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11/13/2013

Pretending a photographer doing business with public is like Warhol making experimental art with his Factory pals

by Jeremy Hooper

Check out this delicious spin. This is Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jim Campbell talking about the New Mexico small business owner who wanted to discriminate against a pair of potential clients on the basis of their sexual orientations:

“Every artist must be free to create work that expresses what he or she believes and not be forced by the government to express opposing views,” he explained. “A government that can force anyone to promote messages against his or her will is a government out of control.”
FULL: Wedding Photographers Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court [FoTF Citizenlink]

Campbell might have a point if the photographer were simply a hobbyist with an artistic vision or even a paid artist with a commission to freely express her point of view. But she isn't. In this case, we are talking about a small business owner who does business with the public, photographing weddings and other events for the sake of commerce. Business owners must comply with local nondiscrimination ordinances—obviously!

I also "love" the idea that wedding photographers, by doing the job that they offer to the public, are somehow "promoting" that which they shoot. What absurd rationale! I would imagine that wedding photographers are constantly seeing things that they personally find distasteful or even outright objectionable, from the mild ("she chose that dress?!") to the more extreme ("she chose to pledge her love to both her husband and Satan?!"). To me, the truly dangerous precedent is one insisting that photographers are endorsing every event that they capture on film.

The other side's case is so unbelievably flimsy on this one that I actually hope the Supreme Court does move forward on it. Not that the affirmative ruling that I'm confident SCOTUS would deliver would do anything to quiet the other side, hellbent as they are to push both "activist judge" and "religious liberty victim" narratives. It might, however, allow people like me to stop caring about the bluster.

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