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First Amendment rights v. discrimination


First Amendment rights v. discrimination
Written by Kristin Chapman
February 13, 2008

When a same-sex couple asked Christian photographer Elaine Huguenin to photograph their commitment ceremony, Huguenin declined, citing conflicts with her personal beliefs. The couple took action, however, filing a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Division. Now Huguenin’s studio Elane Photography is being tried under state anti-discrimination laws for sexual orientation discrimination.

“On Monday we defended Elane Photography in court, saying basically that no person should be required to help others advance a message that they disagree with,” [Alliance Defense Fund] Senior Counsel and Senior Vice-President of the Office of Strategic Initiatives, Jordan Lorence, told LifeSiteNews in an interview today. ”That’s a basic First Amendment principle. The government is punishing Elaine photography for refusing to take photos which obviously advance the messages sent by the same-sex ceremony - that marriage can be defined as two women or two men.”

In their complaint the homosexual couple has sought for an injunction against Elane Photography that will forbid them from ever again refusing to photograph a same-sex ceremony. They have also requested attorney’s fees.

Lorence said the case is a tremendous threat to First Amendment rights: “Those who are advocating for same-sex marriage and for rights based upon sexual orientation keep arguing, ‘We are not going to apply these against churches. We are going to protect people’s right of conscience. We are all about diversity and pluralism.’” Thus, shouldn’t individuals like Huguenin have the right to decline?


I couldn't believe this when I heard it on the radio and found out it was true. The thing that sucks is that the photographer has to get and pay a lawyer and go through all this stuff.
I would have told them I was busy that day and let that be the end of it.


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2/27/2008 10:22:56 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  ya gotta a document # there.urban legends come and go.facts dillweed.your statement has no proof and can be considered slander.
i'm prejudice myself and I have that right.of course i'm old and just don't care.
yet you don't point us in a direction we can go and check this out.
my alien friend,from another planet,and I are just laughing our butts off.soutparks on and they love that.


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2/27/2008 9:55:59 PM

 
W.    The couple's freedom from discrimination is a given. So is the photographer's freedom of choice.

The judge will have to weigh them against each other – in the given situation! – and decide which is the prevailing argument. In THIS case.

If I were the judge I would decide in favor of the photographer, because the photographer has no alternatives. The couple does! They can go to another photographer.



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3/1/2008 5:49:44 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  IMO I think you guys are missing the point. Elane photo is being sued not because she spoke out, but from the act of denying services based on sexual orientation. There's a huge difference between speech and action. She acted based on a discriminatory animus and THAT was contrary to the New Mexico laws AND federal laws.

This is precisely the same as if someone denied services because the couple was black or Jewish, or Polish or because they were republican or democrat. Where do you draw the line in discrimination? When is enough enough? As a country, we have enough problems now to last through multiple administrations. In the past 7 years, we have become one of the most hated country's in the world. Our infrastructure is falling apart, kids aren't being sufficiently educated, we're either on the brink of recession or already in it, and inflation is knocking. The country itself is hopeless in debt. We have enough problems without adding hating each other to the list.

I think the couple was absolutely right and well within their rights to file a complaint with the state. If the photographer wanted to make a political statement, she could have said "Well, I disagree with your fundamental beliefs, BUT I don't disagree with your right to pursue them." Rather than the "I disagree with you and I'm going to deny my services based on your sexual preference". I think THAT was clearly wrong. THAT was the photographer's choice. And if you think she'll spend a dime on legal fees, you're probably wrong since the christian right will likely pick up the entire tab to spread their toxic anti-gay philosophy.

What if Elane photo went to the house of their prospective client and burned a camera on the front lawn? Is that ok? What's the difference between doing an act or denying services based on one prejudice or another? As I said, it's one thing to speak out, it's another to act on it. Like shouting "fire" in a crowded theater.

Regardless of reason, it's still ok to harbor the thought I guess, although that level of hatred is self-eroding I think. But it's another to act (or not act) on it. She should have said she was booked and kept her mouth shut. Her freedom of choice was to violate the anti-discrimination laws and in doing so, she got what she paid for.

By the fact pattern as Paul relates it anyway, this is what's called a "test case". Her answer to the couples inquiry was clearly and obviously intended to ignite a controversy and to have its intended effect. Interesting.
Take it light ;>)
Mark


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3/1/2008 10:20:25 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  20/20 just did a story on their "what would you do?" segment with seeing how would bystanders react when a store employee refused to serve a Muslim person in a convenience store.
They noted that it's illegal to refuse service based on that.
I would have like to have seen somebody persue taking on cvs stores for some of their pharmacist noting filling subscriptions for the morning-after-pill.


