us_supreme_court_refuses_to_hear_anti_gay_photographer_caseThe US Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of an anti-gay photographer who refused to take pictures of a same-sex commitment ceremony.

Elaine Huguenin, the co-owner of Elane Photography in New Mexico, said that she wouldn’t take the job for the lesbian couple because to do so would violate her religious beliefs.

Last year, she and the business were found to be in contravention of the state’s non-discrimination law by the New Mexico Supreme Court.

They claimed in turn that there were being discriminated against on the basis of their religious values and appealed the matter to the US Supreme Court, the nation’s highest court.

On Monday, that court announced that it had decided not to hear the case, which means that the earlier court ruling against the business will stand.

“When you make the decision to hold yourself out as a business that serves the general public, you have to be willing to actually serve the general public, which includes a diverse group of people whose values and beliefs may be different than the values and beliefs of the business owner,” commented Joshua Block, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.

A number of US states have attempted to introduce laws that would allow businesses to refuse to provide services to gays and lesbians on the basis of religious belief.

One such law, inspired by the Elane Photography case, was passed in Arizona last month but was vetoed by the state’s governor. A similar law was approved by the governor of Mississippi this month. Other so-called “religious freedom” bills are pending in Missouri and Oklahoma.

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