NM Supreme Court to Christians: There is a ‘price’ for your beliefs

8/22/2013

Attorney sound bite:  Jordan Lorence

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence regarding the New Mexico Supreme Court’s decision Thursday in Elane Photography v. Willock, a case involving a photographer who declined to use her artistic expression to visually portray the story of a same-sex ceremony between two women who later sued after finding another photographer:

“Government-coerced expression is a feature of dictatorships that has no place in a free country. This decision is a blow to our client and every American’s right to live free. Decisions like this undermine the constitutionally protected freedoms of expression and conscience that we have all taken for granted. America was founded on the fundamental freedom of every citizen to live and work according to their beliefs and not to be compelled by the government to express ideas and messages they decline to support. We are considering our next steps, including asking the U.S. Supreme Court to right this wrong.”

Select excerpts from Justice Richard C. Bosson’s concurrence accompanying the court’s decision (p. 30):

“…the Huguenins…now are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives. Though the rule of law requires it, the result is sobering. It will no doubt leave a tangible mark on the Huguenins and others of similar views.”

“On a larger scale, this case provokes reflection on what this nation is all about, its promise of fairness, liberty, equality of opportunity, and justice. At its heart, this case teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our nation’s strengths, demands no less. The Huguenins are free to think, to say, to believe, as they wish; they may pray to the God of their choice and follow those commandments in their personal lives wherever they lead. The Constitution protects the Huguenins in that respect and much more. But there is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life.”

“In the smaller, more focused world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins 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, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship. I therefore concur.”
 
  • Rasmussen poll: “85% Think Christian Photographer Has Right to Turn Down Same-Sex Wedding Job”
 
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
 
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