Category Archives: States

Oregon Agency Takes Legal Action to Force Payment of Fine By Christian Bakers

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries is taking legal action to attempt to force Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Oregon bakers who declined to bake a ‘wedding’ cake for a same-sex couple based on their religious views, to pay a $135,000 fine. The Kleins have refused to pay the money because it was levied by a bureaucratic agency and the matter is now on appeal to the courts. In the meantime, they’ve made it clear that they have no animosity toward those who filed the complaint, even going as far as sending them handmade cakes. Their objection is to using their talents to help celebrate something that is contrary to their Christian beliefs.

It’s a tragedy that the bureaucrats who acted as judge and jury in ruling against the Kleins (after engaging in substantial private discussions with the state’s top gay rights group) now think they can bully the young Christian couple into paying before the courts have even examined the case. What this family is experiencing is representative of what will happen to the religious liberty rights of Christians and other people of faith whose personal participation in celebrating a gay ‘wedding’ is being routinely demanded by lesbian and gay activists.

The Daily Signal has the story:

Image via The Daily Signal

Image via The Daily Signal

The agency that ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135,000 in damages for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple began the legal process last week to seize the money the Oregon bakers are refusing to pay.

“Our agency has docketed the judgment and is exploring collection options,” Charlie Burr, communications director for the agency, told The Daily Signal. “They are entitled to a full and fair review of the case, but do not have the right to disregard a legally binding order.”

Docketing the judgment is a preliminary step the agency must take in order to seize the Kleins’ house, property, or other assets in lieu of payment.

On July 2, Brad Avakian, commissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 for the emotional, physical, and psychological damages they caused Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer for refusing to make a wedding cake.

Since then, the Kleins have been vocal about their plans to resist the order, and they told The Daily Signal they have no intention of backing down.

“There’s legal reasons and there’s also kind of personal reasons,” Aaron Klein told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “If a civil court or a circuit court judge had made this order, I would consider it legally binding. But when a bureaucracy does it and I didn’t get due process, I don’t call it legally binding.”

Talking about the personal reasons, Aaron cited a July interview in Willamette Week, where the complainants suggested that the case wasn’t about money.

“We didn’t have a choice in how this was prosecuted,” Rachel Bowman-Cryer said. “We didn’t have a choice in the fine. If we had been given the option, we probably would have said: ‘Just apologize. Just say you’re sorry and go away.’”

Her wife, Laurel, added, “[W]e’re not asking for anything. We’ve never asked for a penny from anybody.”

“When you have these girls come out and say we never wanted the money,” Aaron said, “it wasn’t about the money and we don’t need the money … and I say this isn’t right, I shouldn’t have to pay this money, and the only person saying the money should exchange hands seems to be Brad Avakian.”

Image via Focus On The Family

Image via Focus On The Family

In order to pay the $135,000, the Kleins were given two options: obtain a bond or an irrevocable line of credit, which would guarantee their obligations to the Bowman-Cryers unless the Kleins won their case.

“A bond is going to cost roughly $7,000. That’s $7,000 I’m never going to get back, even if I won on appeal,” Aaron said. “Should I have to pay $7,000? I don’t think that’s fair.”

Taking out a line of credit, he said, would be the same as handing over money to the state.

“I couldn’t find a bank that would do it without just depositing the full amount of money, so it’s not a letter of credit at that point. It’s just the same as giving the state money, and having them hold it, which I don’t trust the state to hold my money any more than I trust them to give me the evidence.”

Instead, the Kleins’ attorneys asked the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries to issue a stay, which is a legal process that would have put the damages payment on hold until their appeals ruling comes out.

(The Kleins filed a petition for review with the Washington Court of Appeals in July, after the final order came out.)

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries denied their request for a stay.

. . .

After the order came out, multiple fundraisers were set up to help the Kleins pay the damages.

Although those fundraisers raised thousands of dollars, Aaron claimed the “half million” figure is “bloated” but did not disclose the final tally.

