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Idaho city’s ordinance tells pastors to marry gays or go to jail

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  • Idaho city’s ordinance tells pastors to marry gays or go to jail

    Coeur d‘Alene, Idaho, city officials have laid down the law to Christian pastors within their community, telling them bluntly via an ordinance that if they refuse to marry homosexuals, they will face jail time and fines.

    The dictate comes on the heels of a legal battle with Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post wedding chapel in the city, but who oppose gay marriage, The Daily Caller reported.

    A federal judge recently ruled that the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, while the city of Coeur d‘Alene has an ordinance that prevents discrimination based on sexual preference.

    The Supreme Court’s recent refusal to take on gay rights’ appeals from five states has opened the doors for same-sex marriages to go forth.

    The Knapps were just asked by a gay couple to perform their wedding ceremony, The Daily Caller reported.

    “On Friday, a same-sex couple asked to be married by the Knapps, and the Knapps politely declined,” The Daily Signal reported. “The Knapps now face a 180-day jail term and a $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.”

    The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a suit in federal court to stop the city from enforcing the fine and jail sentence, saying in a statement from senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco that the government has overstepped its bounds, The Daily Caller reported.

    “Many have denied that pastors would ever be forced to perform ceremonies that are completely at odds with their faith, but that’s what is happening here — and it’s happened this quickly,” Mr. Tedersco said, The Daily Caller reported.

    But the city sees it differently. As far back as May, city officials were insisting that their ordinance is indeed in line with law.

    “If you turn away a gay couple, refuse to provide services for them, then in theory you violated our code, and you’re looking at a potential misdemeanor citation,” said Coeur d‘Alene City Attorney Warren Wilson, to KXLY months

  • #2
    Many places, including relatively conservative locations, probably most big cities in the country as well as most states, have passed laws banning discrimination on the basis of "sexual orientation" (which technically includes pedophiles as much as homosexuals, but like most anti-discrimination laws, they're applied hypocritically, which is a direct violation of the 14th Amendment's equal protection). These laws in relatively conservative locations were passed before SSM, so they have no language protecting pastors from SSM, or protecting anyone else from being forced to participate in homosexual activities, except the Constitution (freedom of religion, freedom of speech) which many of our judges laugh at.

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    • #3
      [FONT=trebuchet ms][SIZE=16px]No pastor or priest, elder or minister is required to be a marriage celebrant. If a law requires all marriage celebrants to perform marriages when asked - within the limits of reasonable duty - then the obvious way out for pastors etcetera is to resign from being marriage celebrants and confine their marriages to Christian marriages conducted within their churches. If there is any sort of legal basis for the claims made in the first post in this thread then they can be put to bed by resigning any capacity to fulfil the civil legal requirements for being a marriage celebrant. [/SIZE][/FONT]
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      • #4
        I read that in France this is what is likely to happen. Then there will be a problem for the authorities because the bulk of marriages are performed in churches. There are relatively few state registrars.

        In England when the government pushed though gay marriage they gave opt-outs to churches. These have yet to be tested in court.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Bede View Post
          I read that in France this is what is likely to happen. Then there will be a problem for the authorities because the bulk of marriages are performed in churches. There are relatively few state registrars.

