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Thread: Another blow to religious freedom

  1. #221
    eating bugs out of hair. Array prplchknz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    what christians are doing to other religious is actually harming religious freedom, yet when the other groups complain and try to fight for their legitment rights christians claim persecution. when it's the other groups that are being persecuted. if you want to see christian persecution go to the middle east.

    this is the article I was actually thinking of:
    by @magpie

  2. #222
    Meat Tornado Array DiscoBiscuit's Avatar
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    Apr 2009


    The post below is a good summation of my position.

    An excerpt from a great article at the Wall Steet Journal by UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh:

    Choosing What to Photograph Is a Form of Speech

    We back same-sex marriage, but the case against the New Mexico photography business owners would make bad law.

    The past year has been good to advocates of marriage equality. The Supreme Court struck down the part of the Defense of Marriage Act that denied federal benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples. Six more states extended marriage rights to same-sex couples—Illinois will join them June 1, becoming the 17th state overall—and federal courts struck down same-sex marriage bans in four more states (now on appeal).

    We support the extension of marriage to same-sex couples. Yet too many who agree with us on that issue think little of subverting the liberties of those who oppose gay marriage. Increasingly, legislative and judicial actions sacrifice individual rights at the altar of antidiscrimination law.

    Consider the case of the New Mexico wedding photographer, Elane Photography v. Willock, which the Supreme Court is now deciding whether to take, with a decision expected soon after its March 21 conference.

    Elane Photography, a small business based in Albuquerque, declined to photograph Vanessa Willock's same-sex commitment ceremony based on the business owners' personal opposition to gay marriage, which is rooted in their Christian faith. New Mexico law prohibits any refusal to provide business services because of sexual orientation, however, so Ms. Willock filed a claim with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission. She argued that Elane Photography is a "public accommodation," akin to a hotel or restaurant and subject to the state's antidiscrimination law.

    The commission found against Elane Photography and ordered its owners, Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin, to pay $6,600 in attorney fees. The state trial and appellate courts affirmed that order.

    The case then moved to the New Mexico Supreme Court, where we filed a brief urging the court to reverse the court of appeals. Our brief explained that photography is protected by the First Amendment—even if it's not political and even if the photos are taken for money, just as a lot of writing and art is done for money. Creators of expression have a First Amendment right to choose which expression they want to create.

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Wooley v. Maynard —the 1977 "Live Free or Die" license plate case out of New Hampshire—that forcing people to display messages on their cars is just as unconstitutional as preventing or censoring speech. The First Amendment "includes both the right to speak freely and the right to refrain from speaking at all," the court said. That applies even more strongly to forcing people to create messages.

    The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled against the Huguenins, holding that applying the New Mexico antidiscrimination law here "does not violate free speech guarantees because [the law] does not compel Elane Photography to either speak a government-mandated message or to publish the speech of another." But limiting First Amendment protections in this way would lead to startling results.

    Take, for instance, a freelance writer who declines to write a press release for a religious organization with which he disagrees. By the reasoning of the New Mexico Supreme Court, the writer has violated the law because his refusal to write the press release is discrimination based on religion—much as Elaine Huguenin's refusal to photograph an event with which she disagreed was treated as violating the law. Yet a writer must have the First Amendment right to choose which speech he creates, notwithstanding any state law to the contrary.

    The same is true of photographers who create a visual expression. The U.S. Supreme Court has said repeatedly that the First Amendment protects an "individual freedom of mind"—e.g., West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943), which affirmed the right not to salute the flag or say the Pledge of Allegiance—which the government violates whenever it tells a person that she must or must not speak. Forcing a photographer to create a unique piece of art violates that freedom of the mind.
    Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
    - Edmund Burke

    8w9 sx/so

  3. #223
    Senior Member Array tkae.'s Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    5w4 sx/sp


    I don't even know why it needs to be on the grounds of religious belief. Businesses should have the right to deny service to anybody they want for any reason they want. Unless they're a vital service (firefighter, police officer, medical services), it's ridiculous to prescribe how a business operates in regards to its customers. As long as they're up front about refusing service so that they don't ruin peoples' weddings by making them think they'll be providing the service then leaving them shortchanged at the last minute, I don't see what the problem is.

    I mean, it's generally bad business practice to turn away any paying customer. That's not how a business functions in a free market. The business doesn't choose the customer, the customer chooses the business. So if they want to cut themselves off at the knees just to satisfy their personal beliefs, who are we to stop them? They're the ones who are losing money over it.

    Plus, any state that tries to legalize these things to specifically in regards to homosexuality will have their economy implode, similar to what almost happened in Arizona. But, again, this is America. If you want to commit economic suicide just to exercise your homophobia, you should be free to do so.
    "Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away." -Ekaku Hakuin

    5w4 . IEI . Chaotic Good
    Right-Libertarian Minarchist

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