“The number they’ve given out is bloated,” Klein said. “It is not what we have available, it is not what we have on hand, and there are so many variables to where that money has to go, what has to happen with that money, that we’re not touching that money for any purpose because I don’t know what the future holds.”

If the Kleins eventually win their case in the appellate court, Aaron said they’d like to use that money to first pay their own bills, then “bless” others.

“I’d like to say that we’d definitely help some people out. We’ve had a huge financial hardship through this, so it would be nice to catch up on some bills, but we’d definitely love to bless others.”

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Says Pope Francis Told Her to 'Stay Strong'

As reported by AP, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis says that she had a private meeting with Pope Francis during his visit to the United States. Davis, who was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex "marriage" licenses because of her religious beliefs, says that Pope Francis thanked her for her courage and urged her to “stay strong.” A New York Times article, reported that the exchange was done via an arranged, private meeting, which a Vatican spokesperson has now confirmed.

The AP story via US News is as follows:


Image via ABC News/Getty Images

A Kentucky clerk who went to jail for defying a federal court's orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses says she met briefly with the pope during his historic visit to the United States.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, didn't deny the encounter took place but said Wednesday in Rome that he had no comment on the topic.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis and her husband met privately with Pope Francis on Thursday afternoon at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., for less than 15 minutes, said her lawyer, Mat Staver.

"It was really very humbling to even think that he would want to meet me or know me," Davis said in an interview with ABC.

Davis, an Apostolic Christian, spent five days in jail earlier this month for defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In a telephone interview late Tuesday, Staver would not say who initiated the meeting with the pope or how it came to be, though he did say that Vatican officials had inquired about Davis' situation while she was in jail. He declined to name them.

"He told me before he left, he said 'stay strong.' That was a great encouragement," Davis said of the pope during the ABC interview. "Just knowing that the pope is on track with what we're doing and agreeing, you know, it kind of validates everything."

She didn't say in the interview whether she had a private audience with the pope or she was part of larger crowd.

Davis was in Washington for the Values Voter Summit, where the Family Research Council, which opposes same-sex marriage, presented her with an award for defying the federal judge. While in Washington, the longtime Democrat said she was switching to the Republican party because she felt abandoned by Democrats in her fight against same-sex marriage.

Pope Francis did not focus on the divisive debate over same-sex marriage during his visit last week. As he left the country, he told reporters who inquired that he did not know Davis' case in detail, but he defended conscientious objection as a human right.

"It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right," Francis said.

Orthodox Anglican Media Outlet Says ‘Obama out to shame and humiliate Christians, the Pope and the Church'

As part of his historic visit to the United States, during which he will canonize Fr. Junipero Serra and address the World Meeting of Families, Pope Francis will also attend a White House dinner organized by President Obama. As head of state of the Vatican, diplomatic protocol would hold that friends and allies of the Catholic Church and prominent American Catholics be on the guest list. And while some of those types of individuals have been invited, President Obama has gone out of his way to shove the LGBT agenda in Pope Francis’ face. He’s invited the openly gay-Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson who “married” his same-sex partner several years ago.

According to the website Virtue Online, which bills itself as the voice for global orthodox Anglicanism, Robinson, “has almost single-handedly brought the Anglican Communion down to its knees as it teeters on the edge of implosion.” In addition to Robinson, Obama has invited numerous gay, lesbian and transgender activists. One of the activists was reportedly told by the While House to ‘invite several friends.’ From the story:

Image via ABC News/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

Image via ABC News/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

Obama's form of in-your-face diplomatic protocol includes trotting out every form of sexual deviant and parading them before Pope Francis. It's enough to embarrass the gentle humble Pontiff.

The Pope was being compassionate with his comment concerning his priests, who are struggling with a homosexual orientation, when he commented, "Who am I to judge?" However, he stands pat on the Catholic Church's firm doctrine and teaching on homosexual practice, pro-life, and traditional marriage issues, as well as an all-male priesthood.

CNS News describes some of the known invitees on the guest list as "several gay and transgender persons, a controversial nun, a radical preacher, and a gay Episcopal bishop."

