Court: Christians can be ordered to violate beliefs

A ruling from Judge Tim L. Garcia in the New Mexico Court of Appeals says states can require Christians to violate their faith in order to do business, affirming a penalty of nearly $7,000 for a photographer who refused to take pictures at a lesbian “commitment” ceremony in the state where same-sex “marriage” was illegal.

Judge’s Cynthia Fry and James Wechsler joined in the ruling by Garcia, which involved Elane Photography, whose owners, Elaine and Jonathan Huegeunin, are Christians and declined to do photography for lesbians Vanessa Willock and another woman.

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The women complained under the state’s anti-discrimination requirements and a state commission, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission, imposed the penalty, which now has been affirmed by the appeals court judges. The judges explained in the 45-page ruling that the photography company is a “public accommodation” and those cannot discriminate under state law based on “sexual orientation.”

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