The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a New Mexico case challenging the state’s anti-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation.
The case involves a lesbian couple planning their wedding reception. Elaine Photography of Albuquerque turned down the couple’s request to shoot the wedding, saying they work only “traditional weddings.”
The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that the state’s anti-discrimination law forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation “in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races.”
While ruling that the New Mexico Human Rights Act ensures “businesses offering services to the general public do not discriminate against protected classes of people,” it acknowledges “businesses retain their First Amendment rights to express their religious or political beliefs.”
That free speech would would allow a business to post on a website or in advertising that it opposes same-sex marriage, but it complies with nondiscrimination laws.
The photography business appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Today, the court declined to hear the case next session, so the New Mexico Supreme Court ruling stands.