A New Law Allows Indiana Photographers to Refuse Same-Sex Clients

Mar 27, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

A New Law Allows Indiana Photographers to Refuse Same-Sex Clients

Mar 27, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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A bill called ‘Religious Freedom Restoration’, recently approved by Indiana’s Senate Judiciary Committee, was signed earlier today by governor Mike Pence. The bill’s authors stated its aim is to protect business owners whose religious beliefs prevent them from providing services to gays and lesbians.

“Christian bakers, florists and photographers” were given as examples of businesses that are said to benefit from the new law, adding that they should not be punished for refusing to participate in a homosexual marriage!”.

Opponents, however, claim the law will legalize discriminations against homosexuals.

Below is part of Senate Bill 101 as it was submitted to the Indiana general assembly, and signed by the governor today:

Religious freedom restoration. Prohibits a governmental entity from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the governmental entity can demonstrate that the burden: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest.

The bill was modeled on a 1993 federal law that passed with bipartisan support, called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA. The law was intended to protect religious minorities when a federal law impeded their religious practices, and 19 states have since adopted similar legislation.

However, it seems that social conservatives in Indiana have taken the law in a completely different direction. Instead of the law protecting the LGBT minority group, albeit not a religious one, it was promoted as a means for the majority to discriminate against the minority.

Conservative Christian groups have been pushing for the bill to be passed since last year’s failed attempt to ban same-sex marriage in Indiana’s constitution, and the court’s decision to effectively legalize it.

Senator Scott Schneider, one of the bill’s three authors, confirmed the bill will protect Christian business owners from being punished, as described above.

Shortly after signing the bill, Pence defended the new law and denied it being a consolation prize for conservative groups following their previously mentioned failed efforts to ban same-sex marriage in Indiana.

“I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding,” said the governor, adding that the law “has never undermined anti-discrimination laws”.

Pence mentioned in his speech that the federal law was signed by then-President Bill Clinton and other top Democrats, though he failed to mention that the motive behind the 1993 law was very different than that of the conservative supporters who rallied for Bill 101, or the author’s clear statement on the same matter. He also reminded that President Barack Obama supported a similar law when he was an Illinois legislator.

While I tend to take any politician’s word with a grain of salt, Pence provided further reason to question his motives to sign the bill. During the news conference following the signing of the law, a reporter asked the governor if he thinks sexual orientation should be a protected class (same as race, religion, color, sex and national origin) and if he would support matching Illinois by adding it to the state’s civil rights law. His response was “That’s not on my agenda. I won’t be pursuing that”.

While the signing of the bill was closed to the public and the press, it was reported that 75 to 80 people, all supporting the bill of course, had attended the private ceremony.

It is also reported that during the ceremony, which took place in the governor’s Statehouse office, the press was even asked to leave the waiting area and that the governor’s office declined to provide a list of the people who had attended. Not the most trust-inspiring move if you ask me.

“This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it,” said Pence in a statement. “In fact, it does not even apply to disputes between private parties unless government action is involved. For more than twenty years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation’s anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana”.

Jane Henegar, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, responded:

“We are deeply disappointed that the governor and state lawmakers have been tone-deaf to the cries of legions of Hoosiers—including businesses, convention leaders, faith communities and more than 10,000 people who signed petitions against the bill—who say they don’t want this harmful legislation to impair the reputation of our state and harm our ability to attract the best and brightest to Indiana”.

Pence might have a point there, though, much to the disappointment of the bill’s supporters. As sixteen legal scholars stated in a joined letter to the Senate’s Judiciary Chairman, “it is not at all clear that the proposed Indiana RFRA would lead courts to recognize such an exemption”. They were referring of course to businesses being exempt from offering their services to same-sex couples.

According to the Indianapolis Star, there has only been one case discussed in court in the 19 states that already have a religious freedom law. A Christian wedding photographer from New Mexico was sued following his refusal to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony. The photographer lost the case, despite the state’s RFRA.

“Opponents of the legislation may make unsupported claims about the extreme results that it would produce, but they have no examples of judicial decisions actually reaching such results,” added the legal experts in their letter.

“There’s been exaggeration on both sides about what this law would do in particular settings”, said Daniel Conkle, a law professor at Indiana University and one of the letter’s authors.

While that might be the case, and the judges’ role in religious freedom laws is being overlooked by both sides, this law leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth due to the intentions of its authors and supporters.

Proving that intentions (even if they won’t end up being supported in court) carry just as much weight as the law itself, gaming convention Gen Con threatened to pull its convention, and its estimated $50 million economic impact, out of the state should the governor decide to sign the bill.

After the bill was formally signed, George Takei posted the following message on Facebook:

“I am outraged that Gov. Pence would sign such a divisive measure into law. He has made it clear that LGBT couples, like Brad and me, are now unwelcome in his state. The notion that this bill was not driven by animus against our community is belied by the record and frankly insulting. I will join many in demanding that socially responsible companies withdraw their business, conferences and support from his state and that LGBTs and our friends and supporters refuse to visit or do business with Indiana. It is a sad day for the Hoosier state, and indeed for the many good people of Indiana, for whom this law now stands as a terrible blight upon that state’s reputation”.

Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff was quick to follow, writing on Twitter that “Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination”.

