What Now? Court Won't Hear Gay Wedding Appeal

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The U.S. Supreme Court won't hear a case involving a photography company's refusal to shoot a gay commitment ceremony. 

The owners of New Mexico-based Elane Photography, owned by Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, declined the job due to their religious beliefs.

The Huguenins said 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.

Jordan Lorence, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, share his insights on the case on CBN News Today, April 8.

The business's decision led to a discrimination complaint, thousands of dollars in fines, and a lengthy court battle that made it to the state's Supreme Court.

The photographers say their decision is protected by free speech rights.  But the New Mexico Supreme Court disagreed.

"When Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the NMHRA [New Mexico Human Rights Act] in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races," the state court said.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal to take up the case.

Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., expressed disappointment with the high court's decision

"By refusing to take this case, the court is refusing to protect some of our most fundamental First Amendment freedoms," the Virginia lawmaker said.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal firm representing the Huguenins, agreed.

"The injustice is difficult to overstate," Alan Sears, president and general counsel for the ADF, said. "Make no mistake, this issue is all about the government forcing a citizen to communicate a message against her will and against her beliefs."

You can find out more about the case by visiting the ADF's website.

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