The gay Episcopal bishop is none other than Bishop Vicky Gene Robinson (IX New Hampshire-retired). As the first openly gay and partnered man to be consecrated a bishop in Christendom, he has almost single-handedly brought the Anglican Communion down to its knees as it teeters on the edge of implosion.

The referenced "several gay and transgender persons" include: Vivian Taylor, a transgendered "woman" who was executive director of Integrity-USA and involved with TransEpiscopal. Obama her/him to Pope Francis' formal Sept. 23 televised White House Arrival Ceremony. S/he was told to bring five friends.

"I was told I could bring several friends with me," Taylor said, noting that s/he was "glad we can bring some LGBT representation to the event."

Taylor is looking forward to meeting the Pope, "I'm very happy to meet my brother in Christ, Pope Francis."

The five representative LGBT friends Taylor invited are Nicole Santamaria, the Secretary of Asociacion Colectivo Alejandria an Hispanic LGBT advocacy group; Marcia Garber a member of Dignity-USA and the mother of a transgendered child; Mateo Williamson, a cross-dressing transgender Catholic and the former co-chairman of Transgender Caucus for Dignity-USA; the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, an LGBT advocate, liberal Episcopal theologian, the director of Mission & Reconciliation at General Theological Seminary and chaplain to the Episcopal House of Bishops (reports are that Canon Spellers will be unable to attend the Pope's soiree because she didn't RSVP in time); and the Rev. Cameron Partridge, a transgendered Episcopal priest who preached at the Washington National Cathedral.

. . .

Obama is very gay-friendly and a champion of gay rights. There is also much speculation as to whether Obama is actually a Bible-believing Evangelical, a progressive Christian, or a closet Muslim. When the recent Supreme Court marriage equality ruling came down, making same-sex marriage the law of the land, he bathed the White House in Gay Pride rainbow colors in celebration of the earth-shattering event. Many God-fearing Christians were horrified at the spectacle. Chances are the President will not light up the White House in papal yellow and white to honor his diplomatic guest from the Vatican City-State.

Latest research shows that fewer than four percent of Americans identify themselves as being LGBT, while more than 70 percent of Americans consider themselves Christians. Of that number, more than 25 percent are Roman Catholics with Episcopalians and Anglicans making up about 1.5 percent of American Christians. The remaining almost 75 percent of the American Christian population is spread between the Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants, Pentecostals, and other Christian believers -- Amish ... Quakers ... Holiness ... Reformed...

Fr. Dwight Longenecker, a former Anglican priest who swam the Tiber and is now a Pastoral Provision Roman Catholic priest in South Carolina, pinioned on his blog Standing on my Head: "There will be thousands at this 'audience' with Pope Francis and it's doubtful that Gene Robinson will be in the line up to meet Pope Francis personally, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him maneuvered into place for a photo with the Pope which will the mainstream media will then publish with the caption, 'Pope Francis and Gay Bishop: Who Am I to Judge?'"

"When the Supreme Court Oversteps Its Bounds, Citizens Are Right to Resist"

NOM’s chairman, John Eastman, expounds on the arguments surrounding the Kim Davis debacle, and how, “when the Supreme Court oversteps its bounds, citizens are right to resist”:



The double standard on display is palpable. I don’t recall Keegen or any of the other self-righteous, newfound devotees of the rule of law calling for the resignation of Kentucky’s attorney general when he refused to defend his state’s marriage law — or any of the other state attorneys general who did the same, from California’s Jerry Brown to Pennsylvania’s Kathleen Kane, and several others, including perhaps most notoriously Oregon’s Ellen Rosenblum, who was caught actively colluding with plaintiffs to ensure judicial invalidation of the Oregon marriage law she disliked.

“But Davis was refusing to comply with a decision of the Supreme Court,” it will be argued. So, too, did all those illustrious attorneys general. All of them refused to do their duty and defend their state’s man-woman marriage laws, even though the binding precedent of the Supreme Court at that time, a 1972 case called Baker v. Nelson, was that such laws were constitutionally valid.