The NCAA, whose Final Four will be played this year in Indiana, and PayPal co-founder Max Levchin were also amongst those who raised their concerns over the new law.

Despite Indiana photographers now being “protected”, hopefully none of them will feel the need to take advantage of the new law.

[via The Indianapolis Star | Lead Image: DonkeyHotey]

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Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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219 responses to “A New Law Allows Indiana Photographers to Refuse Same-Sex Clients”

  1. George Berney Avatar
    George Berney

    Should I be able to go into a Muslim restaurant and demand they serve me a pulled pork sandwich?

    1. muslim Avatar

      They don’t even have pork in their restaurant. Why don’t you go to a proper restaurant that serve that thing?

    2. Rob Reeves Avatar
      Rob Reeves

      Wait, they have Muslim food? I guess it would just be sort of a mix of Mediterranean food, but Greece is predominantly Christian. Either way I’m going to be on the lookout for that. Sounds really good. And really, who goes to a Mediterranean place and tries to order pulled pork? Youd be way better off at a southern BBQ joint.

    3. George Berney Avatar
      George Berney

      You are right Rob Reeves, if I want pulled pork, I go to a BBQ joint. That’s kind of my point.

    4. Aaron Aldrich Avatar
      Aaron Aldrich

      If it isn’t on the menu, your request would be ridiculous. If it IS on the menu, I’m sure they’d have no problem serving it to you. Unless you’re with your wife who has her hair visible… then they can refuse and you’d have to go somewhere else.

    5. George Berney Avatar
      George Berney

      The menu thing is an interesting point, and one that I had planned on making. I haven’t done wedding photography for a few years, but when I did, I knew what to expect. I knew who was giving who away. I knew the sequence of events. I could plan on being in the place I needed to be at the right time.

      For instance, I would have declined an Indian wedding if offered the job. I wouldn’t have been the right photographer. I don’t know what is significant. I don’t know that culture or ceremony. I guess you could say that is discrimination based on their religion, but in reality, I would have declined because I’m just not the best person out there to do the job. It’s not discrimination. It’s just plain common sense.

      My wife happens to be black and I’m a white. We don’t go to the same barber/hairdresser. You know why? Well, one, because I cut my hair myself, but because her hairdresser has very little experience with my style of hair. And just because I can cut my hair doesn’t mean I can cut hers. It’s different.

      This notion that we all need to be equal and serve everyone equally is silly. When we got married, our photography was fairly poor. Do you know why? Because it was the first mixed marriage our photographer had done. She had no idea how to balance a black complexition with a white complextion. I would have prefered she had just denied it based on her lack of experience. I wouldn’t have called it racism. I would have called it a favor.

    6. John Smith Avatar
      John Smith

      aside from the fact that laws like this have consistently been proven unconstitutional, by your own logic you should never have been allowed to marry your wife. interracial marriage was illegal, you know, complete with laws preventing you from buying goods or services exactly like what is happening in Indiana.

      this law is just Jim Crow all over again

    7. George Berney Avatar
      George Berney

      No it’s not. Our parts work together and have produced two beautiful kids helping to further the ponzi scheme that the U.S. government is so dependent upon, but I digress.

      By my own logic, I say that with today’s ability for information to travel to all reaches of the world, I think all restrictions should be lifted.

      If someone wants to create a ‘whites only’ business, I fully support them. I will also fully support the customers who choose not to shop there and will gladly watch them go out of business.

      In this case, we are talking about a different type of ceremony. One that I don’t have experience with. Why would someone ever hire someone who was inexperienced with a job? Why would someone ever compel someone to do a job they didn’t know how to do?

      Best case scenario, it’s half assed. Why would anyone hire someone who wasn’t excited about an assignment? It just doesn’t make sense.

    8. Samuel Fields Avatar
      Samuel Fields

      I’m sorry but your points are nonsense. Muslim and Jewish restaurants don’t carry pork products. You’re trying to make them sell products and services they don’t carry. If people were trying to make wedding photographers fix transmissions you’d have a point. Do you think gay people are an alien culture? A gay wedding is just a wedding. If a couple doesn’t have confidence the photographer will be able to properly photograph their wedding, they won’t hire them. You hired a bad photographer, that’s not a reason to legalize discrimination.

      1. dennylee60 Avatar

        Why don’t Muslim and Jewish restaurant carry pork product? Because it is against their religion.

    9. George Berney Avatar
      George Berney

      And FWIW, I’m not religious. I don’t care who sleeps with who in the privacy of their own bedroom. Doesn’t bother me a bit.

      The way I see it is the first kiss after marriage is a once in a lifetime event. Something that should be cherrished and remembered for the rest of their lives. Do you really want a photographer who has been compelled to be there in charge of making sure that picture is perfect?

      1. Some way of life. Avatar
        Some way of life.

        In most places the LBGTA community supports businesses that don’t discriminate by word of mouth, but it’s not usually possible to tell whether or not a business owner is a bigot unless they have a reputation. And in some locations you don’t have many photographers to choose from, and their schedules fill up fast.

        If I were gay, and I hired a photographer to shoot my wedding, I would expect them to be professional enough to get that perfect shot regardless of whether or not they have been compelled. Photographers are often compelled to work with couples they don’t like, because money.

