They Keep On Chipping Away

The legal complications are beyond me (perhaps a certain lawyer could enlighten us), but I find it incredible that the New Mexico court system would require a photographer to take pictures at a lesbian commitment (I almost wrote “committal”) ceremony, especially in a state where homosexual “marriage” is not recognized.  The arguments seem to proceed in different ways, some based on religious, some based on artistic expression.  It seems that businesses do not have the right to refuse any customers because of their sexuality.  But do they have the right to refuse to, say, cater or photograph a ceremony with which they disagree?  In this case, it is the activity that is opposed, not the people (although the people are, by definition, engaged in the activity).

This is in line, however, with the City Council decision in Hutchinson, Kansas requiring churches who rent their property to the general public to rent also to homosexuals.  I’m not sure churches should rent their property to the general public, but it seems that those who don’t want to rent to homosexual couples will have to stop renting in general.  But who will decide if a church is renting to the general public?  What if either the bride or the groom is not a member of the congregation, but the other is?  Is that “the general public”?  Frankly, I can’t see this ending in any other way than a complete separation from the State in the areas of weddings, taxes, etc.  As long as we are connected in some way (the pastor as agent of the State at a wedding, tax-exemptions), churches will be pressed from multiple directions to align themselves with the wider culture, or risk penalties.

Perhaps it’s time we willingly give up tax-exemptions and State-sanctioned weddings, before a lawsuit forces us to do so.



One thought on “They Keep On Chipping Away

  1. It seems that the court is saying that the lesbians can sue the photographer for discrimination against them and request money damages. Presumably, there is some New Mexico statute that proscribes discrimination by any business or person against homosexuals. I think the court is simply saying that since neither party is a state entity, the New Mexico Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) does not apply. Merely by using the courts to enforce laws against discrimination does not mean that the RFRA is applicable. I didn’t actually read the case, so I can’t comment further.

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