Ms. Davis’s position has also been mischaracterized as asserting that because the Supreme Court’s decision is contrary to God’s authority, she cannot be compelled to comply with it and therefore can prevent same-sex couples from getting married in her county. Her position — so described — has been belittled by simpletons across the political spectrum as nothing more than the misguided stance of a crazy evangelical clinging to her Bible. But that is not her legal argument at all (however much merit it might have as a reaction to an illegitimate decision by the Supreme Court). Her actual argument is much more restrained.

Kentucky has a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which expressly prevents the government from imposing a substantial burden on someone’s religious beliefs unless the government’s mandate is narrowly tailored to further a compelling governmental interest. Because this lawsuit is pending in federal court, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which contains the same protection, is also applicable. Ms. Davis’s lawyers have simply argued that these federal and state laws require that her religious objection to issuing same-sex “marriage” licenses over her own name be accommodated.

. . .

Abraham Lincoln famously said, in his first inaugural address, that although judicial decisions are binding on the specific parties to a case, “the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.”

In short, Ms. Davis was much more faithful to her oath of office, and to the Constitution she vowed to support, than the federal judge who jailed her for contempt, the attorney general of the state who refused to defend Kentucky’s laws, and Justice Anthony Kennedy, who usurped the authority of the states and the more than 50 million voters who had recently reaffirmed the natural definition of marriage, in order to impose his own more “enlightened” views on the nation. One can only hope that Ms. Davis’s simple but determined act of civil disobedience will yet ignite the kind of reaction in the American people that is necessary to oppose such lawlessness, or at the very least bring forth a national leader who will take up the argument against judicial supremacy in truly Lincolnian fashion.

Visit National Review for the full article.

Oregon Judge Supports Traditional Marriage; Targeted By Investigation To Determine If He Is Unfit For Office

The nation has just witnessed the disturbing scene of a Christian clerk put into jail, because she did not want to be personally involved in licensing a same-sex ‘marriage’ since doing so would violate her deeply held religious beliefs. Now comes another story of gay activists attempting to destroy another official who similarly holds religious views that will not allow him to participate in same-sex ‘marriages.’

For the past year Marion County (Oregon) judge Vance Day has declined to solemnize any marriages because he does not want to participate in a gay ‘wedding.’ For this, he is now under official investigation against charges he is unfit for office. If found guilty he could be removed from office, costing him his livelihood and reputation for holding true to his religious convictions. This is the latest example of punishment of marriage supporters unleashed by the illegitimate decision of the US Supreme court to invent a “right” to same-sex ‘marriage’ and imposing it in every state without exception. The New York Times has the story:

ThinkstockPhotos-483608742Marion County Judge Vance Day is being investigated by a judicial fitness commission in part over his refusal to perform same-sex marriages on religious grounds, a spokesman for the judge said.

When a federal court ruling in May 2014 made same-sex marriage legal in Oregon, Day instructed his staff to refer same-sex couples looking to marry to other judges, spokesman Patrick Korten said Friday.

Last fall, he decided to stop performing weddings altogether, aside from one in March that had long been scheduled, Korten said.

"He made a decision nearly a year ago to stop doing weddings altogether, and the principal factor that he weighed was the pressure that one would face to perform a same-sex wedding, which he had a conflict with his religious beliefs," Korten said.

In an email, Day declined to comment and referred questions to Korten.

The issue of same-sex weddings is "the weightiest" of several allegations against Day that are being investigated by the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability, Korten said.

He declined to detail any of the allegations, saying he didn't want to defy the commission, which considers complaints confidential until it is ready to make them public.

Why Kim Davis Is Such A Threat To Liberals

Rachel Lu at The Federalist brilliantly takes to task the cartoonish and misleading nature of the press coverage of the Kim Davis situation by the liberal media:

Image via USA Today/Ty Wright/Getty Images

Image via USA TODAY/Ty Wright/Getty Images

The incarceration and subsequent release of Kim Davis has been a sensation in the liberal press. Virtually every liberal outlet participated in the feeding frenzy.

This is easy to understand. If we don’t slam the lid on this religious-freedom business, Christians might find some loophole they can exploit to go on practicing their religion outside of church. Once you open the door to “conscience objections,” religious people start coming out of the woodwork.