        If I were still shooting weddings, I would have gone out of my way to appear LBGTA friendly as soon as gay marriage was legalized in my state. Huge surge of business and an opportunity to be part of something historic. Capturing the first kiss of a couple who are celebrating not only love, but also a special moment in history would be an honor.

    10. Samuel Fields Avatar
      Samuel Fields

      I don’t, but I also don’t want bigots to determine where I am and am not allowed to go.

    11. George Berney Avatar
      George Berney

      And I am just fine with racists determining where I go. My situation is a bit more visually obvious. If I don’t like the way a business treats me or my family, I go elsewhere. I can’t even imagine a mentality where I would want to force a business that doesn’t agree with my lifestyle to take my money. That’s just absurd.

    12. Samuel Fields Avatar
      Samuel Fields

      And I can’t imagine being fine with discrimination. Have a good day.

    13. George Berney Avatar
      George Berney

      Business: “I hate you and you will burn in HELL!”
      Customer: “Screw you, I have rights. Take my money”

      How does that even make sense?

      Samuel, what you don’t understand is discrimation will always be there. Heck, I discriminate and I am also prejudiced. When I am selling something, I discriminate against people who don’t have enough money. When I am walking down the street, I look differently at people who represent themselves as thugs than I do as those who represent themselves as Bankers(although who is more dangerous might be in doubt).

      We all do. The solution isn’t to force unwilling people to perform a service they don’t want to do. The solution is to go elsewhere and let them lose business. I can’t imagine a more backwards solution than to force people to make money off people they don’t like.

      Better would be to allow them to realize how much money and business they are losing by not serving people they don’t like.

    14. Samuel Fields Avatar
      Samuel Fields

      Haha once again, nonsense. Of course it doesn’t make sense because it’s a nonexistent exchange you made up in your head.

    15. George Berney Avatar
      George Berney

      It’s not nonsense. It’s this exact situation. Why would you want to give your hard earned money to someone that you consider a bigot? Much more, why would you want to force them to accept it?

    16. Samuel Fields Avatar
      Samuel Fields

      I’ve already answered that question. And now I’m done.

    17. George Berney Avatar
      George Berney

      No, you didn’t. Whether you are done or not is of your own free choice. I won’t compel you to answer.

    18. Samuel Fields Avatar
      Samuel Fields

      As I said before “I don’t, but I also don’t want bigots to determine where I am and am not allowed to go.”

    19. George Berney Avatar
      George Berney

      I read that comment and I completely understand the sentiment. What I don’t understand is that a law won’t change people’s feelings. I find that to be self-evident. So, even if people were forced to provide you service against their will, why would you want to contribute to their profit?

    20. Samuel Fields Avatar
      Samuel Fields

      Now you’re just being deliberately obtuse and I have too much to do to play games with you. Goodbye.

    21. John Smith Avatar
      John Smith

      a public business benefits from public utilities which are paid for by everyone’s taxes. same sex couples are ALREADY giving their money to bigoted businesses.

      by opening a public business you agree to abide by the laws that govern those businesses, which include nondiscrimimation.

      as i said before: this exact law has been determined unconstitutional. it is only a matter of time until this law disappears as well. but, until then, it will be doing real damage to real people. imagine if you had been forced to move your wedding out of state. now imagine that half the country had laws like this, because that is the reality that you need to understand

    22. George Berney Avatar
      George Berney

      No, I’m not. And I am not playing games. I literally don’t understand your point of view. The thought of giving my money to people who hate me for my choices is reprehensible. I would refuse to do it. I can’t even imagine wanting a law forcing them to accept it.

    23. George Berney Avatar
      George Berney

      Or do you want a law forcing them to feel differently? If so, I think you may be the one being deliberately obtuse.

    24. John Smith Avatar
      John Smith

      You do understand how taxes work, right?

      This isn’t some abstract idea, & it’s not confined to photography studios. LGBT people make up around 7% of the population, but they make up about 40% of the homeless youth population, BECAUSE of ideas like yours.

      1. Bob Blaylock Avatar
        Bob Blaylock

          Bad lifestyle choices lead to bad results.  It is not at all new that you are trying to put the blame for these results other than on those who made the bad choices that caused them.

    25. John Smith Avatar
      John Smith

      I, myself, make less than half of the salary I should be making. I’ll never be able to afford to retire.
      Hell, I haven’t even been allowed to live in the country of my birth for more than a decade, because of people with your philosophy.

      All of this is because of laws like Indiana’s new unconstitutional law.

    26. Some way of life. Avatar
      Some way of life.

      George, it would be perfectly fine and legal for a Muslim restaurant to refuse to serve you pork because that not something they serve there. It is okay to decide your business will not produce specific goods or services for any reason, religious or not. What would be illegal is if they refuse you service because of your race, gender and in many states sexual orientation. Is it really that hard to see the difference?

  2. Valter Van D Avatar
    Valter Van D

    we need that here in Maryland as well. I don’t do it anyway, but still…

    1. Paul McMahon Avatar
      Paul McMahon


    2. Valter Van D Avatar
      Valter Van D

      God said Man shall not lay with another man the way he lays with woman, and nor shall woman. I don’t support it I don’t condone it, I am against it and that’s how it’s gonna be.

