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Alliance Defending Freedom Claims Anti-gay Idaho Wedding Chapel Never Sought Non-Profit Status - VIDEO

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Anti-gay Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has posted a response to a letter from the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho relating to the litigation group's discrimination lawsuit on behalf of a local wedding chapel, reports Joe My God.

Donald and Evelyn Knapp, the owners of Hitching Post, a wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene, claim in the lawsuit that the city's ordinance prohibiting discrimination against gays and lesbians is unconstitutionally forcing them to violate their religious beliefs by performing same-sex marriages.

Back in May, the Knapps said that they would rather close their doors than perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.

The letter sent by the city to ADF on October 20th makes it clear that, although the Knapps registered their business as a religious corporation early this month, “based on the facts and their corporate status at the time [the couple refused to perform a same-sex wedding],” Hitching Post comes under the city’s non-discrimination order.

However, ADF has posted a response on its website backtracking on claims that Hitching Post has in fact been registered as a non-profit religious organization.  ADF has attacked the city’s “disingenuous waffling” and is now arguing that the Coeur d’Alene intends to “prosecute a for-profit business.”

Knapps“The city has said explicitly, repeatedly, and publicly that it would prosecute a for-profit business. That’s what the Hitching Post is, and it has never claimed to be anything other than that.

"While the Knapps do operate a ministry, they charge a fee for the ceremonies in order to be able to make a modest living. Therefore, the city, in its letter and elsewhere, is admitting that it would prosecute these pastors, who are clearly under a present threat of being sent to jail, fined, or both.

"The city has had months to figure out its own ordinance, and our clients have years of incarceration and devastating fines hanging over their heads. The city’s disingenuous waffling is indefensible.”

Earlier this month, the ADF began lobbying Slovakia's constitutional court to allow activists to place a referendum on the country's ballot that would reinforce the current bans on gay marriage, adoption, and domestic partner protections. The ADF's efforts in promoting bigotry abroad were profiled in Human Rights Campaign's "Export of Hate" report last month.

Watch an ABC report on the case, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Marriage Proposal Of The Day: Senator Kelvin Atkinson And Sherwood Howard - VIDEO

Atkinson

Nevada state senator Kelvin Atkinson has proposed to his partner Sherwood Howard at a Freedom Nevada event celebrating the striking down of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, reports CNN.

Last year, Republican Atrkinson came out during a debate prior to a vote repealing a constitutional provision passed by voters in 2002 banning same-sex marriage

Atkinson said that his proposal “just came out...I proposed to him on stage in front of everyone.”

During his speech, Atkinson called Howard on to the stage to propose: 1007TheCenter12_t653

“Woody I know it has been six years. They haven’t always been great, but we have been great partners and as a lot of you know in a lot of my political work [you are] the one person that I trust the most, to be there with me, to be there for me, to be that confidant, to be my friend and my partner, so I’m saying it in front of everybody, will you marry me?’

The couple have been together for about 6 1/2 years and planned on getting married, but didn't want to do it in another state.

Despite the good news, yesterday we reported that same-sex marriage in Nevada is once again on hold after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued an order stating that his stay of the 9th Circuit's ruling only applies to Idaho.

Watch Atkinson's proposal, AFTER THE JUMP...

Don't miss our other recent gay wedding and proposal videos...

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Gay Marriage Proposal of the Day: Michael and Michael [tlrd]
Gay Marriage Proposal of the Day: Jason and Daniel [tlrd]
Gay Marriage Proposal of the Day: Lucas and David [tlrd]
Gay Wedding Video of the Day: Jonathan and Dwayne [tlrd]
Gay Marriage Flash Mob Proposal of the Day: Patrick and Mike [tlrd]

 

Continue reading "Gay Marriage Proposal Of The Day: Senator Kelvin Atkinson And Sherwood Howard - VIDEO" »


IDAHO: Lewiston City Councilors Speak Out on Why They Oppose LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance - VIDEO

Rj johnson Lewiston Idaho

City councilors in Lewiston, Idaho, have spoken out against a proposed non-discrimination ordinance that would make it illegal to discriminate in housing, employment and public accommodation based upon sexual orientation and gender identity, reports KLEWTV.

Lewiston City Council Mayor Pro Tem R.J. Johnson said that although all seven members of the council are against discrimination based on sexual orientation, ordinance 4614 would infringe “on our basic civil liberties."

According to Jesse Maldonado, the youngest person ever elected to the Lewiston City Council, it is currently “legal to discriminate in the workforce, hiring or firing, or refusing someone service or not giving someone housing if they are gay lesbian, or transgender and there's no ramifications for doing so. So basically what this ordinance would do would make it a misdemeanor to do that which could then be punishable by jail time or a fine."

