Supreme Court Won’t Hear an Appeal from Wedding Photog in Same-Sex Dispute


A widely-reported legal case involving a same-sex couple and the photography studio that refused to shoot their wedding reached its conclusion earlier today when the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, putting an end to nearly eight years of litigation.

The dispute began in 2006 when photographers Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin told same-sex couple Vanessa Willock and Misti Collinsworth that they only covered ‘traditional weddings.’

Willock and Collinsworth were able to find someone else easily, but the incident prompted Willock to file a complaint against Elane Photography with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission, claiming that the studio’s policy violated the state’s anti-discrimination law.


Since then the case has made its way up the ladder of courts within New Mexico, each ruling going in favor of Willock and Collinsworth until, finally, Elane Photography was forced to file an appeal with the Supreme Court itself.

The Huguenins’ argument maintained that choosing not to photograph same-sex couples was an expression of their freedom of speech; however, the state’s courts have decided it was no different than if they had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different race.

The Supreme Court’s decision not to rule in this case leaves standing the decision by the state’s highest court, putting a legal period at the end of this particular story without giving law makers from several states the ‘legal guidance’ they were hoping this precedence setting-case would give them had it been taken on by the SCOTUS.

(via USA Today)

Image credits: Photographs by Bruce Ellefson, Alliance Defending Freedom.

  • Mr Hogwallop

    Maybe they were being diplomatic about your jeans…. ;^)

  • Ed Rhodes

    You are the only one showing ignorance. You paraphrase the Old Testament and ignore the New Testament completely. The intolerance has been by you. I only wish for people to be able to choose with whom they do business with.

    This court ruling amounts to forced labor, and goes against the free market and freedom of religion. I’m sorry that it is such a hard concept for some to grasp.

  • Display_Name

    If your religion mandates discrimination I want nothing to do with it. You can keep it. Slavery is forced labor. nd No where does the bible condemn slavery. So you should be used to it by now.

  • Ed Rhodes

    LOL, your reading comprehension is so laughable. You are the one that brought race into the picture. Kudos on following the “how to win an argument you are hopelessly losing playbook.”

    Good day, Sir.

  • Lynda Bowyer

    There’s one simple rule if it comes to declining a job that you don’t want to shoot…

    “I’m sorry but my diary is full.”

    Either that or pitch a price the way of the proposed client that is completely off the scale that they would never engage with your business.

    Irrespective of political and social stance on certain issues, photographers should still have the basic liberty to choose whom they should or should not do business with. There’s no law that says the photographer HAS to engage in business with everyone who approaches them for work…. is there?

  • Display_Name

    You are right. Arguing this with you is pointless.
    1. My point of view won and yours lost in the real world and will keep winning.
    2. The future trajectory human history is against you and your ilk.

    Peace Out

  • Display_Name

    Rape Marriage
    Deuteronomy 22:28-29
    28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives

  • lexplex

    Are you saying that the majority of the world is against the majority of the world? Or that only the minority are in favour of the majority? How can the whole world prosecute itself? In what court does this global prosecution take place?

  • lexplex

    That’s cool, TImothy. Next time I see a bunch of children I want to murder I’ll use the same argument, since it’s condoned in the Bible. (4 Kings 2:23-24)

    Also, are you ugly? If so, I’ve got bad news for you. God hates you. (Leviticus 21:17-24)

    I’ve got even worse news for you. Because you’ve misinterpreted a text you yourself barely understand, and tried to use that false interpretation to suit your own agenda, God is going to kill you. (Deuteronomy 18:20)

    So, if God exists, you’d probably best say goodbye to the people you love.

  • Jonno Wade

    Yes, because no wedding photographer EVER does any work before the wedding starts, so it’s always just working with the couple as it is happening. Maybe you should stop trying to be snarky online to people and think before you type.

    Unless of course all of the wedding you have worked, you were hired as the event began and you don’t ever scout venues to plan your shots, or meet months in advance several times over to ensure that you get everything done the way the bride wants. Weddings are all about the bride and groom and meting expectations for them. Shooting a wedding is lots of work ahead of the date. That is what I was getting at. Sorry that you only wanted to try to rip someone apart online.

  • Jeff

    Is it illegal to refuse to photograph a wedding at Westboro Baptist Church?

  • mj

    lol – you think that hasn’t happened a hundred times before??

  • U_R_A_pedo

    Here is the true face of a creepy pedophile.

  • JustFedUp86

    No, you are the one “all over the place.” Gay marriage wasn’t even legal in New Mexico at the time, so all that was or could really be done was a commitment ceremony. It wasn’t a marriage so it might as well be two people deciding to be blessed by the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and claiming a special class as a result.

    However, really this does get me with the irony, you’re all for ” pagan, voodoo or snake charming fundamentalist from being denied based off their religion” yet you are for a Christian photographer essentially being asked to deny her religion?

  • Ben Chompers

    Denying a gay person a service based on orientation was protected, it doesn’t matter that their wedding was not legal at the time. The protections equally apply to a plumber refusing to fix a clogged toilet because a gay man owns it. They asked her to show up and photograph what they were doing. It’s only now that you’re grasping for straws that them calling it a marriage when that wasn’t legal at the time becomes some problem.

    And again, you’re confused on individuals and businesses. In order to operate a business, one has to play by the rules of the state, and in this case, discrimination is not allowed. Plumber or photographer refusing a pagan/lesbian/voodoo client? Discrimination and illegal. Telling a pagan/lesbian/voodoo plumber/photographer they must obey the law, not discrimination.