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Christian Pastor In Vermont Sentenced To One Year In Prison After Refusing To Marry Gay Couple

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  • Christian Pastor In Vermont Sentenced To One Year In Prison After Refusing To Marry Gay Couple

    Proctor, VT — A pastor at the Christian Proctor Church in Vermont, has been sentenced to one year in federal prison after refusing to marry gay couples. This comes shortly after the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision ruling that states must allow gay-marriage.

    The Christian Pastor, 56-year-old Paul Horner, had his lawyer speak to reporters on his behalf.

    “We are currently disputing the guilty verdict and I am confident my client will be a free man here shortly,” said attorney Tom Downey. “Horner was just using his best judgement according to his rights and religious freedom in this country.”

    The Honorable Myron Danus handed down the harsh sentence.

    “Religious freedom goes both ways, Mr. Horner,” Danus told a packed courtroom. “It is not your place to deny individuals the same rights that everyone else has, rights that were passed down and agreed upon in a court of law, the ultimate court, the Supreme Court. It is not your decision whether or not you agree with the law but more importantly that you follow it and enforce it.”

    According to the criminal investigation, the Christian Proctor Church is registered with the state as a “religious corporation” limited to performing “one-man-one-woman marriages as defined by the Holy Bible.”

    But the church is also registered as a for-profit business and city officials said that means the owners must comply with state and federal regulations.

    Steve Shand president of the Vermont Family Research Committee, said it is “open season on Americans who refuse to bow to the government’s redefinition of marriage.”

    “Homosexuals are gay,” Shand told reporters. “Why should Christian ministers be forced to perform and celebrate any marriage that conflicts with their beliefs? It’s a slippery slope my friend. Pretty soon these same pastors will be forced to wed animals or kitchen appliances. This is not my America!”

    Gwen Hawkins who is president of the LGBT Pride Center in Vermont said she is happy with the guilty verdict.

    “We just want the same rights as everyone else and this guilty verdict sets a great precedent,” Hawkins said. “These fanatical Christians base their life on one verse in the Bible but they seem to forget the other 99% of the verses in the book. For example, why can’t we stone to death Bristol Palin for having a baby out of wedlock? And what about her mother, Sarah Palin, breaking the rules of Corinthians 14:34 which clearly state that as a woman, she is not allowed to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. But no, they like to pick the one verse in the Bible about gay people and build their camp around it.”

    Proctor is a town in Rutland County, Vermont, United States. The population was 1,741 at the 2010 census. Proctor is home to the Vermont Marble Museum and Wilson Castle.

  • #2

    Hopefully he'll appeal and win, if America hasn't sunk too far into the tyranny of Sodom. After all, he performs religious ceremonies. So, not only is the government demanding that he engage in a homosexual activity, but also a religious activity.

    Many pastors are now only willing to marry members of their churches, to avoid being forced to be part of SSM.
    Comment>

    • #3
      Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
      Hopefully he'll appeal and win, if America hasn't sunk too far into the tyranny of Sodom. After all, he performs religious ceremonies. So, not only is the government demanding that he engage in a homosexual activity, but also a religious activity.

      Many pastors are now only willing to marry members of their churches, to avoid being forced to be part of SSM.
      The church my wife and I were married is not for hire. Marriage ceremonies are only available to members and that doesn't mean attendees.

      God bless,
      William

      Comment>

      • #4
        This happened back in July, is there any new news?

        This is really happening here in America . . .?
        Comment>

        • #5
          I looked into this further and it appears to be a fake news - nbc.com.co and first through NewsExaminer which is classified as a fake news source by Snopes.

          PolitiFact | Ooooh, not good. 404 error

          But the idea that this could happen is quite chilling, and how far are we away from something like this becoming a reality?
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by thereselittleflower View Post
            I looked into this further and it appears to be a fake news
            Yes, it does appear to be fake news. But, when bakers are being forced to make SSM wedding cakes and photographers are being forced to compose SSM pictures, it's not too hard to be taken in by a story claiming a pastor running a for-profit wedding business is being forced to perform SSM. And, churches who allow public use of their property for wedding have been forced to allow SSM on their property.

            However, this is a real story: Idaho city’s ordinance tells pastors to marry gays or go to jail
            Here's a followup: Idaho city sued by ministers over gay marriage ordinance
            Comment>

            • #7
              So the city of Coeur d'Alene changed its toon as soon as a lawsuit was filed.

              But the reality is, the state is trying to dictate religion regardless of religious protections granted by the Constitution. It is a matter of time before that fake story becomes a reality if things continue as they are going.
              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by William View Post
                The Honorable Myron Danus handed down the harsh sentence.

                “Religious freedom goes both ways, Mr. Horner,” Danus told a packed courtroom. “It is not your place to deny individuals the same rights that everyone else has, rights that were passed down and agreed upon in a court of law, the ultimate court, the Supreme Court. It is not your decision whether or not you agree with the law but more importantly that you follow it and enforce it.”
                That's an incredibly abominable verdict. Men of God have a right to limit their religious prerogatives according to the dictates of their own conscience.

                Comment>

                • #9
                  Originally posted by Zog Has-fallen View Post
                  That's an incredibly abominable verdict. Men of God have a right to limit their religious prerogatives according to the dictates of their own conscience.
                  It was a fake news story.

                  But in our climate today, a chillingly believable one.


                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    I actually wasn't aware that this was a fake or satire news account. Given the news today and what is going on in the world, I didn't think twice about researching it. It really didn't surprise me.

                    Thanks for researching it Cornelius.

                    God bless,
                    William
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      Originally posted by William View Post
                      I actually wasn't aware that this was a fake or satire news account. Given the news today and what is going on in the world, I didn't think twice about researching it. It really didn't surprise me.

                      Thanks for researching it Cornelius.
                      Thereselittleflower called this one bogus. But, it's very real that people in many states, outside of pastors themselves, are being forced to engage in speech and religious rituals with which they abhor, else faces fines or jail.
                      Comment>
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