Without some strenuous efforts at media spin, these figures might easily win public approval. Most Americans, after all, say they support religious freedom. Most likely they won’t warm to the idea that Christians should be bludgeoned into submission when a minor legal accommodation could enable them to adhere to their religious beliefs with minimal inconvenience to anyone.

For a left-wing pundit, however, accommodation isn’t the name of this game. What fun is their Supreme Court victory if they don’t get to stick it to the anti-marriage-equality bigots? For the sake of the liberal morality narrative, Davis has to go down. To sell that to the public, she must be dismissed as a right-wing crank.

. . .

Conservatives know that the government is not God. Left-wing pundits have made much of Davis’ declaration that she is following God’s will. In their minds, this is crazy-talk, akin to listening to Little Green Men. Quite a few have tried to make this into the Right’s Kermit Gosnell moment, with Mark Joseph Stern going so far as to declare that Davis is “the monster conservatives created” who will undermine voters’ enthusiasm for religious freedom.

. . .

When Davis was elected, she had no problem doing her job. Post-Obergefell, she is now expected to do something she considers to be morally wrong. No court or politician actually has the authority to contravene the natural order, making wrong actions right. That is her point, and it is perfectly fair, although we all understand how liberal pundits occasionally get confused about the difference between “government” and “God.”

The law of the land is not just a rule book. It’s more accurate to understand it as an organic tradition, which already has many precedents for exactly the kind of problem that arises here: dealing with good-faith conflicts between legal norms and sincere moral or religious beliefs. So, in a sense, it is the law itself that gives us good reasons to look for ways to accommodate people like Davis, whose free exercise of religion is burdened by revisions to current laws.

Liberals, we get that you aren’t big fans of tradition. But maybe you could try to remind yourselves now and then that we aren’t reinventing the wheel every time interests conflict? Many people think they are being principled when they suggest that Davis should quit her job if she feels unable to discharge her duties. But that’s not how these sorts of cases have been handled in the past. Both the Federal Civil Rights Act and state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (which Kentucky has passed) provide a legal framework for seeking accommodations for employees who are unable to execute specific duties for reasons of conscience.

It turns out, then, that our legal tradition gives us good reason to seek an accommodation for Davis, and, happily, such a fix could easily be provided along the lines of North Carolina’s already-existing model.

Kim Davis Stands Strong in the Face of an Unjust Law

The Kim Davis debacle presents the American public with something oddly reminiscent of events past. Pundits on both sides of the same-sex "marriage" debate have cited "the wrong side of history" as a reason to stop fighting for the truth about marriage. When put to the test of actual history, however, the argument holds no water. The Town Hall explains:

Image via New York Times/Ty Wright/Getty Images

Image via New York Times/Ty Wright/Getty Images

[One of] the main arguments from gay marriage proponents and conservatives who have given up the fight [is this:] The rule of law must be respected, and therefore everyone, from the clerk to the courts, must comply.

The rebuttal to this argument lies with Martin Luther King Jr., who sat in a jail cell for refusing to comply with Jim Crow: “An unjust law is no law at all.”

What defines an unjust law? One in which those who impose it do not comply with it. I would further add that any law which violates natural law or resists science or market systems falls into the same desiccated category. By the way, everyone seems hell-bent on forgetting that this national imposition of homosexual marriage did not occur from elected officials or democratic consensus, but the arbitrary turn of phrases from five unelected, unaccountable judges. Once again, former Arkansas Governor and Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee had it right: “The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being.”

The court which justified “separate but equal” would overturn itself fifty-six years later. Roe v. Wade is facing increasing resistance from science and technology, as well as moral and legal suasion, and has not yet crossed the fifty-year mark. The Obergefell decision is barely two months old, yet across the country Americans are not complying, including Kim Davis. How amazing and compelling that her act of nullification occurs in Kentucky, where Founding Father Thomas Jefferson directed his Resolutions against federal tyranny three hundred years ago.


Kim Davis, like civil rights activist Rosa Parks, refuses to comply with an unjust court ruling based on a misunderstanding of sexuality and marriage.

