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Thread: Photographer fined by judge for refusing to photograph gay commitment ceremony

  1. Default

    This is pretty interesting.



    http://www.legalzoom.com/us-law/equa...refuse-service



    The Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees all people the right to "full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin."

    The right of public accommodation is also guaranteed to disabled citizens under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which precludes discrimination by businesses on the basis of disability.


    In addition to the protections against discrimination provided under federal law, many states have passed their own Civil Rights Acts that provide broader protections than the Federal Civil Rights Act. For example, California's Unruh Civil Rights Act makes it illegal to discriminate against individuals based on unconventional dress or sexual preference.


    In the 1960s, the Unruh Civil Rights Act was interpreted to provide broad protection from arbitrary discrimination by business owners. Cases decided during that era held that business owners could not discriminate, for example, against hippies, police officers, homosexuals, or Republicans, solely because of who they were.


    Like many issues involving constitutional law, the law against discrimination in public accommodations is in a constant state of change. Some argue that anti-discrimination laws in matters of public accommodations create a conflict between the ideal of equality and individual rights.


    Does the guaranteed right to public access mean the business owner's private right to exclude is violated? For the most part, courts have decided that the constitutional interest in providing equal access to public accommodations outweighs the individual liberties involved.

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  3. #32

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jebediah View Post
    Again Marine1 do you have links for any of that or is this just a fairytale?!
    Federal Court Rules Pharmacists Cannot Be Forced To Sell “Morning After” Pill

    A Federal District Court Judge has ruled that a pharmacist cannot be required to stock and dispense the so-called Plan B birth control pill if he has a moral objection to abortifacients:

    A federal judge ruled Wednesday that pharmacists cannot be forced by state rules to sell “morning-after” contraceptives, also known as Plan B.

    The case has been active for more than four years and started when two pharmacists, Margo Thelen and Rhonda Mesler, at Ralph’s Thriftway pharmacy in Olympia denied a woman the Plan B pill based on their religious opposition to it.

    “Today’s decision sends a very clear message: No individual can be forced out of her profession solely because of her religious beliefs,” Luke Goodrich, deputy national litigation director at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a non-profit law firm representing Ralph’s Thriftway, said in a statement.

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/fed...ng-after-pill/
    Beam me up Scottie, no intelligent life down here.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nunya D. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jebediah View Post
    Like I said just ask the "couple" to produce a New Mexico marriage certificate. That's it. No lying involved. No marriage certificate no wedding photography.
    And if NM decides to issue marriage certificates 2 years latter and the couple return...
    I deal in reality not fantasy scenarios.



    A lot of "ifs" there. If NM issues marriage certificates. I have seen no indication that is going to happen any time soon. If the couple returns. Again mighty big if. When you want to calculate the final probabilty you multiply the two probabilities.

    NM issuing gay marriage certificates sometime in the next 5 years 1% chance.

    Probability if such an event occurred this couple bothering to hunt this photographer down... 5% chance.

    Total probability... 0.05% chance. The photographer is safe.

  5. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jebediah View Post
    Yeah it's 2012. We all know that if you aren't comfortable with whatever you are saying being played back on video tape at 6pm on MSNBC you probably shouldn't be saying it unless you want the government to go after you.

    The problem was the photographer brought the whole gay thing in. If the photographer said I don't care if you are gay or straight you are required to produce a New Mexico marriage certificate or I can't do the "wedding" she would have probably been fine. But she went on a rant about "gays" and Christianity. You don't win in court with that. Is it fair? I don't know.
    This is one of those instances where my heart conflicts with my political beliefs. On one hand, I think it was mean. Someone asks you to take pictures of the most important day in their life and you say that it's, essentially, wrong or "bad". I mean, that's what the photographer is saying by telling them that as a Christian (her version of it) it conflicts with her religious beliefs because if it (gay wedding) were "good" she'd do it.

    So...that's kind of mean. And mean is never good.

    On the other hand, I don't believe that the state has any right to force people to do anything they don't wish to do. Not take photos of a wedding, not smile at your neighbor, not vote, not drive to work, not bike to work. This business was not run by public funds and people don't require photographs at weddings done by outside photographers, they just want them.

    Because all laws must be viewed in terms of not only what they protect today, but they will also protect in the future I think that this court overstepped and I hope that the decision is thrown out. This sets the precedence that your time and talents no longer belong to you if the state can force you to use them.

    I would prefer to have heard that this gay couple went to a kinder, non-bigoted photographer, gave the non-bigoted photographer their money and then told all of their friends not to go to such a mean photographer for portraiture. Boycotted them, that sort of thing. Then the problem is solved by their loss of future business.

