Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained Christian ministers and owners of the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

As I wrote last year in my post about the Supreme Court decision striking down a part of the Defense of Marriage Act, I tend to lean (socially) to the left on certain issues. The right of free-people to make life long commitments to each other, no matter what the genders of the parties involved is one of them. The government should have no say in the matter what-so-ever.

As a small-government loving Conservative, I want Uncle Sam out of my life. If you need the strong arm of the government signing off on your union for it to be valid in your heart & mind, are you truly living in a free country?

Last year, the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idahao, passed an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. The ordinance applies to employment, housing, public accommodation and was supposed to protect religious entities. However because the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, which sits across the street from the County Clerk’s office is a “for profit” entity, city officials claim they are not exempt from the ordinance.

This past Friday, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order to stop the city from forcing the Chapel’s owners, both ordained Christian ministers to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.

City officials told Donald Knapp that he and his wife Evelyn, both ordained ministers who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, are required to perform such ceremonies or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines. The city claims its “non-discrimination” ordinance requires the Knapps to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies now that the courts have overridden Idaho’s voter-approved constitutional amendment that affirmed marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

From The Spokesman-Review:

Owners Donald and Evelyn Knapp say in the lawsuit that they believe marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman.

“Performing same-sex wedding ceremonies would thus force the Knapps to condone, promote and even consecrate something forbidden by their religious beliefs and ordination vows,” the suit reads.

According to the lawsuit, a man called the business Friday to ask about a same-sex wedding ceremony and was turned down. The Knapps are now asking for a temporary restraining order against the city to stop it from enforcing the ordinance. Violation of the ordinance is a misdemeanor punishable by fines and jail time.

“The Knapps are thus under a constant, coercive and substantial threat to violate their religious beliefs due to the risk that they will incur the penalties of jail time and criminal fines for declining to speak a message and perform a wedding service that contradicts their religious beliefs and ministerial vows,” the suit reads. Read More…

528993_10152721002550515_1126898201_nFirst, I would like to ask “Why would a couple that wants to express their life-time commitment to each other, want their special day tainted by having the person officiating the ceremony forced to do so under orders from the government?”

The First Amendment clearly prohibits the government from interfering in the free expression of religious beliefs, or to use the term that progressives always misuse the first amendment establishes a “Separation of Church & State.”

Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience does not infringe on anyone’s sexual freedoms. No one has the right to use government force to make anyone be it an ordained minister or a lay person go against their religious beliefs and take part in a same-sex ceremony. It is downright totalitarian to force someone to have to choose between their strongly held religious beliefs and their livelihood.

I do believe that same-sex couples who choose to make a lifetime commitment to each other should have the right to do so, I just don’t believe that the rights of religious people should be trampled on to make that happen.