    3. Jeff Soto Avatar
      Jeff Soto

      God said a lot of things, but Christians pick and choose what they won’t tolerate. Pathetic.

      1. Gjergji Bullari Avatar
        Gjergji Bullari

        Interesting that you know a whole lot of what God said yet use it only when it suits you.

    4. Valter Van D Avatar
      Valter Van D

      sorry, Messianic Jew, try again.

      now that that is cleared up, We are all human beings, we all have our own beliefs whatever they maybe, I respect the rights of others even if I myself don’t condone it or tolerate it, you wouldn’t catch me in your face about it.

      secondly MOST Nations support freedom, although the US is a prison right now we still have rights and some freedoms and I choose not to do those types of weddings. if you want too, that is your right.

      Jews, Christians, heck even Muslims have been martyred, ridiculed, and hated. I’m use to it, so even though I am standing up for my freedom to speech, and my God Given Freedom to choose to follow HIS ways and HIS teachings. and speak out about this SIN, I am ready for anyone and everyone who wants to mock me, make fun of me, it doesn’t matter because you can’t get to me, I have My Father God and my brother Jesus on my side.

    5. Mike Hiteshew Avatar
      Mike Hiteshew

      What if your religion said that left-handed people sinners – would you not provide a service to left-handed people?

    6. Valter Van D Avatar
      Valter Van D

      First of all we are all sinners, that is why God sent his only begotten son, that he be beaten and punished for all our sins, He died for you, He died for me, the most perfect human being in the world, someone who knew no sin bore it upon himself and the cross so that we can live eternally in the kingdom of heaven.

      so your whole sentence is flawed. but I will still answer it to the best of my ability.

      If right handed people were not sinners in God’s eyes and Left handed people were, then there would be a definite reason as to why, the bible would speak on it to a caliber of proof that would be undeniable, and seeing as I follow the bible and it’s teachings, both old and new testament then yes I would deny my services to left handed people, because I would have the proof, written in black and white and probably again in red and white. but seeing as God does not Condemn left handed people there is no need for this discussion. and yes My father and one of my brothers and my sister are all left handed. and seeing as they are all followers of a faith they would understand as well.

      but the day Jesus Died on that cross is the day we were all redeemed in God’s eyes, We may not agree with what others do but that doesn’t mean we can’t respect everyone’s right to do the things they do.

      Respect and agreeing are way two different things all together, so although I don’t agree, and I don’t feel it’s right, I still respect their choices. just like I am showing you respect now and taking time to answer a very thought provoking question.

    7. John Smith Avatar
      John Smith

      Isn’t it weird how you don’t stone adulterers to death, huh? Yeah, we should start doing that again. Good times!

      Also, bible says we have to, so yeah. Let’s make it law!

    8. Mike Hiteshew Avatar
      Mike Hiteshew

      Did Jesus deny salvation to sinners? Did he only offer eternal life to those without sin? If Jesus was willing to die for sinners, and offer unconditional love to them, is there a reason why you shouldn’t do business with them? Are you saying that even though Jesus ate, drank and surrounded himself with tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers and other sinners, WE as humans should withhold doing business with them? We should be more critical than Jesus himself? I don’t follows that logic.

      1. raceviper13 Avatar

        Jesus didn’t endorse their sinful behavior by eating with them. He did not engage in the behavior they were accused of.

        Likewise, we can eat with and partake in business with sinners. However, to expect that we would partake in their behaviors would be dishonoring to the God who made us and knows what we need to live a life full of beauty.

    9. Valter Van D Avatar
      Valter Van D

      Again, My Right, My Freedom Don’t Like then stop responding, Now I have been polite I have answered questions as they come but in the End I feel Homosexuals should not be allowed to exist. that is my Right. just like you have the right to say anything you want. and for your information the bible says right there in the new testament 1 corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

      Homosexuals don’t go to heaven.. God’s own words, if God doesn’t like them then I don’t have too either. plain simple black and white.

    10. John Smith Avatar
      John Smith

      The Taliban called, they want their Sharia Law back

    11. Jesse Russell Avatar
      Jesse Russell

      Maryland needs a lot more stuff first. Plus, there are already heightened protections from Circuit court precedent.

    12. Mike Hiteshew Avatar
      Mike Hiteshew

      They aren’t God’s words, they are Paul’s words. These words were written over 1,900 years ago in a language that has been translated from one language into another and into another. Depending on your translation of the Bible, Paul is talking about anything from boy prostitutes to perverts to male prostitutes to homosexuals. It also specifies just men, so I guess a lesbian couple would be OK, depending on your translation. The Catholic Bible used “masturbator” up until it was changed in 1967 to “homosexual”. So if you were homosexual up until 1967 you’d still go to heaven, but not after according to the Catholic bible. But luckily you won’t go to hell now if you masturbate. See how silly this all sounds? Is God so narrow that he only allows people into Heaven if they follow the NIV instead of the NKJV? No, God is bigger than that, which is why we aren’t to decide who goes to heaven and who doesn’t. We are to love God and honor him, and treat all people with love and the way you wanted to be treated. i.e. the greatest commandment. By the way, there are lots of other “types” of sinners on your list above that you seemingly have no trouble with; for some reason you want to discriminate against just homosexuals. You probably have no trouble hanging out with people who like their cars, drink a little too much on a Saturday, not fill out their taxes honestly, etc.

