Saturday, August 24, 2013

Who's Next?

Who's next?
I'm probably going to get hammered for this (because how dare I have an opinion of my own which does not follow the opinion of any political group) but after reading the New Mexico Supreme Court's opinion in Elane Photography, LLC v. Vanessa Willock, I'm pulling off the gloves.

See, back in 2006 Vanessa Willock went to Elane Photography and asked that they photograph her upcoming wedding.  Turns out Ms. Willock is gay and the people who owned Elane Photography were not.  In fact, the people at Elane Photography were abjectly opposed to gay marriage and they out and out refused to work for Ms. Willock.  Ms. Willock did not like that Elane Photography wouldn't work for them for any sum of money and so Ms. Willock sued Elane Photography under New Mexico's Human Rights Act (NMHRA).  Basically, what this act says is that being "gay" (or, more to the point, a person's sexual orientation) is as much a suspect class as the color of a person's skin.

The problem I see with this case is not so much a freedom of religion or 1st amendment freedom of speech.  No, it goes much, MUCH deeper.  I see Elane Photography, LLC as a threat to the 14th Amendment and everyone's freedom not to be a slave.  

In essence, the Land of Enchantment is saying that we (the court) can force you to work for whomever we say you will work for (as long as we can come up with any inane excuse couched in constitutionality).  
  • If the court says you have to work for Muslims (or Jews or prostestants or whatever religous group - all suspect classes under the NMHRA), you must work for all religious groups.
  • If we say you have to work for necropheliacs (a sexual orientation and "suspect" class), you must work for necropheliacs.
  • If we say you have to work for white slave traders (i.e. a pimp and a possible suspect class), you have to work for white slave traders.
  • If we say you have to work for free (serving indigent people - another potential suspect class), you must work for free.  

Screw the reasons we come up with - if we say you have to do it, you have to do it!

Any way you look at it, it's a downward spiral to losing even more of your precious civil rights.  Don't think so?  How about a few examples to whet your civil rights appetite:

Example 1:   You're an outspoken gay advocate and have a catering business.  An adamantly, outspoken anti-gay group wants you to cater their party.  Must you work for them?  Provide hor dourves with a smile?  Probably not because being anti-gay isn't "suspect" enough.

Example 2:  You're a member of the clergy who preaches against gay marriage.  A gay couple comes to you and wants you to perform their marriage.  You decline.  Think you won't be sued for "discriminating" against the gay couple?

Example 3:  You're a doctor who refuses to perform abortions.  A gay couple comes into your office and tells you that even through they've been artificially inseminated, that they now don't want the birth.  Do you refuse to perform the abortion or face prosecution from the ACLU?

Example 4:  You're currently serving in the United States military and are a member of a Christian religion.  Your commanding officer is an outspoken lesbian who is ranting about another officer who is against gay marriage and orders you to tell her what you think.  When you tell her you believe marriage is between a man and a woman, she relives you of duty (in essence - she says "You're Fired!").  Do you say nothing and let it slide or do you fight for your job?

OK, maybe #3 is a bit extreme, but it could happen and if it does, what are you going to do?  I mean, now is the time to figure it out, people - because if you don't, you're going to be facing some stiff litigation down the road.  In any event what all this boils down to is yet another example of big brother stepping on the freedoms of we the people.