Walter Olson writes (emphasis added)
Elane Photography LLC v. Vanessa Willock is the case in which an Albuquerque, NM woman has (thus farsuccessfully) sued husband-and-wife photographers under New Mexico’s “public accommodations” discrimination law for their reluctance to shoot photos of her commitment ceremony to a female partner. One of the most dismaying elements of the case is that the American Civil Liberties Union has taken the anti-liberty side. Adam Liptak in the NYT:
I asked Louise Melling, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, which has a distinguished history of championing free speech, how the group had evaluated the case.
Ms. Melling said the evaluation had required difficult choices. Photography is expression protected by the Constitution, she said, and Ms. [Elane] Huguenin acted from “heartfelt convictions.”
But the equal treatment of gay couples is more important than the free speech rights of commercial photographers, she said, explaining why the A.C.L.U. filed a brief in the New Mexico Supreme Court supporting the couple.
Earlier, Olson made the useful point that large organizations like the ACLU are not monolithic -- they have internal conflicts on issues like this. But based on my interactions with the ACLU, I believe the key word is in bold: "commercial". For many at the ACLU, the fact that an activity is commercial or for money voids or cancels out any rights one has. Property rights or rights exercised in the conduct of commerce tend to always come last (if at all) at the ACLU. Which is why I donate every year to the IJ, the organization the ACLU should have been if they had not been founded by
Stalinists. Update: That is unfair. It's like criticizing someone because of what his father did or believed. Many organizations move beyond their original founder's legacy. But it is never-the-less undeniable that -- at best -- the ACLU has no interest in property rights or commercial freedoms.