    13. Mark Healy Avatar
      Mark Healy

      I hope those who use the bible as their way of life honour it completely. It’s a tough battle to live pure but by the looks of it heaven is for all mankind and animals. Oh except for gay animals as they must be sinners too lol. Man may hold a grudge but whoever greats us after this life has more respect to fellow man.

    14. Valter Van D Avatar
      Valter Van D

      actually no I don’t hang out with people who drink to get drunk, I don’t like people who do drugs, or sell them mary jane included, I can’t stand homosexuals to the point that if there is any gay reference in a show or movie I won’t watch it, my girls like frozen, it’s not allowed in my house because the store owner is gay. it’s not said in the movie but they can watch at grandma’s and grandpa’s house, not in mine, which is funny cause my father feels the same way I do, I was brought up in a house that was taught PROPER. now my beliefs are my own and yeah ok, I probably go a little more extreme than people in my family. but it’s disgusting, and wrong, an NOTHING you say will ever change my mind. like I said keep the shit coming because I’m use to it,

    15. Amanda Hill Avatar
      Amanda Hill

      Do you shoot weddings with people who live together before marriage or have been divorced? What about those with children from prior relationships. Sex before marriage is considered a sin? What about if the bride is menstruating on the wedding day? She would be considered unclean and thus you would not be able to shoot her because of your beliefs.

    16. Valter Van D Avatar
      Valter Van D

      I will do Hetero Weddings I will not do Gay and Lesbian weddings pure and simple you got a problem with that, burn with them like they should OK :) have a nice day.

      I’ll run my business as I see fit, and you run yours as you see fit.

  3. Paul McMahon Avatar
    Paul McMahon

    I think it’s a disgrace. Very sad days for the world of equality

    1. James Gordon Patterson Avatar
      James Gordon Patterson

      It should be forced! Send them to re-education camp! Send me too! Force me to teach there!!!

    2. George Berney Avatar
      George Berney

      People aren’t equally skiled. I personally have never done and Indian wedding. I would be remiss if I accepted such a gig. I would have to say no, but it wouldn’t be religous discrimation. It would be simply that I wasn’t the right guy for the job…

    3. Paul McMahon Avatar
      Paul McMahon

      James go away at once. That’s absolute rubbish.
      George I think you make a fair point if you feel you couldn’t capture the magic of their day but in fairness I don’t think it would really be any different I know mine wasn’t.

    4. Clayton Glover Avatar
      Clayton Glover

      Forcing someone to take a job they are not comfortable with is wrong for whatever reason. This is NOT equal rights.. it i SPECIAL rights. because a person has a right to refuse service.
      I bet it would be different if it was a Muslim photographer refusing to take photos for a gay wedding?

      Why the need to force things on people? When people start pushing an agenda on me.. IT IS a TOTAL turn off.

  4. Karyn Louisé Avatar
    Karyn Louisé

    what a waste of time!!!

  5. Renato Murakami Avatar
    Renato Murakami

    Isn’t the US a secular state? If it is, this law is in clear contradiction with that.
    Majoritary religions obviously doesn’t need any sort of law in place for “protection”. This is a closed door reunion a la KKK style to force beliefs of said politicians upon a minority that has always been target to discrimination.
    It is exactly when you have swiping overreaching laws like that, made by representatives of the people, that citizens will feel that their discriminatory actions are justified in some way, since they have support of the law itself.
    One could just as well create a “minoritary religion” that uses some ancient book or scripture to consider people from other races or genders to be “inferior” thus being able to refuse service to them. How does that sound? They also shouldn’t be punished? Because there is basically no difference in what I’m saying, is there?

  6. Steve Avatar

    I love how those preaching tolerance and acceptance want those who follow their religious beliefs to be punished ????

    1. Some way of life. Avatar
      Some way of life.

      Anyone who discriminates against someone based on who they are should be punished. Religion is no excuse for bigotry. If you provide a service in our society, you cannot deny someone that service because of who they are. I am all for the right to believe whatever you want, but your religious freedom stops where the law begins… And I do believe this state law will either get struck down by the Supreme Court or changed once the people of Indiana come to their senses.

      1. Robertt1 Avatar

        It’s not based on “who they are”, but on “what they do”. Exactly as with any other sin, crime or however you want to call it.

        On what are your claims based? “You can do this”, “you can’t do that”, “your religious freedom stops where the law begins” etc? Who are you to came with such “laws”? Some people CAN do anything they want because of the ridiculous reason “I feel like that”, but other people can’t, because…. you “feel” so.
        You are ridiculous, talking about “law”, then wanting to change it to support YOUR beliefs.
        You are also confused on what a belief implies. You think “believing” and “living” are to things that can be separated. “You are free to believe what you want, but you must disregard that in business”. To believe implies to live accordingly. Otherwise it’s useless.

      2. Jill Avatar

        Good thing MLK didn’t believe as you advocate that his freedoms and those of the black community stopped where the separate but equal Plessy v. Ferguson LAW began. Good thing he ignored all that in 1964 and fought for and won civil rights. Good thing he changed the LAW for the better.

