ‘artist/photographer’, but photography as art is not photography as paid professional wedding photo’s.

In wedding photo’s it is NOT the photographer’s expression of art, it is his professional job, and done to a generalised and standard format.

it is also contractual, it is either a good or a service (or both) it IS PAID FOR, it is NOT therefore free speech.

it is the very definition of discrimination, it is illegal, and again, IT IS NOT FREE SPEECH.

it is also a business, a commercial enterprise, should they discriminate for illegal reasons (gender, orientation, race, age, disability….) they should be charged for discrimination and forced by law not to engage in that discrimination.

This is what a court will find, it is clear.

Mr Masnick, if you start on a false premise you will lose the argument, wedding photography is not art, it may be ‘artful’ but it is not an expression of artistry from the photographer.

You’ve been to photo school you must understand some photography is art, some is not, just as some paintings are art and some are the side of your house.

what you are saying is a person who paints your house is an artist and is expressing his artistic skills in painting your house!

Some photographers are artists, and some photographs are artistic, but does not mean all photographs are therefore art and all photographers are artistic.

Just as some painters are artists, and some paintings are artistic, but not all painters are artists and not all paintings are artistic.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 What the II..?

it is also contractual, it is either a good or a service (or both) it IS PAID FOR, it is NOT therefore free speech.

Wonderful. You can tell that to every reporter who earns a salary. They provide a good or service and therefore it’s not free speech, according to that logic.

You do realize the “free” in “free speech” means freedom, and not free as in “free beer”, right? It’s well established that getting paid does not mean you give up the First Amendment.

what you are saying is a person who paints your house is an artist and is expressing his artistic skills in painting your house!

What about the artist who paints your picture? The Mona Lisa is not art because it was an actual person being painted?

If there is no artistic skill involved in wedding photography, then why do people pay ridiculous sums of money for a good job?

You do realize the wedding photographer chooses what to shoot, how to shoot it, whether to keep the picture, and how to edit it?

This is what a court will find, it is clear.

If the Supreme Court is hearing the case, then it is far from clear. They’d only accept the case if they were NOT sure other courts would get it right.

I’m also still waiting for someone to justify forcing a person to attend a religious ceremony. I’m really curious as to how that can be defended.

Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 What the II..?

mhrm.. I thought that was the actual cooking & plating part. No? I would think that it’s out of the norm for an establishment’s cook to know who, exactly, his dish is for anyway. And nobody here is cooking homosexuals for that matter. I don’t think this entire thread has a single applicable analogy. Everyone seems oddly stuck on the service perspective. … Perhaps with good reason but I’m not seeing it.

Maybe a masseuse? I will rub you even if you’re gay but I’m not going to rub you and your partner together. ? Yeah?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 What the II..?

When you look at it as the business (and the chef is a part of that entity) is providing the service and denying the service then it makes sense. Also with out the chef’s artistic expression, there is no lunch to serve so it’s kind of crucial here.

BTW Who said anything about cooking homosexuals? LOL

Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 What the II..?

Ah, yes, however the chef’s art as a service is not contingent upon an interaction with the eater. That’s why I inserted cooking homosexuals as the chef would, definitely, be required to interact at that point. “I refuse to cook gay people.” is quite different than “I refuse to cook for gay people.”. This type of analogy seems a clear misrepresentation/misdirection away from the type of service we’re trying to refer to which is an interactive service with little to no control over the setting. And so on.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: it's an unreasonable reason.

can not deny service to anyone for unreasonable reasons, you can deny persons for many reasonable reasons, such as they might be very dirty or greasy, or acting in a violent or aggressive manner, they are reasonable reasons to ‘discriminate’.

An unreasonable reason who be on the basis of their race, their age, their sex or for some other unreasonable reason.

So if you are a bus driver you can refuse to let a person on the bus if you feel he is too dirty and will mess up the buss, or if he is too drunk, or you feel fear from his actions, they are reasonable reasons to discriminate.

But you ARE discriminating if your REASON is unreasonable, such as in this case, his REASON for not taking the photos is because they are gay, that is simply one of the UNREASONABLE reasons to discriminate.

Now he provides that service to non-gay couples therefore it is discrimination against this couple based on their sexual orientation.

It has nothing to do with “free speech” or “art” it is a service that he provides to one group but not another based on an unreasonable reason (they are gay).

So he either takes the photo’s or takes no photos at all anymore, but not some and not others based on if they are gay (or black, or white, or old, or disabled) or for any other UNREASONABLE REASON.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re: it's an unreasonable reason.

If they can use the court to bully a private business owner into contractual agreement against her religious beliefs and free will then the court is practicing discrimination against religion, which is prohibited by the Constitution. You better believe that such an unconstitutional demonstration of force will create far more hostility towards gays in the long run than had they simply walked away and found another photographer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What the II..?

