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Monday, October 27, 2014

City of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Backs Down-- Won't Force Christian Ministers to Marry Gay Couples

I posted about this a few days ago. It seems that someone blinked in the city government and Coeur d'Alene has backed away from forcing unwilling Christian ministers to officiate at gay marriages.

From Boise State Public Radio article by Jessica Robinson (h/t to Sig94):

The city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, said a for-profit wedding chapel owned by two ministers doesn't have to perform same-sex marriages.   
The city has been embroiled in controversy ever since the owners of the Hitching Post sued the city. They say a city anti-discrimination law threatened to force them to marry same-sex couples now that gay marriage is legal in Idaho.  
The story lit up conservative and gay-rights blogs. Wedding chapel owners Donald and Evelyn Knapp said they feared jail time or fines if they declined marriage services to a same-sex couple.  
Initially, the city said its anti-discrimination law did apply to the Hitching Post, since it is a commercial business. Earlier this week, Coeur d'Alene city attorney Mike Gridley sent a letter to the Knapps’ attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom saying the Hitching Post would have to become a not-for-profit to be exempt.  
But Gridley said after further review, he determined the ordinance doesn’t specify non-profit or for-profit.  
“After we've looked at this some more, we have come to the conclusion they would be exempt from our ordinance because they are a religious corporation,” Gridley explained.

I wonder what will happen when somebody brings up charges like these in a deep blue state like California, New York, or Illinois, rather than somewhere like Idaho?

I'm sure it's already happened, but I haven't really heard much about it. Let's not forget that people in those more "enlightened" states scoff when anyone says the First Amendment is under attack.

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