        As a result, religion is a protected class. Sexual preference is not a wholly protected class; it appears to be morphing into such before our eyes. Hence, one protected class is being pitted against another budding potential protected class. The resonable solution is reasonable compromise, rather than actively stamping out the existence of one class in preference of the other. Your solution is unreasonable as you would FORCE people to act against their conscience. Your words lead me to believe that you especially discriminate against those whose beliefs are grounded in religion. Do you also discriminate against secularist people who have differing beliefs and opinons? Do you actively force them to think and act like you believe because of the LAW, whether it be good or bad law?

    2. T567234 Avatar

      On the contrary, we do not want anyone to be punished because of their believes. ISIS behaviors are part of the religious belief, Thus we should not punish them because f these believes. Citing Christianity, Christ was the most Tolerant person on Earth, when religious believes forbade people to talk, or have anything to do with the Samaritans, He talked to one, and accepted dink from her… when they were ready to stone a woman He forbade such behavior. When his followers offer to defend him when the roman cm to arrest him, he refused to let them, because God does not need protection. I wish people who disguise heir hatred and bigotry behind the veil of religious righteousness to study Jesus’ teaching and understand what he meant, and ot how Taliban, ISIS, and their Christian counterpart want to interpret it.

      1. raceviper13 Avatar

        Jesus was tolerant? Let’s look at this a little more deeply.

        He did ask the woman at the well for a drink, which was against all traditions. This was because she was a woman, she was a Samaritan (considered unclean by Jews) and because she was an outcast of even her own people because of her promiscuous lifestyle. Yes, Jesus showed her compassion and love by meeting with her in he loneliest time.

        Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!”

        Was that a “tolerant” statement? That was pretty confrontational! Please read about Jesus from the Bible if you are going to talk about him. It would do you well to learn about the man who was important enough to you to use as a reference in your argument.

      2. Unabashed Progessive Avatar
        Unabashed Progessive

        religious freedom goes both ways – be a religious dick, lose business…

    3. Bob Blaylock Avatar
      Bob Blaylock

        That’s the wrong-wing version of “tolerance”; which rather misses the point of genuine tolerance, doesn’t it?

  7. Forrest Ranus Avatar
    Forrest Ranus

    I would love to have a public photography business, but I would be afraid of being sued by choosing not to do a same sex wedding because of my conscientious objection. I wouldn’t want to support that or do work for any church that I believe supports false religion. It’s my personal choice, but that wouldn’t matter in the court. I’m not judging anyone, but I will follow what the Bible says, and will not support those who practice sin, regardless of sexual orientation.

    1. Jeff Soto Avatar
      Jeff Soto

      So many things in the bible that would be considered illegal though. You can’t go outside and stone someone for committing adultery. Are you saying people should be able to do that?

      1. Jill Avatar

        No, he’s not saying that. The Bible RECORDS, but does not ENDORSE the act of men who stoned as a consequence for sin or behaviour considered unacceptable. BUT what did Jesus say, “He without sin, may cast the first stone.” No one threw stones, especially not Jesus, who is in fact, without sin.

    2. Forrest Ranus Avatar
      Forrest Ranus

      It is not for me to judge. Can you give me an example with the full context of the scripture when that happened? I’d be more than happy to discuss it.

    3. Mike Hiteshew Avatar
      Mike Hiteshew

      If you refuse to support those who practice sin, your photography business would dry up in a matter of months.

    4. Forrest Ranus Avatar
      Forrest Ranus

      No it wouldnt, and I do fine with my photography as it is. I gave you an example, being weddings. But for portraits, and other creative photography, I have no quarrels, but if I owned a painting business, I wouldn’t take up a job painting a church that I believed to support a false religion. The double standards on these situations speak for themself. I’m not surprised by any of this, because the Bible told of such times. But I am personally effected, and just wanted to give my thoughts. It’s cool if you don’t agree.

    5. Mike Hiteshew Avatar
      Mike Hiteshew

      So if you were Baptist and happened to think that Catholicism was a false religion because they practice reconciliation, you would refuse painting the rectory?

    6. Forrest Ranus Avatar
      Forrest Ranus

      Lol, not sure what that is, but I would have no part in painting any Catholic building if I owned the painting business. But if I was an employee of a painting business, than thats a different matter.

    7. Mike Hiteshew Avatar
      Mike Hiteshew

      And therein lies the problem – you let your personal bias and what you consider to be ‘false religions’ dictate who you allow to hire you. That, my friend, is discrimination and that is why there are laws against that. If everyone decided who they are willing to sell to or be hired by based on their personal prejudices, there would be whole classes of people that won’t have access to good or services because of their beliefs, ethnicity, cultural heritage, gender, etc. I guess we haven’t moved beyond Jim Crow yet…

    8. Forrest Ranus Avatar
      Forrest Ranus

      You really missed the point. I have my standards that I have set for my Bible trained conscience. I’m not asking anyone to have my same views. And it’s not what I determine to be false, but what the Bible says to be false. And they prove to be false by their works. You don’t have to have these standards, but as for me, I’ll let my works speak for themselves and shouldn’t have to worry about being sued for the lack of consideration of their feelings by completely disregarding things that would hurt my conscience to do.