You’ve pretty much got it.

Except, of course, they are not being refused because they are gay. They are being refused because the photographer does not want to attend and photograph a gay wedding (and would have no problem just taking normal pictures of them.) There’s a distinction there. According to the brief, the photographer has in the past also refused to do nude maternity pictures – this does not mean the photographer refuses to serve pregnant women.

And I would say that nobody should be forced to attend a religious ceremony they are not comfortable with, for any reason. This is something fundamentally different than merely being served at a lunch counter.

Anonymous Coward says:

Can restaurants turn away blacks and gays?

Yeah they can.

The pinch comes in when they give a reason. Tons of people face this every day with job applications. Since the employer can’t say, “you’re too old”, or “you aren’t of the right religion”, or “you’re gay”, what they can say is overqualified, or you don’t have the qualifications we are seeking, or any of another ton of vague off the wall reasons. Reasons that don’t leave the seeking with a court venue.

The restaurant could say, “Sorry but we are closing because we’ve had our entire facility rented for the night and we must prepare”. Tomorrow when it didn’t come off, they could come back with it was cancelled at the last minute. While this one example would not stand the test of time, it would stand one event of denying usage for what ever reason.

MikeC (profile) says:

What is discrimination?

What if they gay couple in question picked that photag just because they knew he was anti-gay and wanted to force him to provide service for their wedding? Stupid I know, but are they discriminating? If a person makes it’s clear they don’t want to work for you – for any reason, if you force them to aren’t you discriminating against them based on the same reason they are discriminating against you… Why does it only go one way?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What is discrimination?

This too has been done. I don’t know if you remember but several years ago Dennys, a restaurant chain, was accused of not providing service to those of color. They pretty much had a ton of people descend on them across the nation demanding service.

Mike has made it plain the article is not about service, it’s about free speech and what that should/should not entail.

GeneralEmergency (profile) says:

This is simple...

.

The Constitutional First Amendment speech right trumps any Statutory (not in the Constitution) anti-discrimination laws.

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights is the highest law of the land. Any time you try to saw away at the Constitution in an attempt to restrict a protected freedom, you have to have a compelling reason of imperative benefit to all.

The desire (not right) of gays to have their weddings photographed does not rise to that standard.

The mechanism of turning away this customer is the only “path to relief” that the photographer has to avoid being compelled to commit personally objectionable speech.

.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Let’s continue this argument since religion is the center of the entire debate.

Reverend John won’t perform the service to marry two gay people because it’s against his religious beliefs.

There we go. Same exact thing. The Reverend won’t perform the service of marriage because he thinks gay people are icky. But there are two aspects to this, the service of marriage and the speech of religion. The laws for service say you can’t discriminate, but the laws of speech say you can.

So which laws take priority? Should the reverend be forced to disobey his religion or the anti-discrimination laws?

So which aspect of this article takes priority? The service of photography or the speech of photography?

I honestly don’t know where I stand with this. I expected to read the article and polarize, but now I don’t know. I think I’m on Mike’s side, but not by much. The First Amendment trumps all other laws. Or would silence qualify as hate speech?

Sychodelix (profile) says:

The fact is, although the law is trying to follow the Constitution in disallowing discrimination, it also forces speech, and that part is unconstitutional. The law should be struck down, and the ACLU has no business trying to force compliance with an law with an unconstitutional part of it. If the “tell their story” part was removed, the law would be just fine, but not the way it stands.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The act of refusing the service is also speech though. She is making the statement that she does not support gay marriage. Even if the service itself was not something speech related, the act of refusing it is itself speech. Forcing her to provide it is prohibiting her ability to boycott the event as a form of protest.

Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Freedom of religion is a constitutional right...

Wait. Wouldn’t marriage, at the most rudimentary of levels, be a form of speech?

Is this speech vs religion? Well, being that religion is, in essence, a form of speech (and in some speech it is religious) wouldn’t speech set the igher bar here?

Christians fight gay marriage because they are intolerant bigots and do not, in fact, live the tolerance that their lord would have them preach. Isn’t there something like . .. something like “Judge not lest ye be judged.”? I’m pretty sure that’s an important aspect of life much less religion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Freedom of religion is a constitutional right...

Your lack of knowledge of Christianity and many others here is astounding. It isn’t about intolerance, it isn’t a phobia, it is about not condonimg and participating in sin.

If a man is sinning and asks you if he is ok, you tell him yes and he goes to hell, how much do you love him?

If a man is sinning and asks you if he is ok and you tell him no and he goes to heaven, how much do you love him?