I’ve expressed some pretty extreme skepticism that the Supreme Court has any chance of vindicating the freedom of conscience of the owners of Hobby Lobby. I was and still am hoping that I my feeling is wrong. But yesterday we received a signal from the Court and it is not a good one.
From the Washington Post:
The Supreme Court declined on Monday to consider whether a New Mexico photographer had a right to refuse service to a same-sex couple who wanted her to record their commitment ceremony.
Without comment, the court said it would not review a decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court that the denial of service violated the state’s public accommodations law, which bans discrimination by those offering their services to the public.
The New Mexico case prompted some states, such as Arizona, to propose laws that would protect companies and individuals who say providing some services to same-sex couples would violate their religious beliefs.
The case at the court came from Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, whose company, Elane Photography, refused service for the 2007 commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple, Vanessa Willock and Misti Collinsworth.
The Huguenins said that they would “gladly serve gays and lesbians” by taking portraits. But photographing same-sex marriages or commitment ceremonies would “require them to create expression conveying messages that conflict with their religious beliefs,” according to their petition to the court.
The state human rights commission found that the Huguenins violated the New Mexico Human Rights Act, and the state supreme court unanimously upheld the decision.
“When Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the NMHRA in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races,” the court said.
It is egregious and illegal to cancel out the religious freedoms of Americans, as spelled out in the First Amendment in order to compel them to obey a state-level so-called “human rights” code. But the Supreme Court doesn’t care. The so-called “Justices” have sided with the same sex “marriage” coercers.
Does this prove that the Supreme Court will also rule against Hobby Lobby? Not with absolute certainty. But the liberals have argued that they need to win the Hobby Lobby case in order to press forward with coercive same-sex “marriage” affirmation. So it doesn’t look good for religious freedom.