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US: Legal group defends photographers who refused same-sex wedding on basis of ‘artistic freedom’

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  1. Warren Peace 13 Nov 2013, 1:53pm

    The same argument used to be used by bigots to defend their right to discriminate against interracial couples and to keep slaves and indentured servants just because it’s in your book co authored by your imaginary friend in the sky does not make it moral to discriminate. I don’t like to associate with bigots but I often have to work with and/or for them here in Texass!

  2. michaelandfred 13 Nov 2013, 2:38pm

    Such stupid logic. Then work for free! When an artist is consigned by a customer to do a project, he’s performer to the clients wishes, not his artistic freedom. You’re in the service industry, not selling your work in a flat in the village. Just like a clothing store or surf shop or bakery. You take pictures of weddings for cash. You get a license from the state or you CANNOT run your business. That license is backed by laws WE THE PEOPLE have decided every business must follow. One of those is that you cannot discriminate based on religion, sex, disability, race and in this state sexual orientation.

    If you cannot follow, or will not follow the laws that every other business owner follows, then don’t run a business. Do this is a hobby for friends without a license and then you can be free to be as bigoted as you wish. But if you run it with a license, under the law, you will follow all the laws. Being a bigot is not an artistic expression.

    1. Well said, M&F!

  3. Tom Cotner 13 Nov 2013, 3:25pm

    If any business chooses not to provide services for a particular client, that business is free to do so, but not free to brag about not providing services to gay people. Just say you have a full schedule, or whatever — even that you do not wish to work that day. Saying it is against your religion or sensitivities, will just get you into trouble. Those idiots should know that by now. But, then, no one ever said they had any sense.

    1. Spanner1960 13 Nov 2013, 4:56pm

      “If any business chooses not to provide services for a particular client, that business is free to do so.”
      Maybe in the US, but not here. If you offer yourself to trade publicly, then you must accept one and all. Anything less is considered discriminatory.

      From October 2010, the Equality Act protects people against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation by businesses and public services. It is illegal for businesses including banks, estate agents, hotels and bars to turn away gay customers or discriminate against them when providing goods or services.

  4. If the photographer involved is providing a ‘service’ for which they charge (which they surely are), then they may not refuse to provide that service on ANY discriminatory grounds. If they have a ‘moral’ objection to photographing a same-sex wedding, then they should find a job in which you would not have to make the choice. What next? Refusing to shoot a mixed-race wedding? Refusing to shoot a christening because the photographer is Jewish? Where would it end ….?

  5. Frank Boulton 16 Nov 2013, 7:42am

    Different countries have different legislation relating to discrimination. Even with the best legislation, bigots will deny jobs, goods or services on the basis of race, gender or sexuality. They’ll just make excuses such as having a prior engagement, workload or a candidate with better experience. I’m not taking the side of bigots. This is just a reality of life. When booking a wedding photographer or celebrant, it’s important to ask if they’re happy with a same-sex wedding. I wouldn’t want the best day of my life spoiled by some bigot at the last moment. If they agree to do a same-sex wedding and then renege, you’re in a much stronger position to take legal action.

  6. If you’re a nature photographer being asked to photograph a gay couple’s wedding, sure turn it down claiming “artistic freedom” because that’s not what you take pictures of, whereas if you’re a WEDDING photographer, you have no excuse for not photographing their WEDDING, other than that you’re a bigoted homophobe.

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