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06/05/2012 11:01:37 AM · #1
Looks like religious freedom comes directly after non-discrimination.

Story Here, ABQJournal

A photo studio’s refusal to photograph a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony violates the New Mexico Human Rights Act, the Court of Appeals has ruled, rejecting the Albuquerque studio’s argument that doing so would cause it to disobey God and Biblical teachings.

Personally, I think this is absolutely spot-on, but I'm sure that there will be dissent.
06/05/2012 11:06:39 AM · #2
So now the government is allowed to tell photographers who they have to take pictures of? Sorry but it's just more rights being handed over. Why would the couple want their picture taken by someone who was morally against their marriage in the first place. To me this comes down as a vandetta against the photographer for having their own opinion.

The whole thing just smells bad.
06/05/2012 11:11:00 AM · #3
I want to make something clear before being labled a religious nut or something. I am for same sex marriage. I don't believe it's anyone's business, especially not the governments. But, I also don't think the government has any more of a right to tell a photographer who to take pictures of than they have to tell anyone who they are allowed to marry.

If that makes sense.
06/05/2012 11:13:51 AM · #4
Originally posted by chazoe:

So now the government is allowed to tell photographers who they have to take pictures of?

"the court agreed with a previous ruling Monday, stating the photo studio is considered a public accommodation, similar to a restaurant or store." A gas station, supermarket or electrician can't refuse service based on race or sexual orientation, and this is no different.
06/05/2012 11:16:55 AM · #5
Originally posted by chazoe:

So now the government is allowed to tell photographers who they have to take pictures of? Sorry but it's just more rights being handed over. Why would the couple want their picture taken by someone who was morally against their marriage in the first place. To me this comes down as a vandetta against the photographer for having their own opinion.

The whole thing just smells bad.


I think the ruling, quite tellingly, compares the studio with a restaurant or store. So, in your view, if the studio should have the right to turn away people does it then follow that a restaurant should be allowed to as well? Or a store? Or a bus company? Maybe they could get round the idea by having segregated seating areas.

My point is, its quite easy to think the ruling is overly draconion and clamping down on a businesses rights when thinking of the individual photographer or artist but whe you compare it, as the court ruling has, to other types of businesses in a public space it makes much more sense in my opinion.

e.t.a- crosspost with scalvert

Message edited by author 2012-06-05 11:18:43.
06/05/2012 11:32:31 AM · #6
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by chazoe:

So now the government is allowed to tell photographers who they have to take pictures of?

"the court agreed with a previous ruling Monday, stating the photo studio is considered a public accommodation, similar to a restaurant or store." A gas station, supermarket or electrician can't refuse service based on race or sexual orientation, and this is no different.


But a photographer is not like a gas station or a supermarket. At least not IMHO.

06/05/2012 11:34:50 AM · #7
they should have just told the couple, sure the studio will do it, but its going to be hard to find one of our photographers who will be willing to take the assignment.

Message edited by author 2012-06-05 11:35:38.
06/05/2012 11:36:37 AM · #8
I agree with 21.gif chazoe in that it sounds like some kind of vendetta. A photography business owner also has the right to choose his/her clients, right? To compare the photography business to a restaurant or store is ludicrous.

Of course, the real issue is they are trying to control why the owner said no. If he would have just said "I don't want to." or "I am busy that day." that would have been "allowed."

Instead he disagreed on moral grounds so the government has to stick its nose in.

Lesson learned: Don't make a public moral statement. Obviously, this was exactly the government's intention.
06/05/2012 11:48:03 AM · #9
Originally posted by chazoe:

But a photographer is not like a gas station or a supermarket. At least not IMHO.

Your opinion matters slightly less than two different courts. The court isn't telling the studio who they have to shoot, only that can't refuse to shoot people for discriminatory reasons. If the studio refused to shoot a wedding couple because they were obese or elderly or Hispanic, I would expect the exact same result. This would also apply to a plumber, caterer, magician, roofer, etc. You either offer a service to the public or you don't.
06/05/2012 11:51:01 AM · #10
Originally posted by adigitalromance:

A photography business owner also has the right to choose his/her clients, right?

No more than the owner of Greyhound has the right to seat only whites on his buses.
06/05/2012 11:55:00 AM · #11
Why would you want a photographer who doesn't want to work with you. What kind of results do you think you would get?
06/05/2012 12:00:53 PM · #12
Originally posted by adigitalromance:

I agree with 21.gif chazoe in that it sounds like some kind of vendetta.


I would say it sounds less like a vendetta and more like a couple who are sick of being discriminated against in society by the prejudiced and the bigoted and have decided to make a bit of a stand. Isn't that what America is all about?

