Tag Archives: Gaystapo

Christian couple loses appeal, must pay $135,000 for not affirming same-sex marriage

States with non-discrimination laws
States that force Christians to affirm and celebrate LGBT lifestyles

There’s been an update on the persecution of the Christian bakers from Oregon. They appealed their case to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

The Daily Signal has the latest news:

A husband-and-wife baking team must pay a $135,000 fine for declining to make a cake for the wedding of two women, Oregon’s second-highest court has ruled.

A three-judge panel of the Oregon Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a decision by a state agency that led to the fine and forced Aaron and Melissa Klein to close their bakery.

The court ruled that baking wedding cakes is not “speech, art, or other expression” protected by the First Amendment. The judges said the state did not “impermissibly burden the Kleins’ right to the free exercise of religion” because it compelled the Christian bakers only to comply with “a neutral law of general applicability.”

Oregon law prohibits businesses from refusing service because of a customer’s sexual orientation, as well as because of race, gender, and other personal characteristics.

“We are very disappointed in the court’s decision,” Michael Berry, deputy general counsel at First Liberty Institute, which represents the Kleins, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview Friday. “I think that punishing people for their religious beliefs is … not American, and it’s wrong.”

“It does not matter how you were born or who you love,” one of the lesbians, Laurel Bowman-Cryer, said in a written  statement  following the ruling.

[…]After the Kleins declined in 2013 to make a cake for the wedding of Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, citing their Christian religious beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, they also faced protests that eventually led them to shut down their bakery.

[…]Berry, the First Liberty attorney, said his legal team is deciding how they will move forward, which could mean appealing to the Oregon Supreme Court.

How would same-sex marriage affect your marriage? That’s what proponents of same-sex marriage asked before forcing us all to participate in their gay weddings. The Christian bakers in question did not discriminate against individual gay people, they just didn’t want to be participants in a view of marriage that is unacceptable to any Bible-believing Christian. Marriage is important in Christianity. It’s a union of complementary male and female natures designed to provide children with male and female parenting.

If you’re living in one of the blue or purple states in the map above, then you are vulnerable to persecution by your state. It’s very important for Christians to be aware of where they live, and to whom they are paying taxes. I think husbands in particular need to be careful about what they study, where they work, and where they live, given the challenges that Christian families face from the secular state. Secular leftists are in love with their sinful rebellion, and morality makes no sense to them. We have seen many, many examples of people on the secular left using threats, coercion, vandalism and even violence, to get others to agree with them.

It’s worth remembering that we’re in this situation largely because pious Bible-oriented pastors have been taking a vacation from the moral issues of the day, e.g. – abortion and same-sex marriage. They see their role as feeling good and being liked. Using science and philosophy to train Christians about the case for pro-life and or the case for natural marriage is too much work. I guess they think that it’s better to just focus on proper theology for the 50th time in a row, and not say anything divisive about current events.

Great grandmother florist is the latest victim of the gay inquisition

This is from the Daily Signal.

Excerpt:

A florist in Washington state is being sued for adhering to her Christian beliefs in declining to make flower arrangements for one couple’s wedding.

Before the lawsuit, Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Wash., had employed workers who identify as homosexual and sold floral arrangements to gay and lesbian customers.

One such customer turned out to be one of the men who would sue her for not being willing to be hired for their same-sex wedding.

Unlike businesses that face similar lawsuits for refusing to provide specific wedding-related services to gay and lesbian couples on religious grounds—among them bakers in Oregon and farmers in New York—Stutzman is being sued in both a professional and personal capacity.

When Washington state legalized same-sex marriage in 2012, she decided that as a matter of conscience she could not participate in or further same-sex ceremonies by using her creative skills in connection with them.

So when two men, Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed, asked her to design flower arrangements for their wedding, Stutzman politely declined and referred them to other vendors in the area. Ingersoll had been a valued customer, she says, so it was difficult.

The state’s attorney general said Stutzman’s decision to stand by her Christian faith was in direct conflict with a state law ensuring freedom from discrimination.

The measure prohibits places of public accommodation–which officials say include Arlene’s Flowers–from discriminating on grounds of race, creed, sexual orientation, physical disability and so forth.

