A professional photographer who refused to take pictures of a gay couple's commitment ceremony because of her religious beliefs violated New Mexico discrimination law, a human rights panel ruled.
Vanessa Willock filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission in 2006, contending that Albuquerque photographer Elaine Huguenin told her she photographed only traditional marriages. Huguenin and her husband, Jon, own Elane Photography.
The commission's one-page ruling Wednesday said Elane Photography violated the state Human Rights Act by discriminating against Willock on the basis of sexual orientation, and should pay $6,637 for Willock's attorney's fees and costs.
The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian organization that defends religious liberty, plans to appeal to state district court.
"The fact she is a commercial business does not mean she loses her constititutional protection. ... The constitution prevents the government from forcing people to choose between their faith and their livelihood," ADF's senior counsel, Jordan Lorence, said Friday.
Yes, her faith prevents her from taking pictures of gay people. Since, y'know, cameras steal people's souls, and she doesn't want to keep the souls of icky gay people.