The New Mexico Supreme Court decided yesterday that professional photographers in that state may not refuse to work at gay weddings, the Christian Post website reports today (August 23, 2013).
When Elane Photography refused to work for Vanessa Willock, a lesbian, at her same-sex wedding, the court said it violated the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NMHRA), which prohibits discrimination in public accommodations based upon sexual orientation.
"We conclude that a commercial photography business that offers its services to the public, thereby increasing its visibility to potential clients, is subject to the anti-discrimination provisions of the NMHRA and must serve same-sex couples on the same basis that it serves opposite-sex couples," Justice Edward Chavez wrote for the majority.
Elane Photography is not protected by their rights to freely exercise their religion, which are protected by the U.S. Constitution, because NMHRA is a "neutral law of general applicability," the court said. Elane Photography plans to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.