Elise Hilton has a post at Acton PowerBlog (here) on a recent decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court “in a ruling about a Christian photographer who declined to photograph the commitment ceremony of a same-sex couple, stated that this violated the state’s Human Rights Act.”
Two thoughts come to mind.
First, while I agree with the Catholic bishops (here) that the moral and policy question is whether or not religious believers “can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans.” But at least among many social progressives, the answer to this is a resounding “No!” religious believers have nothing to offer and that we “will continue to have a free, creative, and robust civil society” because the State (and the State alone) determines “who gets to contribute to the common good, and how they get to do it.”In response to homosexual rights advocates all I can say is beware. In asserting today the right to re-define marriage in a way that contradicts the biological facts, the State implicitly claims as well the right to re-define homosexuality. Once we accept that marriage is a mere social construct subject to bureaucratic definition we surrender to the state the power to define all relationships according to the current political fashion.
Far from advancing the civil rights of homosexuals, the re-definition of marriage undermines the very foundation of their rights along with the rights of everyone else.
Second, I see where in the NM case the Christian photographer must compromise—but what compromise is the couple required to make? In asking this I’m not trying to be funny but raising a serious point.
Homosexual rights activists need to consider the implications of this moral (and political) asymmetry that they so enthusiastically embrace in pursuit of the ephemeral goal of forcing a photographer to record their commitment ceremony. The absence of reciprocal compromises suggests that while the photographer is a moral actor in this drama (i.e., an adult) the lesbian couple is not.
Put another way, the couple are seen as children who are exempt from the same moral expectations the court has for the photographer. Whatever the short-term gains, I don’t see how it is in the couples’ best long-term interest to accept such a marginalized status. Granted we all make bad long-term decisions in pursuit of short-term gain. But seeking to embody in law a preference for “today” at the expense of “tomorrow” is bad not only for society but also for homosexuals.