Photographer faces law suit

Started Aug 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
santamonica812
Contributing MemberPosts: 818Gear list
Like?
Re: Christ commanded to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's.
In reply to Peter A. Stavrakoglou, Sep 7, 2013

What law in the USA forces someone to violate their own religious principles? Is this what it has come to, forcing Christians to violate their beliefs? You can choose to work for whomever you wish but asking a photographer to take part in a celebration of something that against his/her principles is wrong.

There are, literally, hundred and hundreds of such laws. From the 13th and 14th amendments and the Civil Rights Act, to the ADA (American with Disabilities Act), to countless state anti-discrimination laws.

Note that all of these laws do allow religious organizations to continue to discriminate. So, for example, until very recently, the Mormon church refused to allow blacks to be religious leaders within the church. The Catholic church does not allow women to be religious leaders. These are all fine. Religions can be as prejudiced as they want. (The Mormon's have now changed this position, although they were not legally required to; the Catholic church has--lawfully!!--decided to continue with this religiously-permissible discrimination.)

But, as many people have already pointed out, what we allow organized religions to do is NOT the same as what we allow people (religious or not) to do in their day-to-day lives. If you want to work as a church photographer, doing only church weddings, then you are free to refuse to photograph inter-racial marriages, gay marriages, etc. (Of course, you probably cannot go out and photograph non-church weddings under this hypo.)

I actually have some sympathy for your position...it's a good general rule that people should be allowed to choose their clients. And this is especially true for people who make the decision to work for themselves--one of the big advantages seems like it should be that we can pick and choose the work we do.

But, as a society, we have decided as a group (ie, through passing anti-discrimination laws) that the advantages of giving photographers (bakers, et al) this freedom is outweighed by the rights of gays (women, minorities, religious groups, etc) to be free from discrimination.

You may disagree with this societal judgment. I STRONGLY support your right to not only disagree, but your right to loudly and repeatedly object, and for you right to encourage us to change/revoke these anti-discrimination laws. Similarly, I am sure you encourage me and others to--just as loudly and repeatedly--to argue for a position that is opposite yours. I take this position knowing that I will lose a bit of my freedom to pick my clients. But all those people in those many disadvantaged groups will gain the extra freedom of being safe from discrimination in their day-to-day non-religious lives, and--on balance--that seems a fair trade-off to me.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Post (hide subjects)Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark post MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow