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Thread: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    I assume that at least some of our members will say, "yes it can and should".

    The specific case in question is about a photographer in New Mexico who refused to photograph a gay marriage. The case made it all the way to the New Mexico Supreme Court where they decided that the photographer must photograph gay marriages even if he doesn't want to.

    Refusal to photograph New Mexico same-sex couple ruled illegal
    In refusing to photograph the ceremony, Elane Photography violated the New Mexico Human Rights Act in the same way that it would have if the company had refused to photograph an inter-racial wedding, the New Mexico Supreme Court said.

    "We conclude that a commercial photography business that offers its services to the public, thereby increasing its visibility to potential clients, is subject to the anti-discrimination provisions of the and must serve same-sex couples on the same basis that it serves opposite-sex couples," the court ruled.
    Interestingly, the ACLU was representing the plaintiffs in this case..

    I have a lot of problems with this decision. Wouldn't the easiest course of action be for the couple to find another photographer who's willing to take their money? How can you force someone to photograph your even, and why would you want to? What if you think the photographer did a deliberately lousy job? Can you take him to court for that too? Can the government enforce a standard of quality for the service as well as forcing you to provide it?
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    Forum Lurker Member Sir Moody's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    that depends very much on the service...

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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    An in depth look at the legal implications and reasoning;
    http://volokh.wpengine.com/2013/08/2...mination-case/

    The decision comes down to three basic conclusions:

    (1) The state’s antidiscrimination law applies. Discrimination against a same-sex couple (married or not) is discrimination based on “sexual orientation” and is prohited in public accomodations under the statute.

    (2) The First Amendment does not protect the photographer. There is no free-speech right of a business to discriminate in providing services to the public.

    (3) The state Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not apply.
    Consider as well that photography is a form of artistic expression, and if we have freedom of speech (and expression) protecting our ability to say (and photograph) what we want, surely that means we have the freedom to not say (or photograph) what we don't want to. In this case, the government is compelling expression from an individual through the law.

    CR
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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Total Bull Pucky! How did they even get standing on such a case?

    That would also mean that a Jewish Photographer would have to take a Nazi client for what ever ceremony they wanted photographed or a Black Photographer would have to take a job with the KKK if it came along.

    I think the Judges should be tossed out along with the decision. Judicial Tyranny.


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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    They should be in some cases, in the bible-belt here they refuse to have their kids vaccinated for some pretty nasty diseases. Screw that. It doesn't matter to them that these diseases are contagious, they are the most egocentric people ever.
    Last edited by Fragony; 08-23-2013 at 16:53.

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    How did photographing a gay wedding turn into a public health issue?


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    Master of useless knowledge Senior Member Kitten Shooting Champion, Eskiv Champion Ironside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed Rabbit View Post
    Consider as well that photography is a form of artistic expression, and if we have freedom of speech (and expression) protecting our ability to say (and photograph) what we want, surely that means we have the freedom to not say (or photograph) what we don't want to. In this case, the government is compelling expression from an individual through the law.

    CR
    That's not it, professional photography in this case is a corperate service, not an artistic expression. It's the equivalent of refusing to sell them a wedding cake.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiahou View Post
    I
    I have a lot of problems with this decision. Wouldn't the easiest course of action be for the couple to find another photographer who's willing to take their money? How can you force someone to photograph your even, and why would you want to? What if you think the photographer did a deliberately lousy job? Can you take him to court for that too? Can the government enforce a standard of quality for the service as well as forcing you to provide it?
    That would be the easiest way yes (although in this case I suspect it went nasty halfway through transactions, a la "A marriage? sure. Wait a minute, a gay marriage? Never!"), but consider this situation:

    What if all local photographers would refuse them because they don't want to photograph a gay marriage? So option b is either non-existant or much more expensive (renting someone from another city/state). That would be very discriminating agreed?

    And we agree that there's some types of discriminations companies aren't allowed to do, on principle? So we have to differ between the private person and the company man, who are a lot more restricted in their actions.