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3/1/2008 12:55:12 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Forgot to add that there was another church that had some problems with a gay couple and their church directory.
They didn't want their pictures in there as a couple, so they changed the way the did the directory.
Instead of individual pictures, they put in one group shot of everybody.


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3/1/2008 12:57:17 PM

 
W.   
"Where do you draw the line in discrimination?"

Where indeed?
However, this case may be slightly more complicated than that: discrimination is probably not the only issue at stake here. I expect the photographer to cite his/her right to freedom of religion, and that his/her denomination frowns (to put it mildly) on same sex marriages.

Do you think the judge is going to deny the photographer his/her freedom of religion? In the USA, "one nation under God"...?
I don't.


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3/1/2008 2:38:51 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Yeah, this isn't like a store where everybody can come in. It's service that you are asked/hired to do something.
In store studio like wal-mart and the like, their mode of operandi is come in get your portraits done. Like a store.
Wedding photographers, it's asked/hired to do an event. And there has to be an agreement there. This can get into differences in types of service businesses, and what you can and can't take on or decline. Also what can come up is did she agree to do it, then once she found out about it said no.
But you're right about contradictions in the u.s. We have separation of church and state, but print it on money.


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3/1/2008 3:03:50 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Well, no. The law doesn't distinguish between the size of the business or the service offered. The same anti-discrimination laws apply to AT&T and Walmart as they do to Sid's Dry Cleaners or Elane Photo. Imagine the huge problem if the law allowed one size of business to employ discriminatory practices and others not to. In theory anyway, we're a nation of laws applied equally across the board.

Nor is this really an issue of religious freedom. No one is preventing the photographer from practicing a particular religion. It's not as though she's gone to the couple asking them to preform a religious ceremony and they refused because she's a Christian. Rather, she's imposing her beliefs on the gay couple as a pretext to refusing to do business with them. That pretext lies at the heart of the anti-discrimination statutes. And I think you'll find that once the pharmacist / morning after pill cases are reviewed by the Supreme Court, they'll be prevented from that nonsense as well.

Moreover, she's in a traditionally non-religious business. No one is disenfranchising her religious beliefs. In my view, she's the one who needs to separate her beliefs from her business. Again, if she didn't want to make an issue out of this, she should have kept her mouth shut and denied services on other grounds like scheduling conflicts. That would have obviated the need for litigation.

And, for the photographer to argue her "beliefs" in front of a judge is pretty weak. It was an outright act of denying services based on sexual orientation. For her to argue religion is equivalent to saying "I ran that red light because it's against my religion to stop for traffic lights on Saturday." The act itself violates the law, NOT the mere thought process behind the act. The law itself isn't prohibiting thoughts or even speech. It prohibits acts. See the difference?

Lastly (sorry to disagree Greg) when someone opens their doors as a business and holds themselves out to the community to offer services, regardless of what they are, presumably they have a license or at least required to operate under the rules and regulations of state and federal laws. Last time I checked, that included laws prohibiting discrimination based on things like race, religion, creed and amendments to include sexual orientation. If any agreement, whether written or oral, contained language to the effect "photographer reserves the right not to perform if [s]he discovers that the couple is gay" that language is unenforceable because on its face, it's illegal.
Latah
M.


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3/1/2008 4:51:03 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Don't apologize just because you disagree. Especially when I haven't really sided with one side or the other. I'm mainly wondering if this case, if it goes to a court battle, will bring up at least one thing that comes to my mind that either may make a loop hole for discrimination like this, or cause some people who are in no way being discriminatory(at least based on sexuality), but force them to do something they just don't want to.
What I'm think as a hypothetical example is, say some culture or religion, or whatever wants a photographer to film their event or ceremony. And because culture, customs, what-not, there's something in the ceremony that the photographer just doesn't agree with or like.
Be it an animal rights person vs. something the traditional outfits are made of, like fur. Or there's chicken or duck is sacrificed as part the ceremony. The photographer doesn't want to do that. They don't make up a false schedule conflict, they just say that's not something I could handle photographing, so you'll ask somebody else.
Could that lead to a suit and saying if somebody comes to you and says, I want you to do my event, is your only choice to lie about not being available?
Bringing wal-mart into was not to argue size of a company, but more of how you use the service as a customer. At least to me, a portrait at wal-mart is similar to buying groceries at wal-mart. Wal-mart has the cans of corn, if you want it, you come in with money and you buy it.
A woman masseuse may have irrational fears about giving massages to men. Maybe too much body hair. If some really hairy guy asks her to schedule a massage, can she give an honest answer and decline?
I know the argument is she shouldn't be a masseuse, but I still think this could bring up some issues about whether a person who does something can turn down an offer and end up at least getting filed against, not because of something ridiculous as not photographing gay couples, but honestly because they didn't want to.


