Most of us in the conservative and Christian political spheres waited expectantly for the ruling in the Elane Photography v. Willock case; a case regarding a Christian photographer who declined to photograph a same sex commitment ceremony on religious grounds nearly ten years ago.
We were disappointed when the ruling was handed down by the New Mexico Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s ruling which ordered business owners Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin to pay over six thousand dollars in fees.
Perhaps the most shocking part of the case was the ruling written by Justice Edward Chavez. Justice Chavez wrote that the Huguenins “now are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives,” and that “it is the price of citizenship.”
While some might consider this simply a case regarding religion, it isn’t. It effects each of us regardless of what we believe and regardless of whether we personally oppose same sex “marriage” or support it. Does the government really have power to tell business owners they MUST condone a ceremony they disagree with?
Keep in mind, the Huguenins were not declining to take pictures of a same sex couple who wanted a family portrait (which would likely be discrimination), but disagreeing with helping the couple to tell their story and celebrating the ceremony.
Would Justice Chavez have ruled against a Jewish couple who declined to photograph a Nazi white supremest event? Or forced a Muslim couple to photograph a Jewish holiday party? Or if a religious couple had chosen not to take pictures of any religious ceremony that in other ways was in conflict with their beliefs? It wasn’t a case of discrimination against the people themselves.
Now the “price of citizenship” is taking one’s sincere religious beliefs out of public life completely? I do not believe so! When a judge tells us what we must do and becomes involved, we should be concerned!
What gives a panel of state Supreme Court Justices (or judges in lower courts) the right to declare that there is a “price of citizenship”? As I said earlier, it doesn’t matter whether we support same sex marriage or oppose it, it comes down to, do we really believe the government– in this case just a handful of judges on the New Mexico Supreme Court– should take power entrusted to them and misuse it to tell us what the “price of citizenship” is? I do not believe so which is why I will NOT be voting to retain Supreme Court Justice Edward Chavez.
Remember, Supreme Court Justices are NOT Kings– and sometimes they need a reminder!
When you vote, please remember to vote AGAINST retaining Edward Chavez!! Wondering how to vote? Check out more information I have posted on candidates here.