          In England when the government pushed though gay marriage they gave opt-outs to churches. These have yet to be tested in court.
          [FONT=trebuchet ms][SIZE=16px]Yes, I can imagine that a mass resignation of Catholic Priests from the role of marriage celebrant would be very disrupting for the civil authorities and it would also be a little disappointing for the Catholic faithful but the idea of unifying civil and sacramental marriage and having a priest perform both in a single ceremony is more for convenience than for necessary. The Church started without the civil authority conferring the power to wed under civil law to her ministers so it will be unsurprising if this age should end with the Church unable to do the same. Perhaps it could be better in some ways.[/SIZE][/FONT]
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          • #6
            That's what happens in the Netherlands and has been like that for years. My mother-in-law is Dutch and when she married some 70 years ago there was a civil ceremony in the Town Hall and then they went to the Church for a Catholic wedding (or possibly the other way round). However that would require a change in the law in this country as you are not allowed to go through two marriage ceremonies.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bede View Post
              That's what happens in the Netherlands and has been like that for years. My mother-in-law is Dutch and when she married some 70 years ago there was a civil ceremony in the Town Hall and then they went to the Church for a Catholic wedding (or possibly the other way round). However that would require a change in the law in this country as you are not allowed to go through two marriage ceremonies.
              [FONT=trebuchet ms][SIZE=16px]What happens in the church is a religious ceremony and need not have anything whatever to do with the civil marriage laws. If a couple who are already married under civil law come to Church to have their marriage sanctified in the Church's marriage ceremony the state has no say whatever in it, the priest is not working for the government and the ceremony has no legal standing. The same would be true if they married first in Church and then went to have a civil marriage under civil law. As far as the law and the state is concerned the only marriage with legal standing is the civil one.[/SIZE][/FONT]
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              • #8
                Originally posted by peppermint View Post

                [FONT=trebuchet ms][SIZE=16px]What happens in the church is a religious ceremony and need not have anything whatever to do with the civil marriage laws. If a couple who are already married under civil law come to Church to have their marriage sanctified in the Church's marriage ceremony the state has no say whatever in it, the priest is not working for the government and the ceremony has no legal standing. The same would be true if they married first in Church and then went to have a civil marriage under civil law. As far as the law and the state is concerned the only marriage with legal standing is the civil one.[/SIZE][/FONT]
                That may be true in Australia but my understanding is that the law in England is different. A religious marriage ceremony that looked similar to a civil marriage ceremony (making vows etc.) is not allowed as a seperate act. Thus until relatively recently a civil registrar had to be present at the Church ceremony. Then priests or lay people were allowed to become "authorised persons" and register the marriage in church.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bede View Post

                  That may be true in Australia but my understanding is that the law in England is different. A religious marriage ceremony that looked similar to a civil marriage ceremony (making vows etc.) is not allowed as a seperate act. Thus until relatively recently a civil registrar had to be present at the Church ceremony. Then priests or lay people were allowed to become "authorised persons" and register the marriage in church.
                  [FONT=trebuchet ms][SIZE=16px]Perhaps that comes from having an established church with the head of state being the head of the church (Anglican)?[/SIZE][/FONT]
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by peppermint View Post

                    [FONT=trebuchet ms][SIZE=16px]Perhaps that comes from having an established church with the head of state being the head of the church (Anglican)?[/SIZE][/FONT]
                    Anglican priests were already tregistrars in their own right. What I am referring to is Catholics (and perhaps other faith groups)
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bede View Post

                      Anglican priests were already tregistrars in their own right. What I am referring to is Catholics (and perhaps other faith groups)
                      [FONT=trebuchet ms][SIZE=16px]In Australia anybody can conduct a ceremony to celebrate a marriage without any interference from the authorities (unless the celebration is criminal in some way) but only a marriage celebrant, justice of the peace, or court official can officiate at the signing of a marriage licence. It difficult to imagine how a marriage celebration can be illegal in the UK if no marriage licence is involved.[/SIZE][/FONT]
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by peppermint View Post
                        [FONT=trebuchet ms][SIZE=16px]In Australia anybody can conduct a ceremony to celebrate a marriage without any interference from the authorities (unless the celebration is criminal in some way) but only a marriage celebrant, justice of the peace, or court official can officiate at the signing of a marriage licence. It difficult to imagine how a marriage celebration can be illegal in the UK if no marriage licence is involved.[/SIZE][/FONT]
                        It may depend on how close the celebration is to the actual legal marriage ceremony. I think something that appears to imitate the legal ceremony - for example in terms vows - is not allowed. I could be wrong but this is what I was told. A priest once told me that if a couple want to have their marriage convalidated by the Church (because they were originally married in a registry office) it has to be done in private.

                        Perhaps I'm wrong but that is my understanding.
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