Wedding Photographers

Scarberry, Mark Mark.Scarberry at pepperdine.edu
Sun May 10 19:31:52 PDT 2009


I hope Paul will consider seriously whether photography is expression. Any photographers on the list?
 
Suppose a professional writer is asked by a prominent person (whom Paul would consider a homophobe) to help him write a book that will present the anti gay rights position very sympathetically. Does Paul think the writer should have to take the job? Isn't photography also a matter of expression protected by the First Amendment? 
 
Can the state require a photographer to celebrate something he believes is wrong any more than it can require children to say the Pledge of Allegiance?
 
The job of a wedding photographer is to celebrate the event in pictures using all of his or her artistic talent. That obviously is a kind of participation in and endorsement of the event.
 
Mark Scarberry
Pepperdine

________________________________

From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu on behalf of Paul Finkelman
Sent: Sun 5/10/2009 7:07 PM
To: 'mairi morrison'; David Bernstein
Cc: conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: Re: Wedding Photographers


we don't know the facts of this case beyond the simple fact of litigation.  Suppose he is the only photography studio around; or the best in the business?  And you want to hire him because he is good.  Can he refuse to take your business on arbitrary grounds of gender (or race or religion)?  '

Maybe I am missing something here but no one has articulated how taking the pictures is either participation or endorsement.  I know someone who took pictures of a KKK march in Austin.  Did that make him a participant or meant he was endorsing it?

The larger question remains.  If you have a business open to the public, to all comers, can you refuse service on the basis of gender, race, religion, ethnicity of the consumer?

----
Paul Finkelman
President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law
Albany Law School
80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208

518-445-3386 (p)
518-445-3363 (f)

pfink at albanylaw.edu

www.paulfinkelman.com

--- On Sun, 5/10/09, David Bernstein <DavidEBernstein at aol.com> wrote:



	From: David Bernstein <DavidEBernstein at aol.com>
	Subject: Wedding Photographers
	To: "'mairi morrison'" <morrismai at aol.com>, paul.finkelman at yahoo.com
	Cc: conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
	Date: Sunday, May 10, 2009, 9:47 PM
	
	

	This analogy only works for the photographer who refuses to take pictures of homosexuals.  That's not the example Rick Duncan was talking about.  He gave the example of a Christian photographer who refuses specifically to take pictures at a gay wedding.  That strikes me as obviously within the realm of private conscience, just like an Orthodox Jewish photographer who wouldn't take pictures at a Buddhist wedding (to the prohibition of having anything to do with idol worship), or, say, a Catholic photographer who refuses to take photos at weddings where one or both parties are divorced.

	 

	Even more important, why would anyone want someone to take photos at their wedding if the photographer found the wedding morally objectionable? Such a photographer is not likely to do a good job.  The answer is, they don't really want such a photographer at their wedding, and would much rather have any one of hundreds of other photographers who would be happy to do that wedding.  So when they sue or report the photographer to the local "human rights" commission, it's not because they actually want the photographer to serve them, rather they are trying to punish him for having values they object to.  Such intolerance, with no angle of religion, is, IMHO, much worse than the photographer's actions (assuming he simply politely declined the job).

	 

	Paul Finkelman wrote:

	
	
	

The Christian pacifist does not put up a sign saying he will make tanks, and then refuse to make them.  

The photographer says he will take pictures.  His refusal to do so is no different than the  Christians who said they will not serve blacks. (AND there were Millions of them all with the blessings of their ministers)..   Bigotry is bigotry.  This is bigotry.

The person who boycotts a store does not have an obligation to shop at every store.  The public business has a legal obligation to serve all who come to the store.  

That you cannot see this distinction surprises me.

Would you say the Christian undertaker can refuse to prepare the body of a gay person for burial.  Can the Christian hair dresser refuse to cut a gay man's hair?  Can the shoe store saleswomen refuses to serve the g/l customer?  

Can the  Christian waiter refuse to serve the gay couple at the restaurant?  Or the interracial couple (say he went to Bob Jones).

We dealt with this on race years ago.  Time to overcome your fears and hatreds.  You do not endorse the way people live by engaging in commercial transactions with them?



----
Paul Finkelman
President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law
Albany Law School
80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany , NY 12208

518-445-3386 (p)
518-445-3363 (f)

pfink at albanylaw.edu

www.paulfinkelman.com <http://www.paulfinkelman..com/> 

--- On Sun, 5/10/09, Rick Duncan <nebraskalawprof at yahoo.com> wrote:


From: Rick Duncan <nebraskalawprof at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Use of homophobe
To: conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Date: Sunday, May 10, 2009, 12:53 PM

Paul Finkelman writes:  

I guess i have no problem calling people homophobes, anti-Semites, Christophobes and racists if that is what they are.  If you have strong religous beliefs against certain actitivies you will presumably not hate the people who behave that way, you will merely not want to support their behavior.  So you oppose same sex marriage.  Your refusal to take their picture, or serve them in yous business as you would other people, however, is a form of discrimination that is the same as racism or anti-semitism or Chrisophobia.  



There is a long tradition of people refusing to participate in activities
they believe are sinful or immoral. The Christian photographer who
refuses to participate in a same sex wedding is exercising the same kind
of conscientious objection as the following:

--the religious pacifist worker who refuses to work on tanks or other kinds of weapons 
--the anti-apartheid activists who refused to patronize businesses that operated in South Africa
--the labor union supporter who refuses to purchase non-union grapes

It is a common and very proper practice for people to decline to participate in commercial transactions for moral reasons. The Christian photographer who refuses to work at a homosexual wedding is acting in good conscience; he is not suffering from any kind of disorder other than to have deep religious principles that conflict with "gay rights" laws.

Cheers, Rick Duncan

Rick Duncan 
Welpton Professor of Law 
University of Nebraska College of Law 
Lincoln , NE 68583-0902



"And against the constitution I have never raised a storm,It's the scoundrels who've corrupted it that I want to reform" --Dick Gaughan (from the song, Thomas Muir of Huntershill)





 


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