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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.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?Seven years later, we have the answer: as of this writing, there have been at least 11 instances of wedding vendors and venues facing some form of recrimination—threats, boycotts, protests, and the intervention of state or judicial authorities—because they denied services for gay nuptials because of their faith.
When religious-right leaders prophesy negative consequences from gay marriage, they are often seen as overwrought.
“Despite their relatively small numbers, radical homosexuals wield enormous power.
They dominate our cultural elite, Hollywood, television, the mainstream news media, public schools, academia, and a significant portion of the judiciary,” Thompson said in an e-mail interview.
(Sources: news reports including local television.) ■ Liberty Ridge Farm, New York: The family-owned farm in mid-state New York is facing a human rights complaint after refusing to host a lesbian wedding in 2012.
(Sources: local news sources here and here and the Huffington Post.) ■ All Occasion Party Place, Texas: In February, the Fort Worth-based wedding venue declined to host a wedding reception for a gay couple.