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Christian photographer declined to photograph same-sex “ceremony” based on her beliefs supporting marriage as one man and one woman

Related Case: Elane Photography v. Willock

WHO:  ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence
WHAT:  Available for media interviews following hearing in Willock v. Elane Photography
WHEN:  Immediately following hearing, which begins at 9 a.m. MST, Jan. 28-29
WHERE:  New Mexico Human Rights Division, Dept. of Workforce Solutions, TIWA Building, 4th Floor Conference Room, 401 Broadway NE, Albuquerque

Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence will be available for media interviews following a hearing before the New Mexico Human Rights Division Monday and Tuesday.  ADF attorneys represent a Christian photographer being tried under state antidiscrimination laws for declining to photograph a same-sex “commitment ceremony.”

“Christians shouldn’t be penalized for abiding by their beliefs.  The state cannot force unwilling people to promote a message they disagree with and thereby violate their conscience,” said Lorence.  “The state’s prosecution violates our client’s First Amendment rights.  The government cannot make people choose between their faith and their job.”

A same-sex couple asked Elaine Huguenin, co-owner with her husband of Elane Photography, to photograph a “commitment ceremony” that the two women wanted to hold. Huguenin declined because her Christian beliefs are in conflict with the message communicated by the ceremony.

The same-sex couple filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Division, which is now trying Elane Photography under state antidiscrimination laws for sexual orientation discrimination.  The agency will hold a hearing Monday and Tuesday.

Neither marriage nor civil unions are legal between members of the same sex in New Mexico.

ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.

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