Join Liberty Rally for Kim Davis, Tuesday Sept. 8

Please join this special Liberty Rally for Kim Davis!

With Special Guests:
Governor Mike Huckabee
Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver
Brian Brown

Tuesday, September 8, 3:00 PM ET

If you cannot attend in person, please spread the word via social media using the hashtag #IMWITHKIM, or email the attached flyer. We all need to stand strong for Kim Davis now!

Download the Flyer



Brian S Brown


Sign The Kim Davis Petition

Gov. Chris Christie is Targeting Christians

Gov. Chris Christie, falling fast in the presidential polls, is attempting to remake himself into the “law and order” candidate, and he’s targeting Christians who do not wish to personally participate in gay "marriage" ceremonies.

Image via ABC News/(Mel Evans/AP Photo)

Image via ABC News/(Mel Evans/AP Photo)

Across the country people have been sued, fined, had their businesses closed and been informed the state could seize all their personal assets because they do not wish to participate in something that goes against God’s design – marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Yet Christie calls this “discrimination” and says that they “need to follow the law.” What specific law is Christie referencing? Does he mean the federal law (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) that provides that government has a duty to provide reasonable accommodation to people with sincere religious beliefs? Or perhaps he’s referring to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which provides accommodation for “conscientious objectors”? Most likely he’s referring to the illegitimate ruling of the Supreme Court in redefining marriage, but that ruling said nothing about forcing everyone to participate in it. LifeSiteNews reports:

[R]egarding the religious freedom of Christian-owned businesses, he [Christie] said, "I'm someone in this country who believes in law and order. I'm a former prosecutor. ... We need to enforce the law in this country in every respect – not just the laws we like, but all the laws."

During the "Presidential Soapbox" at the Iowa State Fair last week, Christie said much the same thing. "We have a system of laws in this country, and those laws need to be followed," he said, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision constitutionalizing same-sex "marriage."

"Businesses ... should have to be able to do business under the laws of our country," Christie expounded. "When I take an oath of office as governor, my oath of office is to enforce the laws of the state of New Jersey. Not the laws I like or the laws that I agree with, but all the laws."

Christie characterized Christians who seek to live their faith in the business world as discriminatory. "Businesses should not be allowed to discriminate, no."

In the past, Christie has also said that Christian clerks must violate their faith and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He also signed a bill making it illegal for counselors and therapists to help gender-confused minors come out of the gay lifestyle.

Sadly, Gov. Christie has a history of abandoning marriage rather than challenging illegitimate judicial rulings. He dropped a defense of his state’s traditional marriage law because he thought he would lose the fight. In the presidential contest, Christie has so far failed to sign NOM’s Presidential Marriage Pledge.

Marriage Between One Man and One Woman Is Worth Celebrating

Mayor Andy Mack of Longview Texas declared August ‘Celebrate Traditional Marriage’ month. As a result, a coalition of citizens and East Texas Churches organized an event, to which a crowd estimated near one-thousand turned out to celebrate on the Gregg County courthouse lawn.

WSMV reported on the event:

ThinkstockPhotos-532815271Mayor Andy Mack proclaimed August 'Celebrate Traditional Marriage' month.

Around a thousand people came out to support the event, many with deep religious conviction.

"It's very important. I believe God put us together and he keeps us together every day," says Barbara Jones who's been married 47 years.

"It is a commitment and there will be ups and downs, so you just work through those things," says James McClemore, married 45 years.

Representative Brian Hughes was on hand with other elected officials in support of the event.

"We understand how important traditional marriage is. It was defined by God a long time before America was here. And it's so heartwarming to see
so many people come out to affirm that," Hughes says.

On the heels of the June gay pride event, and then the legalization of same sex-marriage, many believe the event was needed.

"It seems like the other side is always getting the headlines," said one married couple.

Marriage - the conjugal, lifetime, exclusive union between one man and one woman - is a sacred institution which is certainly deserving of celebration. Any union that deviates from this definition is not marriage.