    9. Mike Hiteshew Avatar
      Mike Hiteshew

      And you missed the point even more. Everyone doesn’t believe in your Bible or your God. But they can’t deny you service because of that. As a world we can’t just sell to people who follow our own interpretation of religion. That’s discrimination. Besides, I doubt Jesus would expect you to not sell to people who may not believe in what you do. As a matter of fact, he’d probably encourage you to do business with them.

      1. Jill Avatar

        I agree with Ranus. You HAVE missed the point. We ALL discriminate daily, continuously. Simple discrimination, choosing one thing over another, a choice, a path, is totally acceptable.

        You chose to go to college A versus colleges B – Z, by doing so, you have discriminated against colleges B-Z.

        You are a gay baker, let’s say, who has refused to bake a cake for a customer who wants the cake to be boldly decorated with the slogan, “Gay Marriage is a Sin Against God,” by doing so, you have discriminated based on the content message the cake will bear. Have you also discriminated against the customer you’ve turned away? Yes and no, but you have every right to do so….to discriminate based upon your closely held personal beliefs, which are not even religious in nature, but have everything to do with your right to free expression/speech.

        Did you even read the article? Would you also force a Muslim photographer, who refuses to photograph a gay couple’s wedding because he/she conscientiously objects for religious reasons, to photograph the wedding anyway or suffer legal consequences, including civil actions, like being sued or criminal penalties, like being jailed? Seriously?

    10. Forrest Ranus Avatar
      Forrest Ranus

      No, you don’t get that I’m not discriminating. That Jesus would not support me glorifying the marriage of 2 people who practice fornication or homosexuality. But keep to his example, and do my best not to conform to the air of this system of things but follow his example and keep to the standards that he supported by his Father.

    11. Forrest Ranus Avatar
      Forrest Ranus

      Let’s just agree to disagree. I’m not down for arguing. Not much point in that bud. Take care!

    12. John Smith Avatar
      John Smith

      “It’s not for you to judge”
      Good, then sell your services equally to all people.

    13. Some way of life. Avatar
      Some way of life.

      So you would serve only Christians? By the way, where does the bible say you should not support those who sin? Doesn’t everyone sin? That’s why Catholics go to confession, right? I don’t feel sorry for your situation. You are making a choice. It seems like your only alternatives are to either move to a country where Christianity is the state religion and homosexuality is outlawed, or you can find a more liberal Christian Church. I know some Protestant ministers and a couple of Episcopal priests who know the Bible pretty well, and they would all tell you that it is okay to be a Christian and still provide services for, or work with, homosexuals and people of other religions.

      1. Robertt1 Avatar

        It’s one thing to sin and another to say that what you do is not a sin, it’s normal, you are proud of it and you have the “right” to force somebody else to participate at the celebration of your sin.

        ” I know some Protestant ministers and a couple of Episcopal priests who
        know the Bible pretty well, and they would all tell you that it is okay
        to be a Christian and still provide services for, or work with,
        homosexuals and people of other religions.”

        Each with his own knowledge, understanding and conscience.

      2. Bob Blaylock Avatar
        Bob Blaylock

        You are making a choice. It seems like your only alternatives are to either move to a country where Christianity is the state religion and homosexuality is outlawed, or you can find a more liberal Christian Church.

          The First Amendment explicitly identifies religious practice as a right.

          There is no reason way any American should be obligated to accept any of the alternatives which you enumerate. The obligation is on our society and a whole to respect each individual’s right to religious beliefs and practice; and not on any individual to alter his religious beliefs or practices to conform to what society wants.

          If you want to live in a nation where the rights of sick perverts to force others to participate in their perversions is held higher than the rights of religious people to practice their religion in peace, then why don’t you move to another nation, where such inverted values are the norm?  As long as the First Amendment stands, the U.S. will never be that nation.

    14. Todd Kaminski Avatar
      Todd Kaminski

      So you never shoot any weddings in which the groom nor bride has been divorced?

      1. Gjergji Bullari Avatar
        Gjergji Bullari

        That doesn’t even make sense.

    15. Trino Pam Avatar
      Trino Pam

      How do you check if the bride is a virgin?

    16. Allan England Avatar
      Allan England

      False religions?!? It’s all false you fools! No religion is based on scientific fact it’s all made up, no one has ever turned bread into fish not even David Copperfield or Houdini!

      You’re a jumped up biggot Mr Anus and you should be ashamed of your views.

      Biggots! Let he who is without sin cast the first stone? Forrest Anus you are a sinner because you don’t love thy neighbour – does that mean you’ll go to hell?! See you at the bar , I heard Hell is like a hot hooters with AC/DC playing live every night!


    17. thomas Avatar

      Wait, wait. so you would have an application prior to doing a photo shoot based on your beliefs? What would that look like, something like this I guess.

      1. Do you worship any other gods?
      2. Do you make any idols?
      3. Have you misused the name of god?
      4. Have you kept the sabbath holy?
      5. Do you honor your mother and father?
      6. Have you murdered any one?
      7. Have you committed adultery?
      8. Have you stolen anything?
      9. Have you lied?
      10. Have you coveted anything?

      I guess that you’ll be sticking to taking pictures that do not involve people.

