What about a singer?
VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu
Thu Dec 17 11:29:10 PST 2009
I wanted to probe the extent to which supporters of the New Mexico court's decision in Elane Photography are relying on the perceived low expressive content of wedding photography, and to what extent their rationale (like the court's) is broader. Say that a wedding singer refused to sing at an interfaith wedding; his view was that the wedding was a profanation of the religious tradition, and that the religious songs he will be asked to sing would likewise be profaned by his performance of them at this wedding. (That might not be a view that most of us would share, but assume that it's sincere.) Or say that he refused to sing songs associated with the religion of the wedding participants, and say that a state court concluded that as a matter of state law this constituted religious discrimination (just as the New Mexico court concluded that as a matter of New Mexico law the refusal to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, focused on the character of the ceremony and not the sexual orientation of the participants as such, constituted sexual orientation discrimination).
Would the wedding singer have a good First Amendment objection to being compelled by antidiscrimination law to sing at the wedding? Or would we say that since no-one would really see the wedding singer as personally endorsing the songs that he sings, he may be compelled to sing the words, presumably imbuing them with feeling and an appearance of sincerity, in keeping with his felt obligations of professionalism?
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