When photography Elaine Huguenin, a Christian, declined to provide services to lesbians for their “commitment ceremony,” she likely had no idea the women would make a federal case of it. The lesbians sued Huguenin on discrimination grounds. The court had to decide whether Huguenin violated the state’s law against “sexual orientation” discrimination and whether the law as applied to her violated the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The state’s appeal court held that Elane Photography’s refusal to provide the service violated the law. The state’s highest court affirmed the decision. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case. As it stands, if a Christian business owner in New Mexico refuses to provide services for an event that makes a mockery of marriage and goes against the owner’s faith, the owner is liable. What’s the point of the state’s Religion Freedom Restoration Act again?
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence said, “The First Amendment protects our freedom to speak or not speak on any issue without fear of punishment. We had hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would use this case to affirm this basic constitutional principle; however, the court will likely have several more opportunities to do just that in other cases of ours that are working their way through the court system.”