This is a post originally posted at Conservative Values Email Activism on 04/2007. I am reposting it here today at Values Voter News for reference purposes.
Another Update on NM Photographer case:
I hope this is the last update until it goes up further in the appeal process. I have been praying for this women and her partner that they would come to the Lord thru all this in some way and that in some way God would be glorified in this. I say this just to encourage you all to not only get a little upset but to handle this with passionate prayer for the lost and that God uses this for good like He did the cross and that we act like Christ did when He was persecuted for His religious beliefs!!!!
Quick update concerning my complaint of KOAT and KOBTV report from the 04-11-2008 AP report on there web sites on my prior email on this subject which you can find here. Check out the NEW MORE ACCURATE AP release on 04-14-2008 http://www.cbnnews.com/ entitled: "Human Rights Commission: Christian Discriminated against Lesbians"-"The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian organization that defends religious liberty"-04-14-2008. Much better!!!
Now, the facts:
The official 35 page briefing in defense of NM Photographer-Check out the Statement of Facts starting on page 3-7, And here is a key argument concerning motivation and quite enlightening..."At best, Willock has introduced direct evidence that Elane Photography does "not photograph same-sex weddings," Resp. Ex. B. at 5, but that does not inform the "ultimate issue" of the Company's motivation....Once a complainant establishes her prima facie case, that prima facie showing "may then be rebutted by evidence that the [complainant] was [refused service] based on a nondiscriminatory motivation."...Id. Here, both Jonathan and Elaine testified that they declined to photograph Willock's wedding-like, same-sex commitment ceremony because they refuse to use, and company policy prevents them from using, their talents and resources to promote a message with which they earnestly disagree, namely, that marriage can exist between anyone other than one man and one woman. Tr. at . Both Jonathan and Elaine testified that they did not refuse their Company's services because of Willock's "sexual orientation." Tr. at . In fact, they both acknowledged that they would offer their photography services to Willock or any other individual regardless of their sexual orientation, but they could not do so in the requested context of a wedding-like, same-sex commitment ceremony because of the message conveyed by that event. Tr. at . On the other hand, if Willock had asked Elane Photography to take pictures of her as part of, for example, individual portraits for a modeling portfolio, the Company would have been happy to provide its services in that context. In sum, then, Elane Photography's refusal to photograph Willock's ceremony was motivated by Jonathan's and Elaine's desire to refrain from furthering, promoting, or endorsing a same-sex "marital" relationship, and not from any soft of unlawful discriminatory animus. This is not some irrational, arbitrary, post-hoc justification for the Company's actions. Context and message are important to artists, and the legitimacy of Elane Photography's nondiscriminatory reason is demonstrated by a simple illustration. Suppose, for example, that a Ku Klux Klan..."-pg 16,17.
The Commission Opinion and Final Order-Documented Email conversation,
"17. On September 21, 2006, Ms. Willock contacted the website of Elane Photography to obtain information about its photographic services and pricing. Ms. Willock sent Elane Photography the following email inquiry: We are researching potential photographers for our commitment ceremony on September 15, 2007 in Taos, NM. This is a same-gender ceremony. If you are open to helping us celebrate our day we'd like to receive pricing information. Thanks [Testimony of Willock; Exhibit E at 1-2.] 18. Later on the same day, Ms. Elaine Huguenin gave the following response to Ms. Willock: Hello Vanessa, As a company, we photograph traditional weddings, engagements, seniors, and several other things such as political photographs and singer's portfolios. -Elaine— [Testimony of Willock and Elaine Huguenin; Exhibit 1; Exhibit E at 1, 3 & 43 19. Ms. Willock was not sure whether Ms. Elaine Huguenin's response meant that Elane Photography did or did not offer its services to same-gender couples arid sought clarification on November 28, 2006, as follows: Hi Elaine, Thanks for your response below of September 21, 2006. I'm a bit confused, however, by the wording of your response. Are you saying that your company does not offer your photography services to same-sex couples? Thanks, Vanessa [Testimony of Willock; Exhibit I; Exhibit E at 4.] 20. On November 28, Ms. Elaine Huguenin clarified her previous response to Ms. Willock in the following way: Hello Vanessa, Sorry if our last response was a confusing one. Yes, you are correct in saying we do not photograph same-sex weddings, but again, thanks for checking out our site! Have a great day. -Elaine"
Notice that she needed clarification 3 months later!!! Just a little odd...
