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(Sources: The New York Times here and here, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Life Site News.) ■ Elane Photography, New Mexico: The state Supreme Court ruled in August that a New Mexico photography business owned by Elaine Huguenin and her husband Jon could not legally deny services to same-sex couples.
The owners were reportedly open to holding same-sex ceremonies as long as customers were notified that the events personally violated their Catholic faith. The inn had to settle the case in 2012, paying a ,000 fine and putting double that amount in a charitable trust.In January, co-owner Aaron Klein had denied a request to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding.“The Bible tells us to flee from sin,” his wife and business namesake, Melissa Klein told a Fox News columnist recently. Protests, boycotts, and a storm of media attention—much of it negative—ensued. Then, activists broadened the boycott: any wedding vendor that did business with Sweet Cakes would be targeted.One of the women had filed a complaint with the state Human Rights Commission, which ruled against the photographers in 2008, prompting an appeals process that led to the high court decision. (Sources: press releases and news reports including the Catholic News Agency and the Santa Fe New Mexican.The case is discussed further below.) ■ Arlene’s Flowers, Washington: A florist refused to provide flowers to a gay wedding last March and now owner Baronelle Stutzman is facing a lawsuit from the state Attorney General.
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The First Amendment, we are told, will protect religious groups from persecution for their views about marriage. Is the fate of Catholic Charities of Boston an aberration or a sign of things to come?