A commenter writes, about the photographer case,
This case isn't about art it's about commerce. If she ran a lemonade stand and refused to sell same sex couples or interracial couples, it would be clearly discriminatory.
The case is about art that is sold in commerce -- just as newspapers are sold in commerce, paintings are sold in commerce (whether to the person who commissioned them or to a museum), books are sold in commerce, and the like. And because photography is a medium of communication and of expression of ideas (unlike lemonade sales), the First Amendment is implicated (and, in my view, violated). Just as a bookstore may choose to sell only black-authored books, or refuse to sell Christian-themed books, so it seems to me that a photographer should
This also responds, I think, to comments such as "If she holds herself out as a business offering to perform a service, then it would seem that she cannot refuse that service to anyone falling into a protected class." Bookstores also offer to perform services, both to buyers and to publishers and authors; but they may choose what books to stock. Yet it doesn't follow that they may be denied their freedom to choose which speech to distribute.
Likewise, let me repeat the hypothetical I posed in my earlier post, which I think people didn't much respond to. Say you're a freelance writer, who holds himself out as a business offering to perform a service. Someone tries to hire you to write materials -- press releases, Web site materials, and the like -- for his same-sex marriage planning company, or his Scientology book distribution company, or whatever else.
May the government force you, on pain of damages liability, to write those materials, even if you would prefer not to because of the sexual orientation, religion, or whatever else to which the materials would be related? Or do you have a First Amendment right to choose which words you write and which you decline to write? If you do have such a right, why shouldn't Elaine Huguenin have the same right as a photographer?
Related Posts (on one page):
- The New Mexico Human Rights Commission Refuses to Consider Religious Freedom Objection:
- The Breadth of the New Mexico Human Rights Commission's Rationale:
- Right To Choose Which Photographs You Create:
- The ACLU and the Elane Photography Case:
- Religious Exemptions and the Elane Photography Case:
- Legal Requirements That You Write Things or Create Photographs:
- First Amendment and Photography/Writing/Publishing/Book Distribution for Money:
- Religious Accommodations and the Elane Photography Case:
- Photographers Denied the Freedom To Choose What They Photograph: