NOM BLOG

Heartbreak, Lessons, and Encouragement Emerge from Religious Liberty Rally

 

Last week, in Des Moines, Iowa, a group of people persecuted because of their beliefs about marriage gathered for a religious liberty rally organized by Sen. Ted Cruz. Of those present, many spoke publicly about the hardships they face, as well as their faith in God. The Daily Signal reports on the event:

Iowa couple Dick and Betty Odgaard, who are Mennonite, told  how they were forced to close their business, the Gortz Haus – a wedding venue located in an historic church.

The wedding venue also served as an art gallery, flower shop, and restaurant. After declining a gay couple’s request to use their venue for their wedding in 2013, the couple became the target for attacks.

Asked why they didn’t host the same-sex wedding, Betty said, “We could not celebrate a sin.”

The Odgaards were fined $5,000 last year. In July, the couple closed the doors on the business.

. . .

Those speaking on a panel at the event included former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, Oregon bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein, retired Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk, and Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman.

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Iowa-based radio host Steve Deace moderated the discussion.

All of the panelists shared their stories of heartbreaks, lessons, and encouragement.

“I was never in a court,” said Aaron Klein, who has been fined $135K after not baking a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

The Klein family owns Sweet Cakes by Melissa.

“Before all of this happened, I had a very large lack of trust in my God. I hate to admit that, but I did," Melissa Klein said. "And through this and through standing for him, I have learned to trust him so much.”

This week the Klein family baked 10 cakes to send to LGBTQ groups to show love for these individuals, even though the Kleins do not support gay marriage.

“I would just encourage you all,” Melissa continued, “stand for God and be strong because He can move in your life like you have never seen Him move before.”

The US Supreme Court has made a grave mistake in imposing same-sex ‘marriage’ on the nation. Until we are able to take the steps necessary to reverse this illegitimate decision, it is imperative that there be no more victims of persecution or punishment of people simply for standing up for the truth of marriage. We call on Congress and the states to pass the First Amendment Defense Act prohibiting government from discriminating against people who support marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

See The Daily Signal for more.