    This is not asking someone to sit at the back of the bus. Your economic situation might force you to have to use the bus to get to work. This is not asking someone to use a different restroom. This is not about public services. This is forcing someone to perform a task they don't want to do and it is also a situation where the photographer also "lost" for his choice. They chose to lose funds by not taking on the service. They gay people lost time speaking to a bigot, but...probably found a photographer that wanted the job.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marine1 View Post
    Federal Court Rules Pharmacists Cannot Be Forced To Sell “Morning After” Pill

    A Federal District Court Judge has ruled that a pharmacist cannot be required to stock and dispense the so-called Plan B birth control pill if he has a moral objection to abortifacients:

    A federal judge ruled Wednesday that pharmacists cannot be forced by state rules to sell “morning-after” contraceptives, also known as Plan B.

    The case has been active for more than four years and started when two pharmacists, Margo Thelen and Rhonda Mesler, at Ralph’s Thriftway pharmacy in Olympia denied a woman the Plan B pill based on their religious opposition to it.

    “Today’s decision sends a very clear message: No individual can be forced out of her profession solely because of her religious beliefs,” Luke Goodrich, deputy national litigation director at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a non-profit law firm representing Ralph’s Thriftway, said in a statement.

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/fed...ng-after-pill/
    Hang on a second dude. If you read the link the pharmacists did not stock plan B at their OWN pharmacy. That makes total sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by q13fox.com
    The drug is approved by the FDA, but the pharmacists refused to stock it at their store.
    Link.

    They did not work at Walmart and refuse to go to the shelf, pick up a box of plan B that was sitting on the shelf, and hand it to a customer. Totally different scenario.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zosiasmom View Post
    This is one of those instances where my heart conflicts with my political beliefs. On one hand, I think it was mean. Someone asks you to take pictures of the most important day in their life and you say that it's, essentially, wrong or "bad". I mean, that's what the photographer is saying by telling them that as a Christian (her version of it) it conflicts with her religious beliefs because if it (gay wedding) were "good" she'd do it.

    So...that's kind of mean. And mean is never good.

    On the other hand, I don't believe that the state has any right to force people to do anything they don't wish to do. Not take photos of a wedding, not smile at your neighbor, not vote, not drive to work, not bike to work. This business was not run by public funds and people don't require photographs at weddings done by outside photographers, they just want them.

    Because all laws must be viewed in terms of not only what they protect today, but they will also protect in the future I think that this court overstepped and I hope that the decision is thrown out. This sets the precedence that your time and talents no longer belong to you if the state can force you to use them.

    I would prefer to have heard that this gay couple went to a kinder, non-bigoted photographer, gave the non-bigoted photographer their money and then told all of their friends not to go to such a mean photographer for portraiture. Boycotted them, that sort of thing. Then the problem is solved by their loss of future business.

    This is not asking someone to sit at the back of the bus. Your economic situation might force you to have to use the bus to get to work. This is not asking someone to use a different restroom. This is not about public services. This is forcing someone to perform a task they don't want to do and it is also a situation where the photographer also "lost" for his choice. They chose to lose funds by not taking on the service. They gay people lost time speaking to a bigot, but...probably found a photographer that wanted the job.
    Yeah I am not coming out swinging on this one. I think the situation could have been avoided with some slick talk but I don't know how I feel about the law. I personally don't think if you are a Christian you really need to make a song and dance about it. I have certain Christian beliefs but I find a way to get along without offending anyone. There was a way out for the woman.

    As far as the law... I don't know. On the one hand I know what you mean. When I was a teenager if I started a side business I would not want to have been compelled to go photograph two guys kissing and holding hands. Frankly I don't think my parents would want me to have to do that either. But on the other hand knowing how this country is if you say you can turn down gay business you know who is next on the list to be turned down and it just goes on from there. You are going to have to check every business' website to see if you are on the excluded people's list before booking a reservation. It's going to be totally dysfunctional.

    I have fairly traditional views regarding family. But I also realize that we live in a complex society. There really is no perfect solution. I would prefer if I took my 5 year old to Chucky Cheese that there was zero chance he could see a gay couple kiss. I simply do not want to have to explain it. But what can I do? We can't bar gay couples. They have rights too.

  8. #37

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jebediah View Post
    Hang on a second dude. If you read the link the pharmacists did not stock plan B at their OWN pharmacy. That makes total sense.


    .


    Yes, Christians have often criticized the courts. But as anti-religion laws proliferate, the courts may be a wall of defense. The same judge that struck down the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about gays has made a ruling that protects religious conscience:

    A federal court in Tacoma, Washington, struck down a Washington law that requires pharmacists to dispense the morning-after pill even when doing so would violate their religious beliefs. The court held that the law violates the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion.