[…]Stutzman is represented by Kristen Waggoner, a lawyer at Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization dedicated to defending religious liberty.

[…]Waggoner says it is unprecedented for the Washington attorney general’s office to sue a family business owner in a personal capacity unless that owner has committed acts of fraud or misrepresentation.

“They’re trying to set an example of her and punish her,” says Waggoner, noting the suit has the potential to cripple Stutzman’s livelihood. “She’s not wealthy, so common sense would tell you that it’s going to hurt pretty bad.”

So I guess my problem with this is that gay people can go to any other florist and get the flowers they want. But instead of doing that, they prefer to force their morality on this woman. This woman doesn’t think that same-sex marriage is something to be celebrated. But the gay rights activists think that she needs to be forced by the power of the state to celebrate gay marriage. How would gay marriage affect you? Well, you will be prosecuted by the state and have your wealth confiscated. This case should be talked about in every church in the land next Sunday. But then I guess people would complain that that they were being too political and not providing them with feelings of comfort and happiness.

Police chaplain forced to resign for supporting traditional marriage

Mary sent me this article from the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

A police chaplain says he was forced out of his post after criticising the Government’s plans for gay marriage on his personal website, MPs have been told.

Rev Brian Ross said he was summoned to a meeting with a senior officer and told that postings on his blog on the subject of marriage did not fit with the force’s equality and diversity policies.

Campaigners against same-sex marriage claimed that the case was “just the start of things to come”.

They said it backed up warnings that chaplains in hospitals, prisons and the armed forces as well as teachers and other public servants could be dismissed legally from their jobs if they take what they consider to be a stand on grounds of conscience over the issue.

Ministers have repeatedly insisted that no one should be sacked from their job for voicing opposition to same-sex marriage and have built in special “protections” for clerics into the Government’s Marriage Bill.

But in a written submission to a committee of MPs revising the bill in the House of Commons Rev Ross claimed that his case was “typical of the kind of situation that could, and would, arise” once gay marriage becomes law.

[…][Ross] went on: “Just before the summer, a particular senior officer in one of the divisions read my personal blog and objected to my expressed support for traditional marriage as, it was claimed, it went against the force’s equality and diversity policies.

“I was summoned to a meeting, the end result of which has been that my services have been dispensed with.

“This, I would emphasise, is before any legislation has been placed on the Statute Book.”

I recommend that Christians who like to blog on social issues blog under an alias, because this kind of thing happens more than you expect, and the consequences can be much worse than this. Depending on where you are, you might end up paying tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees as you go through a multi-year trial in front of some political correctness tribunal.

Christian demoted for expressing disagreement with same-sex marriage

From the UK Daily Mail, worrying news about the state of free speech in the UK. (H/T Dina)

Excerpt:

Mr Smith has worked for 18 years for Trafford Council and Trafford Housing Trust, which manages more than 9,000 homes in Sale, Greater Manchester.

But he now finds his career in tatters over a comment he wrote on his personal Facebook page one Sunday morning in response to a BBC story headlined ‘Gay church “marriages” get go-ahead’. The story referred to Government plans to lift the ban on homosexual couples holding civil partnerships in churches and other religious settings.

Mr Smith, whose Facebook profile identified him as working for the Trust as a housing manager, commented: ‘An equality too far.’

A few hours later, one of his Facebook friends, a work colleague whose identity is not known to The Mail on Sunday, posted: ‘Does this mean you don’t approve?’

The following evening after work, Mr Smith, who attends an evangelical church in Bolton, responded: ‘No, not really. I don’t understand why people who have no faith and don’t believe in Christ would want to get hitched in church.

[…]Mr Smith was disciplined after a second colleague complained to the Trust’s ‘equality and diversity lead’, Helen Malone.

A few days later, Mr Smith was summoned from his home to a meeting at the Trust’s headquarters in Sale, where he was told he was being suspended while the complaint was investigated.

He was warned that even though his Facebook page could be viewed only by registered friends, rather than by the general public, those readers included colleagues who had taken issue with his comments.

A shocked Mr Smith, who managed a team looking after local housing issues, immediately removed the reference to where he worked from the page.