Not Just Same-sex Marriage: Other Unions Will Be Imposed Upon the American People

Now that the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman has been arrogantly dismissed by the Supreme Court, other groups are looking to have their unions included in the “marriage” category. One such example is polygamists, led by the reality stars from the series ‘Sister Wives.’ The Blaze reports that these ‘Sister Wives’ stars are invoking same-sex marriage legalization in an attempt to overturn Utah’s polygamy ban.

ThinkstockPhotos-147042664Kody Brown and his wives, Robyn, Christine, Janelle and Meri — the stars of “Sister Wives” — are asking judges to reject an appeal by Utah of a judge’s 2013 decision to strike a portion of the state’s ban on polyamorous relationships, KSTU-TV reported.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled that the law’s ban on cohabitation among individuals who are not married runs in contrast to the First and 14th Amendments, and essentially violates Brown’s religious freedom.

. . .

“From the rejection of morality legislation in Lawrence to the expansion of the protections of liberty interests in Obergefell, it is clear that states can no longer use criminal codes to coerce or punish those who choose to live in consensual but unpopular unions,” Jonathan Turley, an attorney for Brown, wrote to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court in Denver. ”This case is about criminalization of consensual relations and there are 21st century cases rather than 19th century cases that control.”

. . .

Brown has maintained that the legal battle is not about forcing acceptance of bigamy or challenging the rights of states to preclude individuals from holding multiple marriage licenses, but that it is, instead, about battling back against criminalization.

The state, though, maintains that polyamorous relationships are harmful to women and children.

“By only striking the cohabitation provision, the District Court left Utah with the same law maintained by most states in the Union prohibiting bigamy,” Turley wrote. “What was lost to the state is precisely what is denied to all states: the right to impose criminal morality codes on citizens, compelling them to live their lives in accordance with the religious or social values of the majority of citizens.”

When marriage is no longer protected as the union between one man and one woman, society opens itself up to harmful unions that not only further damage the institution, but also work to destroy the family. Given that the family is the building block of society, our government should be looking to protect marriage and the family — not redefine and destroy it.

The Double Standard of "Equality"

The rash of bakery-closings on account of charges of "discrimination" has been appalling. Now, same-sex marriage activists have plans to shut down all Chick-fil-A locations in Denver—an act in the same vein as closing bakeries, but on a much larger scale. The Federalist explains the twisted logic behind this movement:

Photo Credit: Chris Potter/Flickr

Photo Credit: Chris Potter/Flickr

Now, in an effort to save everyone some time, the cultural imperialists at the Denver City Council—which, to be fair, have long exhibited authoritarian impulses—have decided to skip the pretense of some trumped-up injustice and jumped right to discriminating against a businesses solely because of the beliefs of its CEO.

The Denver Council’s Business Development Committee has stalled a seven-year deal with Chick-fil-A because CEO Dan Cathy spoke out against gay marriage back in 2012. Cathy, after being flogged for this misconduct, backed off , saying he regretted getting involved. But that won’t do. There are no prisoners in this culture war. So the council will meet in couple of weeks to take up the topic again. Not so the members can take time to chew over the significance of a city punishing its citizens for their thoughts and beliefs, or even to weigh the importance of tolerance in a vibrant city like Denver. They’re waiting to have a closed-door committee hearing with city attorneys, who will brief them on the legal implications and practicality of shutting down apostates.


Denver Councilman Paul Lopez, who is leading the intellectual charge for the ban—a task that meshes poorly with his skill set—says that, in the end, opposition to the chain at DIA is ”really, truly a moral issue.” Now, when the Founders told us that government can make no law respecting an establishment of religion, I took it to mean that the belief system of a union-installed sock puppet on a city council would be completely irrelevant in matters of expression and faith. Really, truly.


Now, everyone is free to boycott and protest whomever they please. Citizens and elected officials have every right to work to cut off taxpayer funding to businesses and institutions they find morally distasteful. But if the city council of Anytown, USA were to concoct reasons to deny permits to gay business owners who supported same-sex marriage, many Americans would find that rightfully appalling. If you’re okay with the idea of a city council denying orthodox Christians who believe in traditional marriage the same freedom, you’re a massive hypocrite—and probably worse.

