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There is freedom of religion, but you are not allowed to disciminate on that basis in a business that is a place of public accommodation, that is, a place where everyone has a reasonable expectation of being served the same as everyone else. How much freedom of religion do you have if a hotel can turn you away for being a Jew?
Yet they haven't actually taken or threatened to take any action against the Knapps. They declined to perform a gay wedding and promptly filed suit. The city council has nothing to do with it.
But not all churches advertise performing weddings for all faiths or civil ceremonies as this wedding business did. Also, churches aren't businesses...or are they?
Read the law on places of public accommodation.
It may not be unloving, but at some point it is certainly redundant. Jesus advised his followers to be as harmless as doves and wise as serpents, not as nagging as an unhappy spouse.
It's certainly irrelevant to the issue at hand. They don't need your blessing to get married.
Is it loving to deny them the benefits of marriage? What does that get Christians? Everyone is well aware that Christian conservatives think homosexual activity with lead the homosexual to hell. You've got complete market penetration in America in that respect. So they've been told (lots), that they're sinning. The question is do you then also discriminate against them?
The vast majority of people who get married don't fit that description. Why focus on homosexuals?
Y'know, when I said something like that, I had ministers in churches in mind, not ministers running a wedding business on the side that's covered by public accommodation laws. However, the ministers in this scenario are still not obliged to perform the ceremony themselves, just allow their wedding business to be used for the wedding.
About the time the government decided that restaurants couldn't refuse to serve patrons for being black or hotels refuse to accommodate patrons for being Jewish, the precedent of places of public accommodation not being able to freely discriminate was established. A wedding chapel that was run for profit couldn't refuse to perform a mixed race wedding, for example. And now they can't refuse to perform a gay wedding. But the ministers themselves don't have to perform the ceremony, just allow it to be performed at their wedding business...or change over to a religious nonprofit organization.
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