    To make it very clear, this is legally the same as refusing cutting the hair of a black man because he's black. Or sell him food.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    That would also mean that a Jewish Photographer would have to take a Nazi client for what ever ceremony they wanted photographed or a Black Photographer would have to take a job with the KKK if it came along.
    Are discrimination because of political opinions illegal? Because if it's legal, then no.
    We are all aware that the senses can be deceived, the eyes fooled. But how can we be sure our senses are not being deceived at any particular time, or even all the time? Might I just be a brain in a tank somewhere, tricked all my life into believing in the events of this world by some insane computer? And does my life gain or lose meaning based on my reaction to such solipsism?

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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironside View Post
    And we agree that there's some types of discriminations companies aren't allowed to do, on principle? So we have to differ between the private person and the company man, who are a lot more restricted in their actions.

    To make it very clear, this is legally the same as refusing cutting the hair of a black man because he's black. Or sell him food.
    I think business owners should be free to make any (stupid) decisions they want about how to operate. They can also live with the consequences.
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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Because of features people are born with? Definitely yes.

    Because of opinions? Nope, not a chance.

    Feel free to toss commies and nazi's out of your shops, but be prepared to lose it if you start tossing out blacks or gays. Judge 'em on the content of their character, as one of the finest Americans who ever lived once dreamed of
    Last edited by HoreTore; 08-23-2013 at 18:13.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Upstanding Member rvg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiahou View Post
    I think business owners should be free to make any (stupid) decisions they want about how to operate. They can also live with the consequences.
    I agree. Discrimination in the private sector should be allowed.
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    Pretty much this. If it is a vital service, then discrimination of any kind is wrong. If it is something very much non-vital and private like a wedding photography business, then what happened to the right to refuse service?
    The right to refuse service must be seen in the light of the right to not be harassed.

    Rights must always be seen in context with others, otherwise they all become meaningless.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    How does a gay couple not recognize the freedoms and liberties of an individual. I would have thought they would be hypersensitive to using the law to compel somebody to change their behaviors.
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Quote Originally Posted by rvg View Post
    I agree. Discrimination in the private sector should be allowed.
    Agreeing with this. I don't really care about gays myself but if you do it should be up to you.

    Example, what if you run a youth-camp dedicated to old-fashioned family values. A private enterprise. Should you than be forced to allow gays, I don't think so. If you disagree alsways keep a distance where neither side gets uncomfortable.
    Last edited by Fragony; 08-23-2013 at 18:49.

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    I don’t agree with the guys decision not to take the job, but his reasons no matter how absurd are his to make. Earning a livelihood does not mean surrendering your right to free association.

    If it were a charted corporate entity I could see grounds for a suet, but not an individual.


    How does a gay couple not recognize the freedoms and liberties of an individual. I would have thought they would be hypersensitive to using the law to compel somebody to change their behaviors.
    I have to assume that these people are like reformed smokers. Holeyer than thou.
    Last edited by Fisherking; 08-23-2013 at 19:13.


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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    If it were a charted corporate entity I could see grounds for a suet, but not an individual.
    If corporations are individuals(ref. that other thread...), then an individual must be a corporation, right?
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    That depends entirely on the Court Venue and how vapid or hide-bound the judges, but a corporation is charted to serve the public, where as an individual is not.

    A corporation is an association, and as such has obligations to its member and society which an individual does not.

    Under the rules put forward by this court case it could be said that if a person advertises for a room mate to share rent, they have no choice over who to except or reject but have to have it ruled upon by the government.


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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    I probably should've included a tongue-in-cheek-smiley in my last post...
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    So if it was a Jewish straight couple that was refused service it would be a ok?

    So private companies can choose who and how they serve people? Taxis can refuse to pick up someone with a blind dog? Buses can choose were you sit? Dinners can refuse service based on skin color?

    These are all solid past examples of discrimination based on either skin color or disability. Things that the individual who has the properties cannot chose to have or not have.