There is a glaring double-standard when it comes to "equality." When it comes to marriage, the idea of equality only exists for those who agree with a redefined understanding of marriage: those who disagree are to be punished. This is another example of why Congress and the states need to pass the First Amendment Defense Act to protect people from discrimination for supporting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

See The Federalist for more.

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.


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.

An Example of True Anti-discrimination

Melissa and Aaron Klein, owners of the Oregon Sweet Cakes by Melissa, made famous for turning down the business opportunity to serve a same-sex wedding, have made a surprising and generous gesture to the LBGT community. The Klein family has baked several custom cakes that they are sending to some of the largest LBGT advocacy groups on the West Coast. This is an effort to show that although they cannot serve their weddings, the Kleins “really do love” same-sex couples for the persons that they are. The Daily Signal explains:

Image Credit/The Daily Signal

Image Credit/The Daily Signal

Because of their Christian faith, the Kleins don’t support same-sex marriage. But they say that doesn’t mean they can’t still love those who choose to live that lifestyle.

“I’m not asking anybody out there to change their beliefs and believe the way I do,” Melissa said. “I’m just saying they want to live their life freely and I also do, too.”

. . .

In the coming weeks, they plan to send baked goods to other LGBT groups across the country.

“We’re doing this to show that we don’t harbor hard feelings toward the narrative that’s been put out about us. We don’t want to see these people hurting,” Aaron told The Daily Signal.

. . .

“This is a small thing that I can do. I can bake them something, take my time and put my energy into expressing how I feel,” she [Melissa] said.

The inside of the cakes are colored red, white and blue to stand for freedom, because “everybody should be free to live as we want to live,” Melissa said. Outside, she decorated the cake with fondant and a red heart as a gesture of “being kind and loving.”

On top, she wrote, “We really do love you.”

The Kleins are an example of a the type of family our nation depends on, and invests hope in for the future. They are reaching out to a community, which houses some members who have tried to destroy their business and demonize them personally. They are exhibiting powerful examples of a true Christian attitude, and a truly anti-discrimination mindset. Let us look to the Kleins as an example of how to treat those with whom we disagree with respect and dignity.

See The Daily Signal for the full story.

Kentucky Clerk Continues to Fight for Her Right to Refuse to Issue Marriage Licenses

Kim Davis, a Rowan County Clerk, has been granted a temporary stay on account of her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Until the case is resolved, Davis is not compelled by law to wed same-sex couples. If she loses her case against the state though, Davis could face fines and possibly jail for contempt of court. Kate Scanlon of The Daily Signal, explains Davis’ objection:

ThinkstockPhotos-451417063In an interview with The Daily Signal, Davis’ lawyer, Roger Gannam, senior litigation counsel at Liberty Counsel, an organization that provides free legal assistance in religious liberty cases, said that Bunning’s temporary stay is a “minor reprieve” for his client.

Gannam said that Rowan County’s marriage licenses are issued “under her name and her authority, so that is her religious objection.”

Gannam argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling requires only that states treat same-sex marriage as they do traditional marriage. Under Kentucky law, marriage licenses issued in any county are valid statewide. Therefore, there are over a hundred offices where the plaintiffs could obtain a marriage license.

“It’s certainly not the case that the plaintiffs are unable to get married.”

Gannam said that Davis’s religious beliefs should be accommodated.

. . .

Roger Severino, the director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, said, “When North Carolina faced a similar problem with its clerks, it passed a law allowing civil servants with religious objections to recuse themselves from all marriage licensing functions while at the same time ensuring that every qualified couple would still receive a timely marriage license.”

“It was a win-win and shows that the conscience rights of civil servants can and should be respected even after the Supreme Court’s sweeping redefinition of marriage,” Severino said.

As the States move forward from the Obergefell decision, judges and legislators need to treat everyone with equality. We must uphold the First Amendment and allow those issuing marriage license to recuse themselves when they feel they could personally breach their deeply held religious beliefs.

For original article, please visit The Daily Signal.