"25. On November 29, 2006, Ms. Willock's partner, Ms. Collinswortb, formerly known as Ms. Pascottini, sought to verify Ms. Elaine Huguenin's refusal to photograph a same-sex ceremony by making a similar email inquiry about packages and rates to photograph a wedding, without any mention of same-sex. Ms. Collinsworth sent the following email to Elane Photography: Hi Elaine, I really like your photographs. I was wondering if you would be willing to travel to Ruidoso for my wedding? Can you send me a list of your packages and rates? Thanks!! [Testimony of Collinsworth; Exhibit E at 6.) 26. On November 29, 2006, Ms. Elaine Huguenin responded affirmatively by email to Ms. Collinsworth's inquiry and, at the same time, forwarded Ms. Collinsworth information about the company's photography pricing (base package, $1,450; deluxe package, $1,850; and royal package, $2,250), as well as information about the company's procedure for online proofing credits. The text of Ms. Elaine Huguenin's response to Ms. Collinsworth's inquiry was as follows: Hello Misty, Thanks so much for contacting us. I would definately [sic) be willing to travel to Ruidoso for your wedding. I have attached some information that should be helpful as far as prices and packages. There is also another attachment concerning "print credits" — it explains what online proofing is, because it's something that is a bit newer and not everyone may know what it is yet. Hopefully these items will help you sort some things out. Also, I would love to meet up with you sometime, if you are interested, to show you more of my recent book, along with an example of the "coffee table book" that included in all ofourpacicages. My place of choice is Satellite... Good luck with your planning, and I hope to talk with you soon -Elaine [Testimony of Collinsworth and Elaine Huguenin; Exhibit E at 7; Exhibit C & Exhibit E at 9; Exhibit D & Exhibit E at 10.] 27. On December 19, 2006, having not heard again from Ms. Collinsworth (then known as Misty Pascottini), Ms. Elaine Huguenin sent the following email to Ms. Collinsworth:
Hello Misty, I just wanted to check and see if you had any questions about the prices or packages that I could help answer. I hope that planning is going well for you. Have a great day! -Elaine [Testimony of Elaine Huguenin; Exhibit F at 8.]"
That's all the conversation that took place!!! Some how Vanessa Willock and her partner believed that Elaine had no other reason to not do photographs of there same-gender ceremony except for sexual orientation. It seems to me that if there is any discrimination going on here it would be: religious discrimination on the part of the Human Rights Commission (arbitrarily favouring one right over another)!!!!...This is a case of Religious Discrimination in the name of Sexual Orientation..."Gay rights have trumped religious rights in a New Mexico case."-04/14/2008 AP. I can understand maybe the confusion between Elaine and Vanessa in the email conversations but I have yet to agree with the Human Rights Commission Final Order and Opinion...
Here is an interesting commentary on this case:
The New Mexico Human Rights Commission Refuses to Consider Religious Freedom Objection:
The Breadth of the New Mexico Human Rights Commission's Rationale:
Photographers Denied the Freedom To Choose What They Photograph:
What does Bush have to do with all this:
Fighting religious discrimination: Bush administration's quiet campaign-"In education, for example, the DOJ reviewed 82 cases and conducted 40 investigations from 2001 to 2006. Compare this with the 1995-2000 time period, when the DOJ reviewed one case and made no investigations...As Judge Judy would say, these are real cases about real people. From attacks on houses of worship to incidents of discrimination at school and work, the DOJ over the past five years has investigated scores of cases involving the religious rights of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Native Americans and others."-When I read this I was reasoned, yep here is another one. I am hardly getting the whole story from ABC, CBS, NBC or PBS. Justifying the slogan below....
Yanking Back the Balance and Filling in the Gaps
P.S.-Concerning the media lack of coverage on these issues I wanted to submit a suggestion concerning motive of lack of coverage. And I do believe I have presented evidence of this unlike Vanessa and her partner. Not only is money and ratings a motive but may I submit that maybe just maybe liberal politics rooted in a liberal worldview is a big part of the pie, also, which highly favours one political party over another....
I always intend just to send a quick email but then I just can't help but to add a little and a little and a little until it is a little to much!!! :)
Take care all.
"When I watched him [former President Bill Clinton] at Mrs. King's funeral, I just have never seen anything like it....There are times when he sounds like Jesus in the temple. I mean, amazing ability to transcend ethnicity -- race, we call it, it's really ethnicity -- in this country and, and speak to us all in this amazingly primordial way."-MSNBC's Chris Matthews (Awarded "Quote of the year" at the 2008 Dishonors Awards)