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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Says For-Profit Wedding Chapel Can Discriminate Against Gay Couples

Hitching post

The Coeur d'Alene, Idaho wedding chapel that has become the right-wing poster child for the clash between LGBT non-discrimination ordinances and anti-gay religious beliefs will now be permitted to turn away gay couples seeking marriage licenses, city officials announced today. 

Boise State Public Radio reports:

Initially, the city said its anti-discrimination law did apply to the Hitching Post, since it is a commercial business. Earlier this week, Coeur d'Alene city attorney Mike Gridley sent a letter to the Knapps’ attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom saying the Hitching Post would have to become a not-for-profit to be exempt.

But Gridley said after further review, he determined the ordinance doesn’t specify non-profit or for-profit.

“After we've looked at this some more, we have come to the conclusion they would be exempt from our ordinance because they are a religious corporation,” Gridley explained.

Court filings show the Hitching Post reorganized earlier this month as a “religious corporation.” In the paperwork, the owners describe their deeply held beliefs that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

Joshua Block, attorney for ACLU's LGBT Project writes:

As Jeremy Hooper notes, before the reorganizing the chapel billed itself as a place for "wedding ceremonies of other faiths as well as civil weddings." Leave it to the gays getting equal marriage rights though to throw right-wing religious folks into a full-blown tizzy. 


Seeking Conservative Endorsement, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Touts Anti-Gay Views

WalkerCurrent Wisconsin Governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Scott Walker (R) has been careful to avoid publicly expressing his official views on hot button issues like abortion and gay marriage. In the face of the looming November 4th election date however, Walker has begun to more aggressively court Wisconsin’s conservative vote. In an attempt to secure endorsement from Wisconsin Family Action, a conservative 501c(4) organization, Walker opened up about his stance on same sex marriage and a woman’s right to choose.

"I would hope that my record and the stark contrast with my opponent's positions would garner your support," the governor implored, asserting his belief that marriage could only be defined as a union between a man and a woman.

Before becoming governor Walker openly endorsed a proposal for a same sex marriage ban within Wisconsin. More recently he’s dodged direct questions about his opinions on marriage equality given steadily shifting poll numbers indicating the public’s broadening acceptance.

"He hasn't been straight with people," said Mary Burke, Burke’s primary democratic competition. "He does owe it to the people of Wisconsin to be clear on these issues."

Walker reaffirmed his opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, pointing to his decisions to cut funding, access, and support to abortion providers throughout the state. Last year Walker stealthily signed a bill into law that required women seeking abortions to undergo medically unnecessary ultrasounds. The bill also drastically reduced the number of centers allowed to perform abortions by banning doctors without broader admitting privileges from performing the procedure.

"This bill improves a woman's ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future," Walker said of the bill, which he pointedly elected to sign in private.


Rick Santorum: Young People Support LGBT Rights Because the Gay Community Has 'Silenced the Church' - VIDEO

Santorum

Former senator and likely presidential candidate Rick Santorum has said the only reason young people support gay rights is because they have never heard any arguments to the contrary, reports Right Wing Watch.

Speaking yesterday during an interview with Tony Perkins, president of listed hate group Family Research Council, Santorum said that the anti-gay lobby is losing in the battle for LGBT rights because “[LGBT activists] have effectively silenced the church on a lot of those issues and young people don’t even know what the opposing view is on these issues.”

PerkinsOn the issue of pastors in Houston suing the city for rejecting their petitions to repeal a non-discrimination ordinance, Santorum said:

“I really believe in this subject matter at hand with the gay community that a Judeo-Christian worldview cannot survive with a worldview that is as rabidly secular as this movement is.

“One is going to battle the other and I can tell you that the statists, these secular statists, do not want the competition that comes from the church and so they are going to do everything they can to marginalize them, to force them out of the public square to be quiet.

“They’re going to use, as they have, the Johnson amendment, try to use the IRS and the tax code to do so, they’re going to use every lever of power the government has to keep this competition of ideas silent so they can win the argument.”

Listen to the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Last year, Santorum claimed that same-sex marriage would "discourage" straight couples from marrying.

Continue reading "Rick Santorum: Young People Support LGBT Rights Because the Gay Community Has 'Silenced the Church' - VIDEO" »


Federal Judge Cancels Today's Hearing on Challenge to Kansas Gay Marriage Ban

A federal judge in Kansas who was set to hear a challenge to the state's ban on same-sex marriage today has canceled the hearing, the Associated Press reports:

KansasACLU attorney Doug Bonney said U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree is considering whether to reschedule the oral arguments or decide the case based on the parties' written arguments.

Bonney said he told Crabtree during a 30-minute conference Thursday that the ACLU did not have time to review the state's written response to the lawsuit because it had just been filed.

This is separate from the case scheduled to be heard before the Kansas Supreme Court on November 6.

Kansas remains the only state in the Tenth Circuit without marriage equality. 

Update: Plaintiffs in the case have been given until Monday (October 27) to file additional briefs on the preliminary injunction. 


Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval Says He Will Fight Efforts to Stop Gay Marriage in the State

SandovalNevada Governor Brian Sandoval has pledged to oppose the anti-gay Coalition for the Protection of Marriage's efforts to get the Ninth Circuit to grant a full re-hearing of the challenge to the state's same-sex marriage ban, the AP reports:

The Republican governor provided a quick answer Wednesday to an appeals court call for briefs within three weeks from the state and an advocacy group that won the right to gay marriage on behalf of eight Nevada same-sex couples.

Sandoval, who previously stated he believes marriage is between one man and one woman, has been supportive of the Ninth Circuit's pro-equality ruling, saying it "confirmed my previous position that the State’s arguments against same sex marriage are no longer defensible in court."

Now how about going after those pious wedding chapels in Vegas that continue discriminating against gay couples?


Arkansas Supreme Court Sets November 20 Hearing Date For Challenge to State's Gay Marriage Ban

Arkansas

The Arkansas Supreme Court has set November 20th as the date it will hear arguments concerning a challenge to the state's gay marriage ban, Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner reports:

The scheduling coincides with a separate case challenging Arkansas' gay marriage ban that be heard by a federal judge that day. 

A hearing for summary judgement in Montana's gay marriage battle is also scheduled for November 20th. 


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