In a unanimous decision, the New Mexico Supreme court effectively ruled that professional photographers cannot exercise their religious freedom to turn down work for gay weddings, according to the Christian Post.
The Christian owners of Elane Photography declined a job to photograph a homosexual marriage-like ceremony because it violated their conscience. The court ruled against them.
The court had two opinions, with the minority opinion offering additional reasoning while concurring with the majority. The court ruling made a moral equivalence between racial discrimination and sexual discrimination:
"Therefore, when Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the [law] in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races."
The majority opinion contended that belief and practice should be separated in the public business sector:
"They may, for example, post a disclaimer on their website or in their studio advertising that they oppose same-sex marriage but that they comply with applicable antidiscrimination laws."
Senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, the group representing Elane Photography, summarized their concern: "Americans are now on notice that the price of doing business is their freedom."
Judge Bosson's concurring opinion chillingly declared:
"In the smaller, more focused world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, [they] have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different. That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation...it is the price of citizenship."
The judge never explained why the compromise cannot be required of the homosexual couple instead. After all, they were able to find another photographer, and for a cheaper price.
The concurring statement by the judge further asserted in a matter-of-fact language:
"[They are] compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives."
Although Judge Bosson's concurring opinion was not the accepted majority's reasoning, his stark views help illuminate the real issues at hand: a pluralistic society must be a society of compromise by definition. The real debate—conspicuously avoided in this Supreme Court ruling—is upon what standard should the particulars of compromise be determined?
Until this question is answered, the intellectual debate will be one-sided and more Christian consciences will be violated—at least in New Mexico.