      1. Robertt1 Avatar

        In fact it’s very simple. Nobody ask these questions (or questions about sexual preferences). But if you come telling me that you are going to commit adultery, to murder, to steal, to dishonor your parents, etc etc and you want me to participate as a photographer, I will politely refuse.

    18. Colin Ogilvie Avatar
      Colin Ogilvie

      Jesus said nothing to condemn homosexuality explicitly. He did say to some Pharisees those who are without sin cast the first stone.

      1. Robertt1 Avatar

        “Jesus said nothing to condemn homosexuality explicitly.”

        Matthew 19,4: ““Haven’t you read,” He (Jesus) replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.””

        So it’s clear what sex and marriage is and how God designed men and women to become a couple. If He said that, why do you think He should cover every possible case of perversion and of negative examples of what sex and marriage shouldn’t be ? Especially when some of those (homosexuality, bestiality etc) were already covered in other places?

        “He did say to some Pharisees those who are without sin cast the first stone.”

        Why do you think God gave any laws then, since no one is without sin to enforce those laws?

      2. Bob Blaylock Avatar
        Bob Blaylock

        Jesus said nothing to condemn homosexuality explicitly. He did say to some Pharisees those who are without sin cast the first stone.

          The Bible is very clear on matters of marriage and of sexual intimacy.  There was no need for Jesus himself to repeat every detail of what the Bible had already made very clear, and his silence on any such matter can certainly not be rationally taken as a repudiation of what had already been established in scripture.

          Regarding the woman who was caught in adultery, after her accusers left, what is the last thing he is recorded as having said to her?  Did he tell her that it was OK to continue sleeping around with men who were not her husband?  Do you suppose he might have offered to even set her up with trysts with other men for that purpose, or otherwise have acted to support and endorse that behavior?

          No, he did not and would not say or do any such thing.  …go and sin no more.  That’s what he told her.  He did not endorse, condone, or support her sin.  He told her to repent, and turn away from it.

    19. Allen Mowery Avatar
      Allen Mowery

      “He who discriminates against those whom he believes to be a discriminator is, himself, a discriminator.”

      I believe Mr. Ranus’ point is not about denying photography services at large to the LGBT community but rather a simple matter of conscience in denying to commemorate a ceremony that he believes to be expressly wrong. It’s more about the specific event than about the people involved.

      For those who oppose Mr. Ranus on this issue,I have a gig you might be up for. I have a friend overseas who is marrying a ten-year-old girl he fell in love with. (He has the bride’s father’s permission and all, and it’s not illegal by local laws, so it’s good to go in that culture.) He is really wanting an American photographer to shoot the wedding ceremony, but I can’t actually make the date. Would any of you be interested? The pay is good, and I can get you my friend’s contact info if you are potentially interested!

      1. khelmar Avatar

        Notice all these people volunteering to not be bigots? I’ve got another one, how about photographing female circumcision? Or an even simpler one. How about pornographic material? I assume every photographer on here that is against this law is willing to take pictures of a couple having sex right? They’re professionals and HAVE to serve EVERYBODY!

        1. Jill Avatar

          More excellent examples of activities I would not want to be FORCED to photograph simply because I entered the free market and hung out a shingle.

      2. Jill Avatar

        Excellent point.

    20. TByte Avatar

      Establishing a business under the protection of government and benefiting from public infrastructure is a privilege, not a right. Along with that privilege comes the requirement that you not operate your business in such a way as to discriminate against the public that allows your business to operate.

      1. Robertt1 Avatar

        I pay taxes for that “privilege”. The government is paid from those taxes. I invest money in my business and I work for that business, not the “public”. Why should “the public” have any right upon me and my private property?

        If I want to drive on the opposite lane (because “I feel so”) and the police stops me, is that “discrimination”? And I could make a long list of similar cases.

        1. TByte Avatar

          “I pay taxes for that “privilege”.
          So you agree that it is a privilege.

          “Why should “the public” have any right upon me and my private property?”
          They don’t, as long as you are not operating a public business under the legal protection of a government which is funded by people you choose to discriminate against.

          “Only homosexuals have ‘rights’?”
          Try not to look more ignorant than necessary.

          1. Robertt1 Avatar

            I agree you don’t understand what quotes mark stand for in this case.

            I fund the government as well, so that isn’t an argument.

            “Try not to look more ignorant than necessary.”

            Obviously I can’t beat you on that, so I wont even try.

          2. TByte Avatar

            I know what quote marks mean in normal cases. I have no idea what misuse you might apply to them.

            “I fund the government as well, so that isn’t an argument.”
            They fund the government too, so it is an argument.

            “Obviously I can’t beat you on that, so I wont even try.”
            You’re doing fine.

    21. Jill Avatar

      Oh, baloney. You got it backwards. Mankind existed BEFORE Government and its out of control bureaucracy. The Rights of the People preempt the Rights of Government. Government exists for the benefit of the People, not vice versa.

  8. Amanda Hill Avatar
    Amanda Hill

    So would you shoot couples that live together before marriage or those that one of the parties have been divorced? Sex before marriage and divorce are considered sins in the church.

    1. Robertt1 Avatar

      Yes, but getting married is the right thing to do. What do you want them to do? To continue to live unmarried?

  9. Robertt1 Avatar