Lindsay posted this happy article from Tulsa World.
Gov. Mary Fallin has signed into law a bill that allows ministers to refuse to perform same-sex marriages if such marriages conflict with their religious beliefs.
Fallin said Friday that the law will protect the constitutional and religious rights of Oklahomans.
The law says no licensed, ordained or authorized official of a religious organization can be required to solemnize or recognize a marriage that violates that official’s conscience or religious belief.
Fallin said the bill makes it clear that religious leaders and houses of worship can’t be forced by the government to violate their faith where marriage is concerned.
This persecution of pastors for refusing to celebrate same-sex marriage is already happening in some states.
Here’s an article from Alliance Defending Freedom, which is doing a case on this right now.
The Coeur d’Alene city attorney confirmed in a letter Monday that ordained ministers operating a for-profit wedding chapel are in violation of a city ordinance for declining to marry same-sex couples.
The letter states that “if they are providing services primarily or substantially for profit and they discriminate in providing those services based on sexual orientation then they would likely be in violation of the ordinance.” ADF attorneys representing Donald and Evelyn Knapp explain that the letter’s contention that the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel is a non-profit entity that would be exempt from the ordinance is false.
“The city has said explicitly, repeatedly, and publicly that it would prosecute a for-profit business. That’s what the Hitching Post is, and it has never claimed to be anything other than that,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “While the Knapps do operate a ministry, they charge a fee for the ceremonies in order to be able to make a modest living. Therefore, the city, in its letter and elsewhere, is admitting that it would prosecute these pastors, who are clearly under a present threat of being sent to jail, fined, or both. The city has had months to figure out its own ordinance, and our clients have years of incarceration and devastating fines hanging over their heads. The city’s disingenuous waffling is indefensible.”
The religious corporation document filed by the Knapps on Oct. 6 did not change the chapel to a non-profit entity. It continues to operate as a for-profit LLC.
City officials told the Knapps that he and his wife Evelyn, both ordained ministers, are required to perform such ceremonies or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines. The city repeatedly claimed 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.
There is no state-wide non-discrimination law in Idaho, but this local ordinance is there, and that’s what got them into trouble.
Another reason to live in a small town in a conservative state. It’s probably a good idea to go into a STEM field where this is less likely to be a problem. But you’re never really safe now.
Yesterday, I posted an article with advice for churches from the Alliance Defending Freedom. ADF is the premier defender of civil liberties in the country. The problem of big government attacking free speech and religious liberty in the name of gay “equality” is a real thing. Hope you are ready for the new rules.