Main | Sunday, October 19, 2014

IDAHO: Hate Group Sues City For Right To Discriminate Against Gay Couples

Remember the Idaho wedding chapel that said it would close before it would ever serve gay couples? Now that same-sex marriage is legal in that state, the owners have changed their minds and decided to sue the town of Coeur d’Alene in order to again make it legal to discriminate against LGBT Americans. The owners are being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom. News of the lawsuit comes, unsurprisingly, from Todd Starnes.
“The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jeremy Tedesco said. “The city is on seriously flawed legal ground, and our lawsuit intends to ensure that this couple’s freedom to adhere to their own faith as pastors is protected just as the First Amendment intended.” Alliance Defending Freedom also filed a temporary restraining order to stop the city from enforcing the ordinance. “The Knapps are in fear that if they exercise their First Amendment rights they will be cited, prosecuted and sent to jail,” Tedesco told me.

It’s hard to believe this could happen in the United States. But as the lawsuit states, the elderly couple is in a “constant state of fear that they may have to go to jail, pay substantial fines, or both, resulting in them losing the business that God has called them to operate and which they have faithfully operated for 25 years.” The lawsuit comes the same week that the city of Houston issued subpoenas demanding that five Christian pastors turn over sermons dealing with homosexuality and gender identity. What in heaven’s name is happening to our country, folks. I was under the assumption that churches and pastors would not be impacted by same-sex marriage. “The other side insisted this would never happen – that pastors would not have to perform same-sex marriages,” Tedesco told me. “The reality is – it’s already happening.

Last year Coeur d’Alene adopted a public accommodations ordinance that protects LGBT residents from discrimination. The town's bill exempts religious entities, but the Hitching Post also performs civil ceremonies.

RELATED: While no public accommodation protections exist statewide in Idaho, the towns of Boise, Sandpoint, Ketchum, Moscow, and Pocatello have similar laws to Coeur d'Alene.

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