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3/2/2008 4:22:06 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Ok, let's say the photographer declined for just her own "personal reasons" regardless of what they are and without making them known to the future happy couple. There's nothing wrong with that. "Personal" could mean a million different things. That's distinguishable from "I'm a Christian, I disapprove of your life choices and sexual orientation and I won't work for you because you're a gay couple."

In the former example, you'd have to speculate and essentially be a mind reader to know what "personal reason" means. Neither a judge nor jury is going to speculate on that level. But in the latter example, she made the reason clear and therein lies the rub.
The photographer chose to make a political statement and acted on it. (Denying services) It would be equally wrong if Wal Mart or Holiday Inns or a dry cleaners, or any other business denied services to a gay individual or couple for the same reasons simply because they were gay. Discrimination based on sex was a pretext to denying service and that's contrary to law.

She could have said I'll do it but I won't like it; or "I'll do it but you might not like the results." She could have asked them if they wanted someone who held contrary beliefs to do their photos? There were a lot of different ways to handle this.

As I said earlier, I think this was, at least in part, contrived to be a test case. I have little doubt that this gay couple looked in the local telephone directory or heard from someone else that the photographer was a "christian photographer" and set her up for this. Regardless of what happened, it appears she took the bait and instead of just saying "I don't want to" decided to deliver a political message and this is what she got. See what I mean? Why didn't the pharmacist keep his mouth shut and just say "Sorry. Fresh out of morning after pills"? He wanted to deliver a message and instead of going to a rally at a clinic and carrying a sign, took it on himself to protest under the color of his business as a pharmacist. I think that was just as wrong as this situation was too.

Take it light ;>)
M



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3/2/2008 12:39:12 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  I see all your points. But there are examples where discrimination is excepted by people, and not necessarily because it's something that's always been done. Like Hooters.
They hire only women for waitressing, and also what can be arguably considered only good looking. So if a man tried to bring up a suit, and I do believe it's already been done, it would be looked upon as "don't you have something better to do?"
If a photographer turned down a fashion job, or ad job to advoid working with a gay man, there'd probably be consequences of word getting around to not work with the photographer. But a suit against the photographer to say he has to do it, I don't think would happen.
And the thing with the CVS pharmacist I don't think was an individual thing. It happened a few times in close proximity to each other, and statement that came from the company indicated it was something they stand on.
Made me wonder what the initials stood for.


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3/2/2008 1:16:39 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Good points as well, Greg. The anti-discrimination laws afford employers some degree of latitude in hiring and promotion practices. They fall under the category of BFOQ or "bona fide occupational qualification".

Hooters has been dragged through the mud a number of times as I recall, as has Playboy Enterprises and I'll bet Larry Flint too. In one Hooter case, a waitress argued the costumes were too skimpy and prior to trial, the employer was quick to argue she knew that prior to accepting employment and had even tried it on beforehand. Thus, the Court found, she could not be heard to argue sex discrimination when she'd already accepted the terms and conditions beforehand.

Playboy and Hooters successfully defended sex-based discrimination cases on the grounds of BFOQ. Now more on point is a case called Cory v. Metropolitan Car Wash in Anaheim California. In that case a guy argued "ladies day" discounts were sex-based and discriminated against men. The California Supreme Court agreed and told the car wash if they gave ladies a discount on one day, they had to provide them for men on an equal basis.

