The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that, by refusing to photograph a gay wedding, a photography studio violated the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NMHRA).
The court found that Elane Photographyâ€™s refusal to serve Vanessa Willock violated the act, which â€œprohibits a public accommodation from refusing to offer its services to a person based on that personâ€™s sexual orientation,â€ according to the ruling.
Justice Richard C. Bosson, writing in concurrence, said that the case â€œprovokes reflection on what this nation is all about, its promise of fairness, liberty, equality of opportunity, and justice.â€ In addition, the case â€œteaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our nationâ€™s strengths, demands no less.â€
The owners of Elane Photography, Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin, â€œare free to think, to say, to believe, as they wishâ€ Bosson wrote. Nevertheless, in the â€œworld of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different.â€
Doing so, Bosson said, is â€œthe price of citizenship.â€
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