The following month he was called to a disciplinary meeting before Mike Corfield, the Trust’s Assistant Director, Customers. Although Mr Smith was allowed to put his case, insiders described the meeting as ‘tense and fraught’.

According to legal documents lodged at Manchester County Court, Debbie Gorman, a ‘neighbourhood manager’ also at the meeting, said Mr Smith’s comment could cause offence.

She said she had interpreted it as saying ‘gay people are not as equal as people who are not gay’ and that the comment could be viewed as homophobic.

Mr Corfield said it was not the comment but its potential misinterpretation that was at issue, but still ruled that Mr Smith had committed a serious breach of discipline for which he could be dismissed.

But because of his loyal service, Mr Smith was instead demoted to money support adviser, handling rent collection. His pay was reduced to £21,396, phased in over a year, and he was given a final written warning.

Mr Smith has been advised he cannot speak to the press, but his solicitor Tom Ellis, of Aughton Ainsworth in Manchester, said: ‘Adrian was shocked and distressed to have been disciplined in this way. He never expected this to happen – it came completely out of the blue.

When people on the secular left talk about tolerance, equality and diversity, this is what they mean. You can’t even make a comment on your on personal Facebook page without being censored by state for thought crime.

The fact is that gay rights and religious liberty are on a legal collision course. (H/T Ruth Blog)

Excerpt:

When the relationships of “gay people” need societal validation, some of them, at least, have made it clear that it’s not all that wrong to stop dissenters from living according to their beliefs.

“There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases, the sexual liberty should win because that’s the only way that the dignity of gay people can be affirmed in any realistic manner,” said sexual activist and former ACLU attorney Chai Feldblum before President Obama appointed her to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she now has power to try to enforce that view. “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win,” she said.

Indeed, isn’t this the reason that the religious liberty exemptions in the New York marriage redefinition bill don’t include conscience exceptions for individuals or businesses? The idea is that everyone must accept the newly imposed values and live accordingly. A wedding photographer who can’t in good conscience use her artistic expression to make a same-sex ceremony look good as part of her creative work will be regarded no differently than the racist behind the lunch counter who doesn’t want to serve blacks. As Feldblum explained in The Brooklyn Law Review:

Just as we do not tolerate private racial beliefs that adversely affect African-Americans in the commercial arena, even if such beliefs are based on religious views, we should similarly not tolerate private beliefs about sexual orientation and gender identity that adversely affect LGBT people.

And if you’re a New York clerk who has a problem of conscience with issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says you need to give up your job, despite New York law that states otherwise. After all, as one Albany law professor who apparently doesn’t bat an eye about putting this on par with racism says, “There is just not a good legal argument that you have the right to discriminate.”

So if you’ve been on the fence about protecting marriage—wondering how someone else’s same-sex “marriage” will affect your marriage—now you’ve got a good bit of the answer: if you’re part of the 62 percent of Americans who believe marriage should be defined only as the union of a man and a woman, prepare to be regarded as the Ku Klux Klan member next door—and for your children to be taught the same perspective at your local government-run school. As a post titled “Can We Please Just Start Admitting That We Do Actually Want To Indoctrinate Kids?” on the Queerty website put it:

They accuse us of exploiting children and in response we say, “NOOO! We’re not gonna make kids learn about homosexuality, we swear! It’s not like we’re trying to recruit your children or anything.” But let’s face it—that’s a lie. We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it.

The message is frequently that recognition for same-sex unions will have no effect on those who disagree with them, but the evidence clearly says otherwise. As Princeton politics professor Robert P. George notes, “once one buys into ideology of sexual liberalism, the reality that has traditionally been denominated as ‘marriage’ loses all intelligibility . . . one will come to regard one’s allegiance to sexual liberalism as a mark of urbanity and sophistication, and will likely find oneself looking down on those ‘ignorant,’ ‘intolerant,’ ‘bigoted’ people—those hicks and rubes—who refuse to get ‘on the right side of history.’”

And let this be a lesson to all of you who don’t have aliases, and who do have your colleagues who can see your comments on sites like Facebook. Don’t be surprised when things like this happen to you.