The other case I recall was against Disneyland in Calif. when the park ejected a gay couple for insisting that they be allowed to dance together on the Tomorrowland dance floor. The park security people cited the park's undisclosed rules prohibiting "same-sex dancing.". They sued under the California Unruh Civil Rights statute and prevailed. Disneyland entered into a consent degree reversing its policy and agreed to pay attorney fees.
The check had a large picture of Mickey Mouse on it. (No kidding).
Latah buddy.
M



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3/2/2008 5:10:46 PM

 
David A. Bliss   This one is tough for me, because I can see both sides. And let me qualify that by saying I am a liberal who believes gays should be allowed to marry. ;-)

In a situation where someone is being contracted to perform some service, especially a service that involves a level of artistic ability and emotional input, I think it is absolutely within someone's rights to turn down a job they don't feel they will do well. If they are forced to take a job they don't want and perform poorly, they could be subject to lawsuits and/or bad references. Personally, if someone didn't "approve" of my lifestyle, I wouldn't want them shooting my wedding!

I completely see your points, Mark, but why should they have had to lie or beat around the bush? "I don't approve of your lifestyle, I think it is an abomination against god, I am not going to bid on this job because my reputation might suffer for it."

They are still going to feel this way, regardless of what they actually tell the potential client. Are we truly a better world because we lie? If they get a bad reputation because they refused service, and enough people don't use them because of it, they will go out of business on their own.


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3/3/2008 5:07:35 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Perhaps you don't quite understand David. They're not my points, the anti-discrimination statutes are just that: laws that prohibit businesses from (in this case) engaging in discrimination based on sexual orientation. That's the law, state and federal.

I said was there were a lot of different ways for the photographer to have handled this without indicating in any way that the decision was based on a discriminatory animus. Lying about it was one suggested but so were other ways like "sorry, I don't want to do this. Period. In other words, I don't envision this was a mere slip of the tongue or accidental. It was clearly, from the way Paul described it, intended to have the obtained effect. IMO, the photographer expressed an unacceptable business view point with a desired consequence. Denial of service based on sexual orientation. It seems pretty straightforward to me.

There was no difference in this instance vs. an airline denying boarding to a same sex couple or a black couple or anyone else singled out because of race, religious or sexual orientation. Ever seen the Ku Klux Klan in action? Is there a difference? In the eyes of the law, hatred combined with action intended to harm or hurt has the same impact as denial of a service based on hatred. Right?
Take it light ;>)
Mark



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3/3/2008 7:57:47 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  myself,and anyone has the the right to give their services or not.no matter the reason or personal beliefs.
they requested a personl service,she refused.no one should take into account her personal reasons.
so I disagree with the western mormons who can take a tenth wife at the age of thirteen?
personal beliefs are what our predecessors have died for.i gave 2 years of my life,as did many others,so we could talk about this.
I can discriminate.by with my expierence I make this judgement.and then some law says I can't?geez this is not hatred.yet a learned expierence.you and the law can argue it's isolated,that it's not an overall consesus.so I can't hate?and laws have been passed.
I can agree or disagree.
but she has the right to refuse service for any reason she chooses.
the law is wrong.we have the right to personal beliefs.i can't change yours and you can't change mine.


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3/3/2008 10:23:31 PM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
Contact Carolyn
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PickYourShots.com
  A great thread guys! I'm getting a lot of good points to think about!


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3/4/2008 2:29:01 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  The law is wrong or are you saying this case doesn't fit the law?


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3/4/2008 4:20:12 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Nope. I'm not saying the law is wrong or that somehow the law is being stretched to fit the facts. I think as it stands now, the anti-discrimination laws are quite clear including the plain language of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, the amendments to it, and collateral laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination not only on the basis of sexual orientation but also in the housing field, persons with handicaps, employment, etc., etc.
M.


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3/4/2008 5:33:15 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Not you Mark. Wondering what Sam meant when he said the law is wrong.


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3/4/2008 6:05:28 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Oops! BTW, speaking of Sam's response, I didn't think Mormons could take a tenth wife until after the age of 14.

Oh, and Sam, perhaps you misunderstand: The law doesn't prohibit hate. Anyone is still entitled to their beliefs regardless of what they might be. In a sense, the law prohibits harmful acts and omissions based on the hatred, i.e., denying services for the reasons above expressed by the photographer. Don't you see a distinction between the two?
M.


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3/4/2008 8:10:00 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  ahh, this case does fit the law.boy I love that special mini pic greg.
but a court order to say you have to perform a service to something you disagree with?
the hate and hate crimes thing.yeah I got that.
now giving a bit of my beliefs.guys and gals only.i tease my friends that I am homophobic.to me this means I don't want to be around it,others say it means your worried you might switch.
yes greg,i think the law is wrong,no matter my service I can refuse.
it starts with an interwiew.prospective clients.according to the initial post,personal choice is irrevelent.your beliefs are crap and the courts say you must do this?
oh boy I hope the age is a mature 14.sacrificed by intelligent parents with such a great understandig.that profess such a great understanding of religion?yeah.
I see a dictinction,but no,i don't have to agree.


