The New Mexico Human Rights court sentenced Christian photographer Elaine Huguenin a fine of $6,637.94 for refusing to photograph a gay commitment ceremony.
Photographers Denied the Freedom To Choose What They Photograph:
Elaine Huguenin co-owns Elane Photography with her husband. The bulk of Elane’s work is done by Elaine, though she subcontracts some of the work some of the time. Elane refused to photograph Vanessa Willock’s same-sex commitment ceremonies, and just today the New Mexico Human Rights Commission held that this violated state antidiscrimination law. Elane has been ordered to pay over $6600 in attorney’s fees and costs.
…the New Mexico government is now telling Huguenin that she must create art works that she does not choose to create. There’s no First Amendment case squarely on point, but this does seem pretty close to the cases in which the Court held that the government may not compel people to express views that they do not endorse (the flag salute case, West Va. Bd. of Ed. v. Barnette, and the license plate slogan case, Wooley v. Maynard).
It pays to be gay in New Mexico.
The plaintiff, Vanessa Willock (pictured) is currently an EEO Compliance Representative with the Office of Equal Opportunity where she investigates claims of discrimination and sexual harassment. She is also a member of the Diversity Committee at University of New Mexico.