However, councilor Clinton Daniels said that 4614 could lead to retailers being “put in jail for six months” with a fine of $1,000 for refusing to serve LGBT customers. In a statement, Daniels said:

"My strong belief in liberty compels me to oppose ordinances that do not respect private property, freedom of association, and voluntary contracts; even when the stated goal of such ordinances is something I support.

When you engage in commerce, whether it be for a personal sale or a commercial one, it is a form of a contract, and in a free society all contracts should be voluntary."

Maldonado has since asked supporters to attend the next of two further readings of the ordinance on September 22nd.

 

Watch a KLEW TV reports, AFTER THE JUMP...

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President Obama, John Kerry Release Statements Marking International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

2_obamaTomorrow is IDAHO, and the President has taken note:

Tomorrow, as we commemorate the 10th annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we recommit ourselves to the fundamental belief that all people should be treated equally, that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, and that no one should face violence or discrimination -- no matter who they are or whom they love.

This year, the United States celebrates the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. In doing so, we reflect on lessons learned from our own civil rights struggles and reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that the human rights of all people are universally protected.

At a time when, tragically, we are seeing increased efforts to criminalize or oppress LGBT persons, we call on partners everywhere to join us in defending the equal rights of our LGBT brothers and sisters, and in ensuring they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

KerrySecretary of State John Kerry also released a statement:

Today of all days, we are reminded that the cause of justice can and must triumph over hatred and prejudice. This is a day of action for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities and their allies all over the world. It is time to reaffirm our commitment to the equality and dignity of all persons, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

It’s not lost on anyone that this year’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) coincides with the 60th anniversary of the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. Our commitment to advancing the human rights of LGBT persons is part of this country’s long history of fighting to ensure that all people can exercise their human rights.

We have seen incredible progress in the fight to advance the human rights and fundamental freedoms of LGBT persons.

And the United States is proud to be doing its part. This past week, we convened religious leaders and representatives of faith-based organizations to think about how we work together to promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons. Next week, we will convene meetings with our private sector allies to discuss the important role of the business community in promoting equality and the ways we can partner through the Global Equality Fund.

But this must be more than a moment to celebrate how far we have come. We know that our work is not complete when countries enact laws targeting LGBT persons and their supporters. We know that our work is not complete when LGBT persons and their allies are harassed, arrested, and even killed simply because of who they are and who they love.

The United States condemns these senseless acts of violence and discrimination. Human rights are universal, and LGBT persons and their allies must be free to exercise them without fear of intimidation or reprisal.

When our LGBT brothers and sisters are threatened anywhere, it is a threat to freedom, justice and dignity of people everywhere. The United States will continue to protect and promote the human rights of LGBT persons worldwide this day and every day. Onward.


Chinese Gay Activist Detained for 12 Days Over Pride March: Video

Xiang

A few weeks ago we reported on the LGBT rights march in the city of Changsha in central China for the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHO).

Today, Queer Comrades posted a video of the march to their YouTube account. The march, organized by Xiang Xiaohan, had over 100 participants from several cities and seemed to be well-received by those who witnessed it, though Xiaohan was was punished with 12 days of administrative detention by the local Changsha police for having organized the parade without obtaining Public Security permission.

Said Xiaohan after his release, "Next time they might detain me for 15 days. If that's what it takes to hold another event, then that's fine by me."

Watch the video of the march, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Chinese Teen Arrested, Jailed for Organizing LGBT Rights March: VIDEO

Changsha

A gay teen has been arrested and jailed for organizing an LGBT rights march in central China, the AP reports:

The man, identified only by his surname Xiang, was detained following the Friday event in the city of Changsha and ordered to serve 12 days in a detention center for organizing an illegal march, according to a notice on the local police's microblog account.

Changsha newspaper Xiaoxiang Morning News quoted Xiang as saying before the march that he hoped it would make people question discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, and "let more people have a correct understanding of us."

Approximately 80 people took part in the march, which was held on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia.

Watch a news report about the organization of the march, AFTER THE JUMP...

The South China Morning Post adds:

Xiang has been transferred to the Changsha Municipal Detention Centre, said A Qiang, a fellow demonstrator and well-known activist from Guangzhou. Xiang has been active in the local LGBT community since age 14. A Qiang said Xiang had approached police about the protest before it took place on Friday afternoon...

...A Qiang said police did not interfere with the protest, except towards the end, when police approached the protesters, telling them not to shout slogans and impede traffic.

By 2.45am on Saturday, Xiang and three other people were taken away by police from a hotel room they were staying in. All except Xiang were released by the afternoon.

A Qiang said the protest was one of at least 10 across China on Friday. Demonstrations took place in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengsu, and also in second-tier cities such as Nanchang.

He said he did not recall anyone else ever having been but briefly detained for organising such protests.

(images via sohu)

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