I do agree that the photo-studio/ restaurant comparison is a hard one but the way i think of it is this; say we have a street of shops- a grocery store, a restaurant, a laundrette, a photo studio. Now, three of them are bound by anti-discrimination laws which are in place to protect, sometimes vulnerable, minorities from exclusion and victimisation. The forth is somehow exempt from these laws and is allowed to put a big sign in the window saying, ' Due to our personal beliefs, we refuse to do business with any african-americans, homosexuals and asians.'

Now, that doesn't quite seem right to me.
06/05/2012 12:07:52 PM · #13
Originally posted by adigitalromance:

Of course, the real issue is they are trying to control why the owner said no. If he would have just said "I don't want to." or "I am busy that day." that would have been "allowed."

Instead he disagreed on moral grounds so the government has to stick its nose in.

Lesson learned: Don't make a public moral statement. Obviously, this was exactly the government's intention.

This is the problem that openly gay people are facing. They are discriminated against, but nobody will tell them that is the reason, for fear of opening themselves up to a lawsuit. So they are just told "Oh, sorry, someone else was a better fit for the position" or some other made up but plausible story appropriate to the situation. They may suspect but can't really know.

For example, say I own a business and am considering employing an openly gay person. I may not have anything against them, but I am still concerned that my customers will be uncomfortable with it and take their business elsewhere. So instead I give a plausible and commonly used reason for not hiring this person. Someone else was better qualified, right? Nobody ever knows but myself as the business owner and decision maker.
06/05/2012 12:14:16 PM · #14
I believe that the couple in question was turned away when they inquired about the date, opening acknowledging that they were a same sex couple. Later one of them called back and discussed the date in question as a hetero couple and was told the date was free.

If it wasn't this specific case, it was an earlier, similar case.

I don't know why the couple would want a photographer that didn't want their business either, but I also think the photographer is one of those people who give Christians a bad name...kinda like that Phelps guy from Kansas.

Message edited by author 2012-06-05 12:20:00.
06/05/2012 12:26:07 PM · #15
Originally posted by cloudsme:

Why would you want a photographer who doesn't want to work with you. What kind of results do you think you would get?

While we we aren't privy to the details, there are several possibilities. They may not have known this photographer doesn't serve "your kind" until they were turned down or maybe they did know and set out to make an example a la Rosa Parks. Maybe an insider told them or the photographer came right out and said it. Either way, it is the business owner's responsibility to do the best job possible whether the client is fat, ugly, or whatever. I would expect the same service from a plumber or auto mechanic no matter who the client is (in other words, just do your job).

Message edited by author 2012-06-05 12:27:22.
06/05/2012 12:27:43 PM · #16
Originally posted by cloudsme:

Why would you want a photographer who doesn't want to work with you. What kind of results do you think you would get?


That is a valid question... my answer would be "I wouldn't." In fact, I would not want any photographer that I knew was discriminating against anyone. Not the kind of people I want to deal with. So if my wife and I had been in the studio inquiring about their services and became aware that they were turning away a same-sex couple, we'd have walked out right then and there.
06/05/2012 12:29:00 PM · #17
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

For example, say I own a business and am considering employing an openly gay person. I may not have anything against them, but I am still concerned that my customers will be uncomfortable with it and take their business elsewhere. So instead I give a plausible and commonly used reason for not hiring this person. Someone else was better qualified, right? Nobody ever knows but myself as the business owner and decision maker.

Completely agree, but at the end of the day, if you did this, you'd have to look in the mirror and live with yourself. Bigots wouldn't care, but if you truly weren't, I think it'd be a more difficult decision to live with.

Slight aside, I bought a shirt for my daughter which says, "They're raising me gay." You want to vocalize random strangers, put that on your child. Homosexuals stop, laugh, want a quick photo, tell me how awesome the shirt is, heterosexuals feel the need to tell me many different things, none pleasant. My typical response is either "Go f*ck yourself" or "Mind your own f*cking business."

What is it about homosexuals that gets people so defensive? I've never understood this on any front.

CS
06/05/2012 12:40:31 PM · #18
It's complicated!
//volokh.com/2012/06/04/do-religious-freedom-restoration-acts-apply-when-courts-enforce-civil-causes-of-action/#disqus_thread
06/05/2012 12:43:16 PM · #19
Originally posted by cosmicassassin:

Completely agree, but at the end of the day, if you did this, you'd have to look in the mirror and live with yourself. Bigots wouldn't care, but if you truly weren't, I think it'd be a more difficult decision to live with.

