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-City Backs Off and Exempts Wedding Chapel Ministers

by Dr. D ~ October 28th, 2014

HitchingPost

Initially city officials gave a couple who are ordained Christian ministers and owners of a wedding chapel a choice to marry same-sex couples or face potential fines and jail time. After help from the ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom) the couple has received an exemption for their wedding chapel. Here’s the story from Boise State Public Radio:

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.  …

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.

Court filings show the Hitching Post reorganized earlier this month as a “religious corporation.” In the paperwork, the owners describe their deeply held beliefs that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

<Read the whole article>

Response: The response of the city makes a lot of sense in light of the recent SCOTUS ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby. Even the ACLU attorney seems to support this resolution. The Knapps have set up their chapel now as a ‘for profit religious corporation.’ Depending on the laws in other states this may offer a new direction to go for other Christian business owners who are being forced to offer services that are against their religious convictions. Obviously the ADF attorneys helped them in this effort.

Meanwhile, gay activists apparently want to continue this battle and have lodged another complaint against the couple so this story may not be completely over.            *Top

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