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3/5/2008 8:30:34 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  So if the law is wrong, a hotel can refuse to allow gay people, latino, black people?


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3/5/2008 10:17:55 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Certainly you have absolutely every right to disagree with the law. Well, you still have every right to... At least I think you have every right to disagree...wait a minute...at least in the U.S. in 2008 you sort of... Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm, you know Sam, I need to check and get back to ya on that one.
M.


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3/5/2008 11:25:24 PM

 
Anonymous    One of my good buds was asked about shooting a nude wedding in the late 90s and he refused saying "I don't think that would be very appropiate in Gods eyes". They weren't to happy about that and told him that "he shouldn't judge people", but they never sued him! He found out later through the grape vine that it was what he thought. He was thinking everyone would be nude, but it was just the bride topless and with long hair and a vail that covered pretty well.

I guess its better to just say nothing at all or refer them to another photographer.


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3/7/2008 10:51:17 AM

 
Jerry Frazier   The photographer is an idiot.

It is well-known that you shake the clients hands, let them know that if they have any further questions, to let you know, and if they decide to book, to call first and make sure you are still available.

When they call, you say, "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm no longer available. Let me gives you some reference photographers who may be able to hlep you."

Easy. you don't say you are booked, and you don't refuse service...EVER! You just say you are no longer available. Done deal. It could be any reason under the sun.

True story. I had a couple inquire about a date. they came and met and things went well. They left, and said they'll probably book but wanted to talk to their parents. No problem. Come to find out that that was the weekend of my daughters birthday party. So, oops. When they called back a few days later, I was no longer available. I don't have to say why, I just state the fact that I am not available.

Again, the photographer in this case is an idiot.


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3/7/2008 12:19:20 PM

 
Jerry Frazier   Many small business are so surprised to find out that there are all sorts of weird laws they have to comply with.

A friend of mine owns a studio in San Diego. There's a well-known a-hole jerk-off that goes around and sues all small business for lack of access. So, my friends studio is upstairs. She leases the space and there are other businesses in the same building with the same issues. There is no wheel chair access to the places on the 2nd floor. But, get this, they go after the businesses, not the people that own the property. I'm not sure of all the specifics, but there are laws about this stuff. You may say, my clients and customers are not in wheelchairs. They don't care, by law, in CA at least, you HAVE to provide access or you are not lawful. 99% you are fine by ignoring this, but if a guy liek this sue happy jerk-off finds out, look out. You will have to pay more money than you make in order to make things right.

I am only illustrating that you often have the illusion that you have lots of choices in who you serve. But, there are more laws against you with regards to this. Most of us are surprised, and it takes cases like these to bring out our vulnerabilities.


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3/7/2008 12:24:28 PM

 
Anonymous    Well, I know he is not. He was younger back then and he was and still is strong in his faith and was trying to sway them into doing what he thought was right thing. He needed the money and would have shot it, but a nude ceremony for him was out of the question. The couple was in another state and it was done over the phone. He said now older and wiser that he would have handled it differently.

I'm predicitng that in the future people will sue you if they don't like their photos and win if proven that you weren't really qualified for the job and just had some random quality shots in your portfolio. I like to call those "lucky shots".


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3/7/2008 12:32:31 PM

 
Jerry Frazier   Sorry Paul, I wasn't talking about your phtogorapher friend being an idiot. I'm talking about the photographer in the OP's original question.


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3/7/2008 1:05:24 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Paul mentioned:
"I'm predicitng that in the future people will sue you if they don't like their photos and win if proven that you weren't really qualified for the job and just had some random quality shots in your portfolio. I like to call those "lucky shots"

The future is now. When someone holds themselves out to the community as a professional photographer and charges fees for services, the law says that person is implying that they have necessary skill levels, equipment and generally the ability to do this type of work and get paid for it. Photographers who "blow" a one-time event like a wedding are oftentimes found on the defendant side of a lawsuit and on the hook for negligence and associated damages.

Even if someone (or a couple) sign a waiver of damages if the photos don't rise to some vague, community standard of quality, that language is construed as "exculpatory" in most instances and doesn't apply when someone holds themselves out to be a pro wedding photog.

