You may recall the case of the New Mexico company named Elane Photographers that I wrote about in December that was sued because they refused to provide their services to a same-sex wedding because of religious objections. Their case went all the way up to the New Mexico Supreme Court that ruled against them, saying that as they were a public accommodation offering their services to all, they did not have the right to arbitrarily deny service to people without good grounds and that denying them to same-sex couples violated the New Mexico Human Rights Act that prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The company appealed to the US Supreme Court but yesterday their request for a hearing was turned down. As is their custom, no reasons were given for not hearing the case.
One reason may be that in their appeal, Elane shifted the emphasis to whether the photographers were practicing artistic expression as opposed to providing a routine service and thus were exempt from the public accommodation requirement.
Another reason for rejection may be that the New Mexico Supreme Court ruling had suggested a simple remedy that the photographers and people like them could follow.
Businesses that choose to be public accommodations must comply with the NMHRA, although such businesses retain their First Amendment rights to express their religious or political beliefs. They may, for example, post a disclaimer on their website or in their studio advertising that they oppose same-sex marriage but that they comply with applicable antidiscrimination laws. (p.4)
Such a sign would surely keep away same-sex couples who would not want to engage the services of a hostile vendor at their wedding. The problem is that nowadays the tide has shifted so much that people who object to equal rights for the LGBT community sometimes want to hide their views.