Tag Archives: lawsuit
Imagine your child and a few friends bowing their heads to say a prayer in the cafeteria at school before eating their lunch. As a parent you would be proud of their small demonstration of their faith. And you would be more than a little irritated if the principal of the school told your child that prayer was not permitted and the group had to stop immediately.
That scenario happened in a Wyoming school when students were told they needed permission to pray, and after receiving permission must pray in the hallway so other students wouldn’t see the prayer and be offended.
A recent article reports that the school argued that by praying in the cafeteria the students were creating a “captive audience” and forcing others to see, hear, and be part of their prayer. The principal wanted to avoid offending anyone – except the Christians it would seem – by making sure no one would see or hear the prayer.
But, when the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) – a legal organization that defends religious freedom – stepped in, the school changed its tone. ADF sent a letter to the school threatening legal action if the school continued to infringe on the students’ 1st amendment rights to pray:
A very significant court ruling was handed down not long ago and I bet you didn’t know anything about it.
The Fayette Circuit Court in Kentucky ruled that a printer did not discriminate by refusing to print a t-shirt for a gay pride parade.
Blaine Adamson owns Hands On Originals. This printing company prints many items, including t-shirts. Not long ago an LGBT pride group came to HOO asking them to print a t-shirt for the upcoming pride rally in Lexington. Adamson refused their request based on his religious convictions and offered to set them up with another local printer for the same price.
The group went elsewhere to get their shirt printed.
But, I’m sure you can guess where this is going, a discrimination suit was filed against HOO and Adamson.
I reported on this incident a while back because of some of the unique aspects to the case. For starters, this is one of a few cases that does not involve someone in the wedding services industry. Most of the cases of “discrimination” we are seeing take place involve photographers, bakers, and florists refusing services for gay weddings. Btu this is a printer being asked to print something for a gay pride parade.
If ever there was a need for protection surely it would be for someone printing actual words. Right? No one would try to force another person to print words that violate his religious and moral convictions, right? Wrong.
This story has been all over the news and for good reason. The warnings against marriage redefinition have been numerous and strong and yet no one ever thought we would get to this point. Here we are. A pastor has been told that he must perform same-sex weddings at his chapel of face hefty fines and even prison for violating the city’s non-discrimination ordinance. Below is a roundup of notable voices regarding this story. Two videos are posted at the end of this post.
Fox News: City threatens to arrest ministers who refuse to perform same-sex weddings
“Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene…According to the lawsuit, the wedding chapel 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 chapel is also registered as a for-profit business – not as a church or place of worship – and city officials said that means the owners must comply with a local nondiscrimination ordinance.”
The most recent example of course is the subpoena of pastor’s sermons in the city of Houston. Now called “The Houston 5,” a group of pastors that openly opposed the city’s transgender bathroom bill have been asked by the city to turn over all sermons, speeches, and communications relating to the bill and Mayor Annise Parker.
That statement should be terrifying to anyone that believes in the First Amendment and both free speech and religious freedom. To think that any government agency would consider – let alone follow through – asking pastors to turn over sermons is egregious at best. Sen. Ted Cruz reminded the city of Houston that “Caesar has no jurisdiction over the pulpit” in his comments at a press conference with pastors and religious freedom advocates:
“Caesar has no jurisdiction over the pulpit. And when you subpoena one pastor, you subpoena every pastor.”
Apparently a city in Idaho is taking this sentiment literally by demanding that a pastor perform same-sex weddings or face fines and jail time. An article at The Daily Caller explains:
This idea came to Peterson in response to the couple in New York that was sued for not allowing a same-sex wedding at their bed and breakfast farm in order to be true to their religious convictions. Rather than compromise the couple opted to stop allowing weddings altogether and, as a result, lose part of their income.
Peterson says that instead of closing their farm for weddings altogether and losing money, what if the couple allowed the wedding to take place, but with one notable caveat; “told the lesbian couple upfront that they would take their money and donate it to a conservative Christian law firm to fight against same-sex marriage? In other words, what if they took the sinners’ money and used it for good?”
