Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Tells Pastors To Perform Gay Weddings Or Face Jail

Idaho

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order Friday to stop officials in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, from forcing two ordained Christian ministers to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.

City officials told Donald Knapp that he and his wife, Evelyn—both ordained ministers who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel—are required to perform such ceremonies or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines. The city claims its “non-discrimination” ordinance requires the Knapps to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies now that the courts have overridden Idaho’s voter-approved constitutional amendment that affirmed marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

“The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Many have denied that pastors would ever be forced to perform ceremonies that are completely at odds with their faith, but that’s what is happening here—and it’s happened this quickly. 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.

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1 thought on “Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Tells Pastors To Perform Gay Weddings Or Face Jail”

  1. I suggest that the church is not governed by the city. The sacraments of a church are governed by that church.
    They are totally out of line in making any kind of restriction on religion whether it be pushing gay marriage or anything else.
    For one thing, they are discriminating against people because of their religion. That religion happens to take a dim view on Gay People’s sexual activities as an abomination. They have a right to believe as they want to believe and forcing their hands on this is just plain wrong.
    That dim view is also in dozens of local laws against this practice of being gay. For some time, homosexual acts were outlawed by these same courts. Now higher ups are wanting to change all that for reasons of their own. Perhaps we have a few closet homosexuals in the courts or in the lawyers offices. They are not shy about their agenda. That it totally goes against everything that the law stands for is beside the point. The laws on the books have to be enforced concerning homosexual behavior. That has not happened in a while.
    From the start, the laws of our land have reflected the belief systems of the people making them. They are based on being morally right.
    You cannot suddenly throw those principles set in law away no matter how much a court would like to do so.
    I suggest the court in question is prejudiced against the Christian belief system. Perhaps the people need to decide whether or not to recall them from practice as judges in a court of law. I think disbarment might be in order. Conduct unbecoming should be the charge.
    They basically know better than to put forth any kind of ordance that governs how people can practice their sacraments of their faith and they know it is wrong. If they are indeed prejudiced then the law itself is unconstitutional based on discrimination. No ordance is allowed to discriminate against people. That is federal law and it is enforced against any zoning law that discriminates against people.

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