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Idaho Christians Going To Jail For Standing Up To Homosexuals, Just Like Martin Luther King
Nobody could have seen this coming. The second Idaho got marriage equality, the crazed liberals who rule that state started oppressing supporters of traditional marriage right and left. Just look at this screaming headline from Tucker Carlson's Internet Rage-a-torium: "Idaho City To Christian Pastors: Perform Same-Sex Weddings Or Face Jail."It's just like the Culture Warriors predicted! Merely standing up for the Bible is now a criminal offense! Let's see exactly how terrible the oppressin' is!
The city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is taking a step many opponents of same-sex marriage feared would come -- forcing those with religious objections to perform same-sex marriages or risk facing prosecution for violating non-discrimination laws.
Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who oppose gay marriage, own the Hitching Post wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene [...]
The city of Coeur d’Alene has an ordinance that prohibits discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation, in public accommodations. It does have a religious exemption, but the Hitching Post is a for-profit company, not technically a religious organization, in spite of the Knapp’s deeply held personal beliefs.
Back in May, when everything was on hold pending the Supreme Court, Donald told KXLY, “I think the Bible is pretty clear that homosexuality is not his way, and therefore I cannot unite people in a way that I believe would conflict with what the Bible teaches.” The Knapps have said they will close their doors before violating their religious beliefs.
Ah, but they didn't shut their doors quickly enough. Last week, after they "politely declined" to let a same-sex couple get married at the Hitchin' Post, the Knapps "now face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding,” according to website The Daily Signal, which doesn't specify whether the Knapps have actually been issued a citation for violating Coeur d'Alene's nondiscrimination law, or if they're just sure that they will be.
Nonetheless, since the city did inform the Knapps in advance that they would be in violation of the ordinance if they refuse services to same-sex customers, let's just assume that the couple has already been imprisoned in a re-education gulag, shall we? The "Alliance Defending Freedom" has already "filed a federal lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order" to protect the Knapps from possible misdemeanor charges.
Can't you just smell the oppression? Just like any number of for-profit businesses, the Hitchin' Post is indeed subject to the same rules that govern coffee shops, penis cake bakeries, and movie theaters. Gee, guess if you want to take advantage of the religious exemption, you need to be running a church, not a nondenominational wedding chapel. After all, if the Knapps had declared they wouldn't marry an interracial couple or two Jews, they'd be just as subject to the same law.
Oh, but wait -- the ADF explains that this business is different:
The Knapps, both in their 60s and who themselves have been married for 47 years, began operating the wedding chapel in 1989 as a ministry. They perform religious wedding ceremonies, which include references to God, the invocation of God’s blessing on the union, brief remarks drawn from the Bible designed to encourage the couple and help them to have a successful marriage, and more. They also provide each couple they marry with a CD that includes two sermons about marriage, and they recommend numerous Christian books on the subject. The Knapps charge a small fee for their services.
Oh, so we guess they've also incorporated as a church, then? No? They're a business? Huh. But they sincerely believe that their for-profit business is a ministry, so hey, they can do what they want. Poor oppressed Christians. If only there were some way they could have a ministry that wasn't also a for-profit business. It is truly a puzzle. We wonder if their friends at the Donut Shop Ministry or the Gas Station Ministry ever have these problems.
In a related development, the owner of an Elvis-themed wedding chapel in Las Vegas is also refusing to perform same-sex marriages, because they don't want to cheapen the sanctity of weddings performed by Elvis impersonators. This brave Christian warrior may also face misdemeanor charges for discrimination, but it doesn't yet appear that she has received any support from the "Alliance Defending Freedom," which is clearly not supportive of equal rights for Christian Elvisites.