A court in Hawaii has refused to exempt churches from being forced to allow their property to be used for civil union ceremonies.
The Emmanuel Temple and the Lighthouse Outreach Center Assembly of God requested a restraining order to block a law that permits same-sex couples to enter civil unions. It exempts clergy from performing the ceremonies, which are the equivalent of marriage, but there is no provision to protect church property. They argued that they would face civil penalties and fines if they refused to rent their property for same-sex civil unions, but U.S. District Judge Michael Seabright denied the request.
Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel Action tells OneNewsNow that creates a clear conflict between government and the free exercise of religion.
Matt Barber"There is no exemption for religious institutions, for churches, houses of worship from being subject to fines and to sanctions as provided in the legislation for refusing to allow their houses of worship to be desecrated through the use of a so-called 'civil union' ceremony," he explains.