Idaho Christians Who Refused to Officiate Gay Marriages at Wedding Chapel May Avoid Fines, Jail

Amanda Casanova | Religion Today Contributing Writer | Monday, October 27, 2014

Idaho Christians Who Refused to Officiate Gay Marriages at Wedding Chapel May Avoid Fines, Jail


The city of Coeur d’Alene in Idaho is now saying that a wedding chapel operated by Christian ministers  Donald and Evelyn Knapp can refuse to perform same-sex marriages.

 

Earlier, the city had said that the for-profit wedding chapel, Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, was violating non-discrimination laws by refusing to perform same-sex marriages. The Knapps faced high fines and possible jail time for violating the laws. 

 

Under an initial understanding of the city ordinance, the chapel needed to be a not-for-profit to be exempt from the non-discrimination laws.

 

However, Coeur d'Alene city attorney Mike Gridley now says the ordinance does not specify non-profit or for-profit, according to Boise State Public Radio.

 

"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 said.

 

Earlier this month, the Hitching Post reclassified as a “religious corporation.”

 

ADF attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit and a motion to temporarily keep Coeur d'Alene city officials from forcing the chapel to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.

 

The city is "unconstitutionally coercing" the Knapps to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies "in violation of their religious beliefs, their ordination vows, and their consciences," the lawsuit says.

 

 

Publication date: October 27, 2014

Comments