The ‘Human Rights’ Juggernaut: Does the First Amendment protect wedding photographers? | Weekly Standard
Mark Hemingway at Weekly Standard: For one thing, it’s hard to argue that wedding photographers provide the same service to all customers, as is typical under public accommodation laws. “When you order public accommodation, you have to sell your hamburgers to everybody, you have to rent your hotel rooms to everybody. That’s just a uniform product being sold to everyone without discrimination,” Jordan Lorence, a lawyer for the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian legal group representing Elane Photography, told The Weekly Standard. “There are some commercial professions—like a videographer, a speechwriter, a website designer—where there’s no standard product. The product is inherently expressive. Then when you add to that a ceremony that’s expressing ideas, going to a wedding photographer and saying I want you to use your photojournalistic skills to tell the story of my event in the best way possible, you have this huge freedom of speech issue.” . . . Lorence’s use of the term “photojournalist” is also telling. Professional photojournalists sometimes moonlight as wedding photographers. It seems odd that First Amendment protections would apply to a person being paid to document events in some circumstances and not in others. “I think the New Mexico supreme court totally blew it, because they keep talking about photographers like they’re segregated lunch counters dispensing hamburgers,” said Lorence.