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The ‘Human Rights’ Juggernaut

Does the First Amendment protect wedding ­photographers?

Sep 9, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 01 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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Now, however, after seven years of wending its way through New Mexico’s legal system—seven years marked by a great deal of aggressive legal campaigning across the country in support of gay marriage—the recent New Mexico supreme court ruling means that Elane Photography has exhausted its appeals at the state level. The New Mexico decision can now be appealed directly to the Supreme Court. 

It’s an excellent opportunity for America’s highest court to ensure that the First Amendment’s free speech and free exercise clauses remain meaningful. If the Court declines to hear the case or arrives at a ruling that echoes New Mexico’s decision, then state and local governments—and their unaccountable human rights commissions, where full legal protections for the accused do not apply—will suddenly become powerful arbiters of which classes of Americans enjoy constitutional protection and which do not. 

Mark Hemingway is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.

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