Monday, October 20, 2014

FRC: Ministers Beware

The husband and wife team of Donald and Evelyn Knapp are quite proficient at ringing the clapper in the right wing Christian echo chamber. They've gotten their 15 minutes and the second hand will get stuck for as long as right wing Christian outlets portray them as the victim du jour of the homosexual agenda™. This is a publicity stunt.

The Coeur d’Alene couple run a rather tacky for-profit wedding chapel. Now that Idaho is a marriage equality state they are concerned that they will have to comply with the city's non-discrimination ordinance. Apparently no gay couple has been turned away but they are making a preemptive strike by suing the city. ADF is on the case with six of their lawyers on the complaint. The complaint itself is a work of hyperbole and even fiction. Jeremy has some great screen captures demonstrating how the Knapps reinvented themselves. We are going to be hearing a great deal about the Knapps over the next ten days or so.

According to Family Research Council, in this case Travis Weber.
In other words, from the city to the ministers: Your religious liberty doesn’t really mean a thing when it comes to the new sexuality; you must come into line in accord with our views. When the city says something related to human sexuality should be accepted, that’s the final word.
This is a for-profit business. It is clearly a public accommodation. Even ADF, in their complaint, admits that it is a public accommodation. The “something” that the city has to say is that a public accommodation cannot discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Moreover, let's not try to make victims out of people who haven't been victimized in any way whatsoever. A couple of points before I continue:
  1. I have repeatedly said that the solution to these problems is to post a sign saying that you disapprove of same-sex marriage. The Knapps have effectively posted that sign. It's unlikely that gays, their families or their allies are going to enrich them. Therefore, we are dealing with somewhat of a theoretical issue and;
  2. As I commented on Jeremy's blog earlier, we need to have a discussion about where the line is. I don't know. Many others seem quite certain. I would have some questions for the Knapps about the civil ceremonies that they have conducted as well as ceremonies for other religions. If the issue is compelled speech then I would like to know how they would defend their actions if a gay couple wanted to have a civil ceremony at this place. Those answers may come out in court proceedings.
Weber continues:
For years, we have also been told by gay-marriage advocates that no harm would come from legalizing same-sex marriages. No one would be forced to participate.

Yet it seems that day has arrived. Court-issued stays have been lifted, and gay marriages have started to proceed in Idaho. Now a minister is being told by his government that he must officiate at these “marriages.”
What we have said is that no house of worship would be required to consecrate a same-sex marriage. In point of fact that is correct. Weber seems to suggest that we should be denied equal protection and due process because of the ramifications of a non-discrimination ordinance. It is absurd. Hundreds of thousands of same-sex marriage have taken place without affecting a single opposite-sex marriage. That, too, is an issue of fact.

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