    Are we discriminating who we discriminate on?
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    I believe that businesses should have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. However, if we have established as a society that private sector discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, and disability are unlawful, the same rationale should apply to gay people as sexual orientation is not a choice.

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    Upstanding Member rvg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerJaeger View Post
    I believe that businesses should have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. However, if we have established as a society that private sector discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, and disability are unlawful, the same rationale should apply to gay people as sexual orientation is not a choice.
    Yep, either all of it or none of it.
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    In the shadows... Member Vuk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    Because of features people are born with? Definitely yes.

    Because of opinions? Nope, not a chance.

    Feel free to toss commies and nazi's out of your shops, but be prepared to lose it if you start tossing out blacks or gays. Judge 'em on the content of their character, as one of the finest Americans who ever lived once dreamed of
    Of course it is still a scientific debate as to whether or not sexual orientation can possible be considered a trait you are born with.
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Religion is not a trait you are born with either.
    Our genes maybe in the basement but it does not stop us chosing our point of view from the top.
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vuk View Post
    Of course it is still a scientific debate as to whether or not sexual orientation can possible be considered a trait you are born with.
    Nature versus nurture has yet to be conclusively proven, but I do not believe any credible sources still assert that it is a choice.

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    Senior Member Senior Member naut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    A prescription for photographic conscription?
    #Hillary4prism

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    Master of useless knowledge Senior Member Kitten Shooting Champion, Eskiv Champion Ironside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiahou View Post
    I think business owners should be free to make any (stupid) decisions they want about how to operate. They can also live with the consequences.
    As Horetore pointed out, at some point you're starting to cheer for the bully with this attitude. It's defending someone's right to make another person's life harder and moving it towards miserable (if systematic by several people). Sometimes that may be a good thing yes, but it's easy to see why you'll need restrictions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    I don’t agree with the guys decision not to take the job, but his reasons no matter how absurd are his to make. Earning a livelihood does not mean surrendering your right to free association.

    If it were a charted corporate entity I could see grounds for a suet, but not an individual.
    The one being sued are Elane Photography and is refered to as commercial photography business. Somehow I don't think that's a person. That company may very well only be one person, but it's the company that's being sued.
    We are all aware that the senses can be deceived, the eyes fooled. But how can we be sure our senses are not being deceived at any particular time, or even all the time? Might I just be a brain in a tank somewhere, tricked all my life into believing in the events of this world by some insane computer? And does my life gain or lose meaning based on my reaction to such solipsism?

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    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    This decision will probably be overturned. It sounds like compelled service against conscience.
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Should the photographer be forced to work, no, of course not. Should he be be labeled a homophobe and ridiculed for such prejudice? Yes.
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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Agreed!

    And why would you even wish to compel someone doing a job for you?

    You may force them to comply but you can’t exactly depend on what sort of results you may get.

    How many times can you redo a wedding to get the photos you want?


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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerJaeger View Post
    Nature versus nurture has yet to be conclusively proven, but I do not believe any credible sources still assert that it is a choice.
    It has come about as more of a preference, such as with food, try getting some one to eat something they dislike even though you might like it and viceversus. There is some thought that naturally, we are just instinctively horny animals which would hump anything (and lots of evidence to show that in practise on google) and it is society which helps moulds us to tame these wild ways. The whole idea of taking simply one 'mate' and performing marriage is unnatural, but that is the custom we have.

    tl;dr version: people getting in a huffy about consensual things between adults which doesn't affect them.
    Last edited by Beskar; 08-31-2013 at 18:47.
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    Insomniac and tired of it Senior Member Slyspy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can the government compel you to provide someone a service against your will?

    What is the context of the refusal? Did the photography outfit sign up for the gig and the photographer sent then refused to untake the task? Or did they simply refuse the job, in which case why not just make up some reason for not doing it (sorry, we are all booked up on that day)? I don't get it.
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