Thankfully I’m not the only Christian with deeply held convictions that finds the suggestion of compromise to be untenable and offensive. Peterson shared the response from his radio audience:
Pastor, let me ask you a question. Does your congregation know their religious rights? I’m not trying to be funny, it’s a serious question. And I am willing to bet that not only does many in your congregation not know their rights, but neither do you.
My friend Erik Stanley has been leading the charge to educate churches and pastors on their religious rights for a long time. As a religious freedom litigator with Alliance Defending Freedom he is on the front lines ensuring our constitutional rights are protected and defended. Part of his work has been the “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” project which aims to challenge the unconstitutional Johnson Amendment in the IRS code. Erik recently wrote:
“Why is it that Christians have a sense that our faith is under attack and that we are a disfavored minority on the road to sure persecution? One reason is because of the stories we see of fellow believers who are currently undergoing trials and tribulations for simply exercising their faith… Pastor, what are you doing to prepare your congregation to live in a culture that seems bent on denying them the right to live out their faith and to share their faith with others around them? Are they aware of the increasing attacks on people of faith?”
By now many people know of the florist in Washington, the baker in Colorado, and the photographer in New Mexico facing lawsuits for adhering to their religious convictions. What you might not know is that these are just three of the hundreds of cases wherein people of faith are facing legal action for their convictions. The reality is that these stories are growing in number.
We’ve all heard of a Christian being sued for effusing to take part in a same-sex ceremony. Sure you have. There’s a baker in Colorado, a photographer in New Mexico, a florist in Washington, these are just a few of the many people being attacked by LGBT activists and the government for refusing to violate their religious convictions. (If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, click here.)
Have you ever wondered what would happen if a straight person was ‘discriminated” against by a homosexual simply for being straight, conservative, or Christian?
Wonder no more.
Not long ago Alan Sears, the president of Arizona based legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, was turned down by a photographer when asked to take a family photo for a Christmas card.
Not surprisingly the battle to redefine marriage in West Virginia has been kept relatively quiet. Most people, I would venture, don’t even know there is a challenge to our state’s DOMA law currently pending in federal court. The ability to keep “we the people” out of the loop regarding these critical issues is a tactic liberals employ as often as possible.
Nonetheless the effort to redefine marriage for all Mountaineers is being waged by Lambda Legal, a LGBT rights organization, on behalf of three same-sex couples. A federal judge ruled last week that the lawsuit against West Virginia’s ban on homosexual “marriage” may proceed.
While answering questions before the legislature last week, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reiterated that West Virginia currently allows abortion for any reason up to the moment of birth. Controversy erupted last summer when Morrisey, in response to a lawsuit filed against the largest abortion clinic in the state, announced that his office would conduct an investigation into current abortion laws in the state.
The results of that investigation is that Morrisey has concluded that West Virginia does indeed allow abortions for any reason up to the moment of birth. In other words, West Virginia currently does not regulate the abortion industry operating within its borders. In fact, tattoo studios and hair salons are subject to more regulation than abortion clinics.
Morrisey told the legislature:
In case you didn’t know already, a lawsuit has been brought to challenge West Virginia’s DOMA law. The warning that having just a DOMA law and not a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman was sounded long ago. Many West Virginian’s spoke up to say they wanted to exercise their right to vote on such a constitutional amendment. But our elected lawmakers refused to give us the right to vote and have ever since held our own state constitution hostage from us.
While they held our constitution hostage they told us repeatedly that marriage in West Virginia was safe, but that if anyone ever challenged our DOMA law that they would be the first to take up the fight to defend it. Well, this lawsuit was first filed in October of 2013. Have you heard one peep from a single lawmaker about it or the need to defend marriage? Me neither. But Lambda Legal is moving full steam ahead with their lawsuit and has recently asked for summary judgment in favor of their case: