Many people do not get the idea that discrimination is wrong because, eventually, it comes right back at you. For FOX News anchor Shannon Bream, the fact that she is a woman does not stop her from defending a New Mexico photographer who was sued for refusing to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony due to religious beliefs.
Bream suggests that it should be alright to discriminate against lesbians and gays on the grounds of religious liberty.
Of course, there are religions out there which discriminate against women, so it should be just fine for women to be discriminated against if the store owner’s religious beliefs do not allow men to interact with women except under specific conditions.
Bream covered the recent decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court which ruled without dissent that Elane Huguenin, the owner of Elane Photography, had violated the law by refusing to photograph the religious ceremony between two lesbians. She brought in Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Jordan Lorence- the man who lost the case- to discuss this in a one-sided interview.
Therein, they criticized the courts without giving any kind of fair or balanced discussion about the issues. Instead, they claimed it was an attack on religious liberty.
Bream states in the interview that “So many parts of the opinion raise a lot of questions. The concurring judge … said that the Huguenins, the couple here, have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different. What about the Huguenins?”
Lorence responds with “Well that’s exactly right. In a free society, we have to, people of different beliefs have to learn how to get along. There were plenty of photographers available, willing to shoot this same-sex ceremony. They got them. The Huguenins just need to be excused. This can’t be used in an authoritarian, coercive way to force people to basically promote the messages that they don’t agree with.”
The Huguenins were not being used to convey a message that they do not agree with. Instead, they were being hired to take photographs for a private religious ceremony. That they refused was illegal. Any group could be substituted for ‘lesbian’ in this reasoning.
There are religions that believe Blacks are evil. Should a person who subscribes to that religion be given the ability to discriminate against this group based on religious liberty? What about those religions that believe that Catholics are the spawn of Satan or that believe that Muslims are unholy? Should a Christian photographer be allowed to refuse to photograph a Jewish wedding?
In fact, Justice Richard C. Bosson, the author of the concurring opinion that the two mention, stated that “The Huguenins today can no more turn away customers on the basis of sexual orientation–photographing a same-sex marriage ceremony–than they could refuse to photograph African-Americans or Muslims.”
Bream, of course, continued on with the idiocy claiming that the lawsuit is some kind of secret effort to advance same-sex marriage in New Mexico even though it predates the attempt by about six years.
Bream also tries to claim that the SCONM was wrong in claiming that Elane Photography violated the couple’s constitutional rights. She states that “What is the constitutionally protected right here, because [Elane Huguenin] wasn’t performing weddings, she wasn’t — which is not legal in New Mexico anyway. I mean, she was asked to photograph a commitment ceremony. Is it the constitutional right to photographs? I seriously am confused by what the judge was referencing there.”
Bream did not read the rest of Bosson’s opinion. Actually, she likely never bothered to read it at all, and instead has read the lines handed to her by the executives at FOX.
Bosson states “In a constitutional form of government, personal, religious, and moral beliefs, when acted upon to the detriment of someone else’s rights, have constitutional limits. One is free to believe, think and speak as one’s conscience, or God, dictates. But when actions, even religiously inspired, conflict with other constitutionally protected rights–in Loving the right to be free from invidious racial discrimination–then there must be some accommodation. Recall that Barnette was all about the students; their exercise of First Amendment rights did not infringe upon anyone else. The Huguenins cannot make that claim. Their refusal to do business with the same-sex couple in this case, no matter how religiously inspired, was an affront to the legal rights of that couple, the right granted them under New Mexico law to engage in the commercial marketplace free from discrimination.”
Media Matters notes that Lorence’s organization has been working internationally to criminalize homosexuality. They also note that “But Elane Photography wasn’t being asked to endorse marriage equality; it was being asked to photograph a gay couple’s private commitment ceremony. The ‘message’ Elane photography objected to was the idea that gay couples exist. And a personal objection to the mere idea of homosexuality simply isn’t a good enough reason to legally discriminate against same-sex couples.”
It goes beyond that. The US Constitution offers a dual protection of Freedom of Religion. The first is the freedom from religious harassment and religious establishment. The second is the freedom to worship as one pleases.