    “Today’s decision sends a very clear message: No individual can be forced out of her profession solely because of her religious beliefs,” said Luke Goodrich, Deputy National Litigation Director at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The Becket Fund, together with the Seattle-based law firm of Ellis, Li & McKinstry, represents the plaintiffs in the case. “If the state allows pharmacies to refer patients elsewhere for economic, business, and convenience reasons, it has to allow them to refer for reasons of conscience,” added Mr. Goodrich.

    The plaintiffs in the case are a family-owned pharmacy (Ralph’s Thriftway) and two individual pharmacists (Margo Thelen and Rhonda Mesler) who cannot in good conscience dispense Plan B (“the morning-after pill”) or ella (“the week-after pill”). These individuals believe that human life begins at the moment of fertilization, and that these drugs destroy human life because they can operate by destroying a fertilized egg, or embryo. Rather than dispensing those drugs, they refer patients to one of dozens of nearby pharmacies that stock and dispense them.

    In 2007, the Washington State Board of Pharmacy passed new regulations making it illegal to refer patients to neighboring pharmacies for reasons of conscience, despite allowing them to refer patients elsewhere for a wide variety of business, economic, or convenience reasons. Because of the regulations, Margo Thelen lost her job; Rhonda Mesler was told she would have to transfer to another state; and Kevin Stormans, the owner of Ralph’s Thriftway, faced repeated investigations and threats of punishment from the State Board of Pharmacy.

    “The Board of Pharmacy’s 2007 rules are not neutral, and they are not generally applicable,” the Court explained. “They were designed instead to force religious objectors to dispense Plan B, and they sought to do so despite the fact that refusals to deliver for all sorts of secular reasons were permitted.”

    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/02/24/...l-struck-down/
    Last edited by Marine1; Jun 05 2012 at 12:34 PM.
    Beam me up Scottie, no intelligent life down here.

  9. #38

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jebediah View Post
    I deal in reality not fantasy scenarios.
    That's funny, cause you are creating the fantasy, or in your own words "slick talk".

    The fantasy is that the photographer's objections had nothing to do with whether the couple had a wedding licence or not. Sure ,telling a lie sometimes might prevent a situation from becoming worse, but still, a lie is a lie and some people don't believe in lying and do believe in standing up for what they think is right and wrong.....whether they themselves are right or wrong in the eyes of others.
    If a person needs to resort to insults and rudeness, then they have already lost the argument. -- Anonymous

    Judge a man not by the color of his skin but by the contents of his character". -- MLK

    There are plenty of cases of racism in this world that deserve our attention, that we don't need to 'create' racial situations where none exist.

  10. #39

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jebediah View Post
    Yeah I am not coming out swinging on this one. I think the situation could have been avoided with some slick talk but I don't know how I feel about the law. I personally don't think if you are a Christian you really need to make a song and dance about it. I have certain Christian beliefs but I find a way to get along without offending anyone. There was a way out for the woman.

    As far as the law... I don't know. On the one hand I know what you mean. When I was a teenager if I started a side business I would not want to have been compelled to go photograph two guys kissing and holding hands. Frankly I don't think my parents would want me to have to do that either. But on the other hand knowing how this country is if you say you can turn down gay business you know who is next on the list to be turned down and it just goes on from there. You are going to have to check every business' website to see if you are on the excluded people's list before booking a reservation. It's going to be totally dysfunctional.

    I have fairly traditional views regarding family. But I also realize that we live in a complex society. There really is no perfect solution. I would prefer if I took my 5 year old to Chucky Cheese that there was zero chance he could see a gay couple kiss. I simply do not want to have to explain it. But what can I do? We can't bar gay couples. They have rights too.
    I don't care if two guys kiss or two girls kiss. Make out? Well, I don't want to see anyone do that. Happiness is all too rare for me to stomp on anyone else's.

    My issue with compulsion isn't even about gays. It's about compulsion in general. I don't think that a free society compels you to do any task for any reason. Public services, yes. You have to eat, you have to travel, you have to use the potty. You don't have to get married, you don't even have to have photography at the wedding. If a gay couple were denied a place to eat that would be entirely different in my book than someone saying that they choose not to drive over to a church or park, set up equipment, and then shoot a wedding for several hours, especially when they feel their religious beliefs are such that they don't want to take pictures of the event. I would say the same if a gay photographer didn't want to handle a Catholic wedding.

  11. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grokmaster View Post
    A business owner in the UNited States is FREE to choose his/her customers, and sexual preference is NO EXCEPTION.

    The judge is COMPLETELY over stepping the court's authority.
    I disagree with the principle of the law but I do believe the judge called this one correctly. Since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 you essentially can't discriminate against someone because of something they are. The photographer really should have understood this fact.

    That being said I'm sure the sky wouldn't have fallen if someone else took their pictures and let that woman hang her business on her beliefs, be they unpopular.
    "The plans differ; the planners are all alike..."
    - Frédéric Bastiat

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