The Daily Signal posted an article yesterday about Donald and Evelyn Knapp, two ordained ministers who run the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel.
The article reports:
Officials from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, told the couple that because the city has a non-discrimination statute that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the couple would have to officiate at same-sex weddings in their own chapel.
The non-discrimination statute applies to all “public accommodations,” and the city views the chapel as a public accommodation.
On Friday, a same-sex couple asked to be married by the Knapps, and the Knapps politely declined. The Knapps now face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.
I hope the Knapps have good lawyers working on this–it is blatantly unconstitutional.
The article explains the balance that is needed in this case:
States must protect the rights of Americans and the associations they form—both nonprofit and for-profit—to speak and act in the public square in accordance with their beliefs. It is particularly egregious that the city would coerce ordained ministers to celebrate a religious ceremony in their chapel. The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a motion arguing that this action “violates [the Knapps’s] First and 14th Amendment rights to freedom of speech, the free exercise of religion, substantive due process, and equal protection.”
Citizens must work to prevent or repeal laws that create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We must also insist on laws that protect religious freedom and the rights of conscience.
It is not my concern whether or not homosexuals marry. It is my concern when the rights of Americans are violated in order to give special privileges to any group. We need to get back to the place where the rights of all Americans are respected–the rights of religious people and the rights of homosexuals.