A friend of mine, a colleague and excellent photographer who happens to be a defense-of-marriage person posted a status update that erupted into a firestorm of comments on Facebook. His claim was that people like me are “intolerant” of his beliefs.
To those people, I might say disagreement is not intolerance. I’m not asking you to change your beliefs, I only hope that you be tolerant to others theirs. As for the bible, it says many things about marriage, some of which you’d be hard pressed to defend now. Some of “the other side,” you know, love us some scripture too.
But more interesting than that rehash would be the part I find fascinating. In the course of the comments he brought up an interesting case that apparently has been making the rounds:
A same sex couple in Albuquerque asked a photographer, Elaine Huguenin, to shoot their commitment ceremony. The photographer declined, saying her Christian beliefs prevented her from sanctioning same-sex unions. The couple sued, and the New Mexico Human Rights Commission found the photographer guilty of discrimination. It ordered her to pay the lesbian couple’s legal fees ($6,600). The photographer is appealing.
Hmm, at first blush, I side with the photographer. But then a little thought breaks it all apart.
What if I take the same statement up above and replace “same sex couple” with “mixed race couple”? Well in that case, it’s clearly “stepping in it.” Oh, the hard bigotry I engaged in at first blush!
Not only that, the damages were just the legal fees.
The issue, of course, is as a photographer we understand that there is a first amendment right in this case. A photographer is an artist and should feel free to exercise their first amendment rights.
When it comes to understanding the issue at hand, I guess the biggest mistake was the e-mail trail that the photographer left. No doubt, we engage in soft bigotry all the time—God knows I have! My position though is best expressed by Photo Business News: “Yes, you’re a business.”
Still, I’ll be the first to admit, that it’s a tough pill for a religious social-conservative to swallow.
I understand. That doesn’t mean I agree.