As to the guy who sues building owners for inaccessibility, probably under federal ADA laws, he's likely to find himself charged as a vexatious litigant, especially in the Southern District of California, and banned from further filings until a judge reviews the lawsuit, finds some merit and approves the lawsuit for filing and serving. There are also ample defenses available to landowner/occupiers for accessibility requirements including grandfathering the architectural design, the building itself, and the tenants based on the year it was built. There is some justice in the world.
M.

The hits just keep on coming.


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3/7/2008 2:57:06 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  I'd just put a stick through the spokes of his wheels.


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3/7/2008 8:54:24 PM

 
Jerry Frazier   No Mark. This guy is known for this. This is what he does and he's viscious. The way the law around this is written is once it's discovered and brought forward, there is really no choice but for the courts to force the businesses to fix the situation. It's just one of those deals.


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3/7/2008 9:28:45 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  geez greg,i would not support such an issue.i agree we're all different.but I don't have to submit myself to law or a genaralist or majority rule.
my morals are no one else's,mine.it does bother me some disagree.at times i'm not being fair as to how I was raised and what I think is right.
your last post just popped up,i guess it is so simple???
maybe some are aware of who posted.that to question isn't all that bad?hope your ok tonight slick.
it's not a bad watch,sam


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3/7/2008 9:31:56 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  You said that the law is wrong.


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3/8/2008 3:59:26 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  yes.but not as their general rule.most think we live in a democracy,yet we live in a republic.the republic for which we,we stand.one nation under god.
so if I don't go to church,none of this applies to me?even though I profess no faith and I have no clue as to what is right,and it does scare me as to what others think is right,i can't think their wrong.i give my opinion,which may be wrong,but I still listen.
was the original post meant to cause trouble?so what?
and I said that,that law was wrong,i did not suggest a maverick society as you suggest.
but,if no one refuses,to refuse and challenge,we are not better off.in my community I pursue we.what do we do?
sam


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3/8/2008 8:05:24 PM

 
Bernard    This country gives us freedom to practice religion, my religion (christian) commands that I have no part in homosexuallity, romans 1:26 through 1:27, or I will be punished, should I be punished for following my religion. I can only tell these loving people my belief (pun intended), I can't take them to court.


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3/9/2008 12:52:29 AM

 
Anonymous    Sam just curious, what country are you from?


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3/9/2008 10:11:54 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Bernie reported: "This country gives us freedom to practice religion . . ."

That's certainly true. But this country's constitution also provides a separation between church and state. That would include your church as well as mine.

You also said: "My religion christian) commands that I have no part in homosexuallity. . .".

Thanks for the scoop on that, but maybe you haven't heard that the state rules don't grant you the license to use your religion as a club to bully people into either accepting your religion or denying services because of it. Just thought I'd mention it.
M.


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3/9/2008 12:15:20 PM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
  ..."
I didn't think Mormons could take a tenth wife until after the age of 14.

Being Mormon, I can say the age is 13 now and we also have our horns removed at a early age for "cosmetic" purposes. :)


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3/9/2008 12:43:55 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  so as far as my morals,the state can overule my decision.wether religion or belief,why it has been given to another to decide my morals.this is not to discrimate but a belief.not religion.
so I argue with the courts I cannot apply my abilities,to my expertise because of such.even if I say i'm prejudice.so the opposition wants a jury trial?bingo.
I am from a state of mind paul.
bear with us vicki.ya didn't have to buy a ticket.


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3/10/2008 9:54:02 PM

 
Bernard    Regardless of separation of church and state, as in this case they still clash, and both have rights, the state makes concessions for the religious beleif of persons all the time' holidays, pledge of legends ect.., I'm sure a case such as this has passed through the courts a few times. I"ll click google, to find the outcome.
Sam, "from a state of mind" perfect timing, I'd could add to that one, but decided not to, because I may need your help one day.


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3/11/2008 1:02:47 AM

 
Anonymous    Are you sure?LOL


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3/11/2008 2:38:08 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  "I'm sure a case such as this has passed through the courts a few times."

Tell us Bernard, what case? Where?

Maybe instead of Googling your legal research, you could try a legal data base like Westlaw? Whaddya think?
M


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3/11/2008 9:42:11 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  rules of engagement.like to be right.
western california slang that ain't me.
sometimes we just listen.sometimes we talk to the kid on the corner.
research?knowledge?we all need not to infringe on some rights.
just a little lee way.


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3/11/2008 10:14:25 PM

 
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