Photographer Who Refused To Shoot Commitment Ceremony Cites Artistic Freedom

Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 1.43.52 AMAn attorney for a photographer who refused to take photos of a same-sex commitment ceremony told the New Mexico Supreme Court she was simply expressing her right to free speech and artistic expression.

Elaine Huguenin is protected by the First Amendment, claims Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defending Freedom, who says Huguenin shouldn’t have to violate her religious beliefs and promote something she is against.

Tobias Wolff, who is representing the lesbian couple Huguenin snubbed back in 2006, maintain that hers is a public business, and is therefore beholden to New Mexico’s anti-discrimination laws protecting sexual orientation. “The nature of the discrimination claim is very straightforward,” Wolff told the AP.

The New Mexico Human Rights Commission initially found Huguenin in violation of the law and ordered her to pay $7,000. Last June, the New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld that ruling. At the time, Huguenin asked if an African-American photographer would be required to photograph a Ku Klux Klan rally. “The Ku Klux Klan is not a protected class,” the court noted. “Sexual orientation, however, is.

The high court has yet to issue a ruling in the case.