Charisma News 20 August 2012
The New Mexico Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to review the case of an Albuquerque photographer forced to pay nearly $7,000 for declining to use her artistic expression to help two women “celebrate” a same-sex “commitment” ceremony. In June, attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) appealed a New Mexico Court of Appeals decision that upheld a New Mexico Human Rights Commission ruling against Christian photographer Elaine Huguenin. The commission ruled that the company was guilty of “sexual orientation” discrimination under state antidiscrimination laws.
In 2006, Vanessa Willock asked Huguenin—co-owner with her husband, Jon Huguenin, of Elane Photography in Albuquerque—to photograph a “commitment ceremony” that Willock and another woman wanted to hold in Taos. Huguenin declined because her and her husband’s Christian beliefs are in conflict with the message communicated by the ceremony. The two women found someone else to photograph their ceremony. Although New Mexico law does not recognize either marriage or civil unions between persons of the same sex, Willock filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission accusing Elane Photography of discrimination based on sexual orientation.