True, but not as difficult to live with as a decision that hurts my business. I would feel that I sympathize with them, and wish them no ill, but let someone else take the damage from public opinion. I have a business to run and a family to feed. (I'm not a business owner, BTW. That was just for the sake of the example.)

No, its not fair and its not right. But it is.
06/05/2012 12:45:22 PM · #20
Originally posted by chazoe:



But a photographer is not like a gas station or a supermarket. At least not IMHO.


But this not a photographer, this is a photography studio - they run a business, they provide a service, and it's against the law to discriminate.
06/05/2012 12:49:31 PM · #21
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

True, but not as difficult to live with as a decision that hurts my business. I would feel that I sympathize with them, and wish them no ill, but let someone else take the damage from public opinion. I have a business to run and a family to feed. (I'm not a business owner, BTW. That was just for the sake of the example.)

No, its not fair and its not right. But it is.

I understand your point, and I know it's not yours, but it's extremely narrow.
Could you imagine if no one ever stood up throughout history? Someone needs to be the leader. I would rather be that person than some peon on the side.

CS
06/05/2012 12:55:48 PM · #22
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by cosmicassassin:

Completely agree, but at the end of the day, if you did this, you'd have to look in the mirror and live with yourself. Bigots wouldn't care, but if you truly weren't, I think it'd be a more difficult decision to live with.

True, but not as difficult to live with as a decision that hurts my business. I would feel that I sympathize with them, and wish them no ill, but let someone else take the damage from public opinion. I have a business to run and a family to feed. (I'm not a business owner, BTW. That was just for the sake of the example.)

No, its not fair and its not right. But it is.


Maybe you'd get brownie points from the community if you would hire the person and then stand up for them if and when something ever did arise. If said business owner really felt it's not fair and it's not right, they'd be able to do that. If more business owners would take that step, the problem might be lessened.
06/05/2012 12:57:57 PM · #23
Originally posted by cosmicassassin:

Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

True, but not as difficult to live with as a decision that hurts my business. I would feel that I sympathize with them, and wish them no ill, but let someone else take the damage from public opinion. I have a business to run and a family to feed. (I'm not a business owner, BTW. That was just for the sake of the example.)

No, its not fair and its not right. But it is.

I understand your point, and I know it's not yours, but it's extremely narrow.
Could you imagine if no one ever stood up throughout history? Someone needs to be the leader. I would rather be that person than some peon on the side.

CS


Historically, businesses are not going to be the ones leading the charge... A good business keeps an eye to the bottom line at all times, and stepping out from the crowd, while morally correct, is often devastating to the business's profits.

I think it's up to the individual to make the changes in themselves and their own lives, only then will the changes begin to grow and spread.. Business simply cannot be held to this same standard.

With that being said, the Military has historically been pretty slow on the uptake when it comes to changes, and even they're happily hiring women and homosexuals these days.

Of course, then we next have to question if there is any real impact to the business, and I think that's largely a function of where that business operates. In Texas I'm sure there's quite a bit more anti-homosexual sentiment than a place like Miami, so like-wise I would expect it to be much easier for a gay person to find employment in this market, since basically no one here will care if the person they are doing business is gay, lesbian, transgender, or a Martian.

So, in truth, like it or not, I think this will continue to be a complex issue that is variable based upon a number of factors, but will be primarily driven by the prevalent local culture.
06/05/2012 01:00:50 PM · #24
Originally posted by PennyStreet:

Originally posted by chazoe:



But a photographer is not like a gas station or a supermarket. At least not IMHO.


But this not a photographer, this is a photography studio - they run a business, they provide a service, and it's against the law to discriminate.


To inject a little humor, my aunt owns a beauty salon, and will pursue and hire gay stylists whenever possible. In that business it's a plus.
06/05/2012 01:05:16 PM · #25
Originally posted by PennyStreet:

Maybe you'd get brownie points from the community if you would hire the person and then stand up for them if and when something ever did arise. If said business owner really felt it's not fair and it's not right, they'd be able to do that. If more business owners would take that step, the problem might be lessened.


Originally posted by cosmicassassin:

Could you imagine if no one ever stood up throughout history? Someone needs to be the leader. I would rather be that person than some peon on the side.


Sure, if you want to be a martyr for someone else's cause. There are plenty of good causes out there that you can stand up for and get kicked in the teeth by society for it. I'm just illustrating what happens in the real world as opposed to what we would like to see. And there are just as many people that are willing to stand up for the other side to take a stand for what they know is right.

Added: Cory explained it well.

Message edited by author 2012-06-05 13:07:05.
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