One day after a New Mexico county became the first one to actively issue same-sex licenses since 2004, gay rights earned another victory in court.

The Associated Press reports that New Mexico's state Supreme Court came to a unanimous decision, ruling that Elane Photography's decision to refuse photographing a 2006 commitment ceremony violated the state's Human Rights Act. Owner Elaine Hugenin cited religious beliefs as the cause behind her choice, according to the wire service.

A segment of the state Supreme Court's decision, via Metro Weekly:

"The purpose of the NMHRA is to ensure that businesses offering services to the general public do not discriminate against protected classes of people, and the United States Supreme Court has made it clear that the First Amendment permits such regulation by state. Businesses that choose to be public accommodations must comply with the NMHRA, although such businesses retain their First Amendment rights to express their religious or political beliefs. They may, for example, post a disclaimer on their website or in their studio advertising that they oppose same-sex marriage but that they comply with applicable anti-discrimination laws."

Louise Melling, Deputy Legal Director for the American Civil Liberties Union, applauded the decision.

"Today's opinion recognizes the sincerity of those beliefs, but makes clear that no one's religious beliefs make it okay to break the law by discriminating against others," Melling wrote.

Jordan Lorence, a lawyer for the photography business, felt otherwise, calling the decision a "blow" to Americans' rights.

"Government-coerced expression is a feature of dictatorships that has no place in a free country," Lorence said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press. "This decision is a blow to our client and every American's right to live free."

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Connecticut

    Since November 12, 2008

  • Delaware

    Gay marriage law <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/07/delaware-gay-marriage-law-_n_3232771.html" target="_blank">enacted</a>, weddings to begin July 1.

  • Iowa

    Since April 3, 2009

  • Maine

    In 2012, Maine voted in favor of a ballot amendment to legalize gay marriage.

  • Maryland

    The gay marriage bill was signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on March 1, 2012. Opponents later gathered enough signatures to force the issue back onto the ballot in November 2012, but voters rejected the effort against gay marriage.

  • Massachusetts

    Since May 17, 2004

  • Minnesota

    Same-sex marriage bill signed into law in May. Gay marriages will begin in August.

  • New Hampshire

    Since January 1, 2010

  • New York

    Since July 24, 2011

  • Rhode Island

    Bill passed in May. Law takes effect on August 1, 2013.

  • Vermont

    Since September 1, 2009

  • Washington

    On February 13, 2012, Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) signed a law allowing same-sex marriage ceremonies to begin on June 7, 2012. The process was delayed by gay marriage opponents who gathered enough signatures to put the issue up to a state vote in November 2012. They voted to approve it on Election Day.

  • Washington D.C.

    Since March 9, 2010

  • California

    The state initially began conducting gay marriages on June 16, 2008. On November 5, 2008, however, California voters passed Proposition 8, which amended the state's constitution to declare marriage as only between a man and a woman. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled against that law, and the state shortly thereafter began sanctioning same-sex nuptials.