Lawyers for a New Mexico photographer who was found guilty of discrimination for refusing to shoot photos at a same-sex commitment ceremony say they’ll appeal.
“Commitment ceremony” because New Mexico does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions. But the state does ban discrimination in places of public accommodation. You can read more about the state’s Human Rights Act here: NewMexicoHumanRightsActFactSheet%5B1%5D
You can read the Court of Appeals’ decision here: CA30,203
As you may imagine, much has been made of this in certain corners of the American press. I laughed so hard at the phrase “organized homosexuality” that milk came out of my nose, and I hadn’t even had any milk.
Those people (in certain corners of American press) make it sound as though Christianity is organized bigotry, which it is not.
There is some very interesting reasoning in the appellate decision that this post links to. As I read it I couldn’t help but think about the claims of Catholic entities which provide secular services to the public (e.g., hospitals) make regarding the law about insurers providing contraceptive coverage and how they think it violates their religious rights. But that is another topic.
The plaintiffs had every legal right to bring this action (whether they ultimately win or lose), but I am baffled by something much more pragmatic.
When you buy a widget off the shelf, it already has been built. It is what it is. But when you hire a photographer, artist, architect, building contractor, chef, lawyer, doctor or the like to do something in their line of work, you are looking to get something done that doesn’t yet exist. The skill, knowledge, experience, creativity, etc. of the contractor matters. So do the contractor’s opinions about you and what you want them to do.
Does it really make sense from a pragmatic standpoint to hire somebody who either hates you (for whatever rational or irrational reason) or hates what you want to hire them to do (for whatever rational or irrational – or even illegal reason – reason), even if what you want them to do is entirely legal?
The contractor’s adverse feelings about the work is not conducive to them doing their best, even if they try to. For example, lawyers are ethically bound to represent their clients zealously and vigorously. But there is (or at least there used to be) an ethical exception if, for whatever reason, what the client wanted done was morally reprehensible to the lawyer or for whatever other reason the lawyer would be unable to give the client his/her best work.
Would the defendant photographers have been able to do their best work for this couple? I doubt it. This is a pragmatic point, not a legal one.
It is similar to the driver who gets into an accident involving having the right of way and the other driver not yielding, causing an accident. The wronged driver can say “but I had the law on my side, I was right, and the other guy was wrong.” Quite true, I’d say, “you were in the right, but you also could have been dead right.”
Again, my point is purely a pragmatic one. That said, cases like this probably need to be brought to help clarify things.
Oh ye gods and little fishes, it’s even better than that. “Organized homosexuality has prevailed again,” really? That’s almost better than the Gay Agenda.
I keep telling myself. Someday, someday all will be made clear, and these morons will go down as what they are, in the history books.
Until then, we could try to stroke our small, furry, flamboyant super-villain cats and plot the doom of all that is right and good. Or, hell, we can flippin’ walk down the street and they’ll cower as if we had.
What SisterCoyote said. I’m going to stomp down the street.
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