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Photographer Cites Artistic Freedom In Denying Lesbian Clients During Appeal

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File photo of a judge's gavel. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a judge’s gavel. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court on Monday morning hears the appeal of an Albuquerque photographer fined by the state for refusing to take pictures of a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony.

A conservative group called Alliance Defending Freedom is helping Elaine Huguenin of Elane Photography, arguing artistic freedom enables her to choose what to photograph.

Lower courts have upheld a nearly $7,000 judgment against the photographer for violating the state Human Rights Act.

The courts say a photo studio is public, like a restaurant or store, and cannot refuse to provide service based on sexual orientation.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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