The American government in Idaho is now threatening imprisonment to an American pastor for refusing to do a homosexual “wedding” in his wedding chapel. I did a whole video on this:
According to one report on this story:
Two Christian ministers who own an Idaho wedding chapel were told they had to either perform same-sex weddings or face jail time and up to a $1,000 fine, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court.
Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene.
“Right now they are at risk of being prosecuted,” their ADF attorney, Jeremy Tedesco, told me. “The threat of enforcement is more than just credible.”
According to the lawsuit, the wedding chapel is registered with the state as a “religious corporation” limited to performing “one-man-one-woman marriages as defined by the Holy Bible.”
But the chapel is also registered as a for-profit business – not as a church or place of worship – and city officials said that means the owners must comply with a local nondiscrimination ordinance.
That ordinance, passed last year, prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, and it applies to housing, employment and public accommodation.
City Attorney Warren Wilson told The Spokesman-Review in May that the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel likely would be required to follow the ordinance.
“I would think that the Hitching Post would probably be considered a place of public accommodation that would be subject to the ordinance,” he said.
He also told television station KXLY that any wedding chapel that turns away a gay couple would in theory be violating the law, “and you’re looking at a potential misdemeanor citation.”
Wilson confirmed to Knapp my worst fear — that even ordained ministers would be required to perform same-sex weddings.
“Wilson also responded that Mr. Knapp was not exempt from the ordinance because the Hitching Post was a business and not a church,” the lawsuit states.
And if he refused to perform the ceremonies, Wilson reportedly told the minister that he could be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to up to 180 days in jail.
Now all of that was a moot point because, until last week, gay marriage was not legal in Idaho.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an order on May 13 allowing same-sex marriages to commence in Idaho on Oct. 15. Two days later, the folks at the Hitching Post received a telephone call.
A man had called to inquire about a same-sex wedding ceremony. The Hitching Post declined, putting it in violation of the law.
City officials did not respond to my requests for an interview, nor did they respond to requests from local news outlets.
“The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines,” Tedesco said.