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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 People, Pope Francis Will Win By Losing Catholic Church Battle For LGBT Inclusion - VIDEO

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c6f551d6970b-250wiWriting for the Washington Post, Jonathan Capehart has argued that although conservative bishops may have won a battle last week when they voted against language that spoke of “welcoming homosexual persons” into the Catholic church, they have not won the bigger battle with Pope Francis.

Following protests from conservative bishops, the Vatican last week backtracked on reports that it had planned to be “welcoming to homosexual persons.”

However, according to Capehart, although headlines called it a “setback,” “the pope let the genie out of the bottle. And, as we all know, it’s difficult to put him back in once released.”

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb079d3a5e970d-800wiHe continues:

“What the synod did at the outset on paper, Pope Francis has been doing since ascending to the papacy. He’s been talking about gays and lesbians in the Catholic Church with an unheard-of humanity and care.

“I found it interesting that Francis insisted not only on publicizing the vote tallies for each paragraph, but also which paragraphs failed to pass. The pope said he was doing it for transparency. And that’s great. The added benefit to such openness is the signal it sends the entire church. If the pope and the bishops can engage in a rational and respectful discussion about same-sex relationships, so can the rest of the flock. That’s the genie that is out of the bottle.

“As Francis said [on October 19th] during his homily, ‘God is not afraid of new things! That is why he is continually surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways.’ By the time the bishops reconvene next October to finalize the synod document, we might be looking at a very different outcome.

“I’m not saying the church or the pope will become a champion of LGBT rights. And I’m definitely not saying they are going to support marriage equality. What I am saying is that by talking about the humanity of gay and lesbian Catholics and worrying about their place in the church, Pope Francis is openly recognizing them as children of God. After centuries of demonization, that’s a revolutionary act that can’t be undone.”

Watch a CBS report on the failure of the synod to adopt pro-gay language, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Las Vegas Chapels Refuse To Marry Same-Sex Couples - VIDEO

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A number of wedding chapels in Las Vegas, including the Elvis Chapel, are refusing to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies, reports The Washington Post.

After a federal appeals court ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage in Nevada was unconstitutional, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority produced a full-page same-sex marriage ad with the tagline “Now you can say ‘I do’ to one more thing here.”

Despite a state public accommodations law prohibiting venues from discriminating based on sexual orientation, a local television channel found that several chapels are nonetheless refusing to marry same-sex couples.

Dolly Deleon, owner of the 24-hour Vegas Wed Chapel, said that her Christian faith would not allow her to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies:

“I would be a hypocrite if I said I’m a Bible-believing person and yet I would perform marriage that I believe is solely against God’s law.”

However, according to Tod Story of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, wedding chapels - as opposed to churches and places of worship - are not covered under the Public Accommodation Law of Nevada. For-profit wedding venues that turn away same-sex couples can be charged with a misdemeanor. 

Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Televangelist Rocked By Accusations He Abused Male Church Members, Forced Vasectomies - VIDEO

Angley

A series of reports in The Akron Beacon Journal has detailed decades of abuse and cover-ups by Ohio televangelist Ernest Angley.

Angley, pastor at Grace Cathedral Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, has been accused by former church members of performing genital "examinations," encouraging abortions and vasectomies, and arranging a marriage between a congregant and a convicted child molester.

Reporter Bob Dyer said that he had heard rumors about Angley for a long time but it wasn't until July when he received a recording of a church service in which Angley admits to examining the private parts of males that he began looking into the reports.

GraceDuring the July 13th service, addressing accusations that he is gay and has abused both his associates and members of the congregation, Angley said “I’m not a homosexual. God wouldn’t use a homosexual like he uses me. He calls me his prophet, and indeed I am. ...

On the issue of urging men in his congregation to submit to vasectomies, Angley said:

“I’ve helped so many of the boys down through the years. They had their misgivings. Sure, I’d have them uncover themselves, but I did not handle them at all. And I would tell them how that would work. And they’d have to watch it. I’d have some of them come back to me that I felt needed to. And I would tell them, I would look at them, their privates — I, so I could tell how they were swelling.”

Kenny Montgomery, a former usher at the church, who like many others interviewed by Dyer who compared Angley with cult leader Jim Jones, said “that place is a textbook cult. I’m really scared for my friends and family that still go there.”

Becky Roadman, who quit the church in 2013, said that members are not allowed to have children, an accusation backed up by another former church member Angelia Oborne:

“My husband and I can’t have children because my husband had a vasectomy. We were looking at getting it reversed, but I’m 35 years old and ... may not be able to have children anymore. And that breaks my heart, because that choice was made for me, because of the brainwashing, the mind control. We weren’t allowed to have children. If you turned up pregnant, it’s almost as if you had sinned.”

Oborne added that many church members have been forced into having abortions.

Former member Greg Mulkey said that Angley doesn’t want his congregation to have children “because it would take their time and money away from [the church]. He really forced people into abortions through scare tactics, as if he were a medical doctor. It turns my stomach.”

Mulkey added that male members were often forced to have vasectomies.

Watch Bob Dyer discuss the allegations against Angley, AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: autoplay)

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North Carolina Magistrate Resigns Over Gay Marriage: VIDEO

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A North Carolina magistrate yesterday took the decision to resign rather than perform same-sex marriages, reports WITN.

A memo to state magistrates on Wednesday said officials would be violating their oaths of office if they refuse to marry gay or lesbian couples.

Rockingham County Magistrate John Kallam Jr. said performing same-sex marriages would violate his religious beliefs and "would desecrate a holy Institution established by God Himself."

Kallam Jr. sent a letter to Chief District Court Judge Fred Wilkins saying when he took his oath of office, he didn't take it with the understanding that he would be required to marry gay couples.

On Monday, a magistrate in Pasquotank County refused to marry two men, citing religious objections.

Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Laverne Cox Talks New Show, Jenji Kohan, and 'Telling the T' on 'The View': VIDEO

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Laverne Cox stopped by "The View" on Tuesday, gabbing with Rosie O'Donnell and Nicole Wallace. Tragically, Whoopi Goldberg wasn't there for this segment, so we didn't get another taste of their rapport.

For the most part, Cox spoke about her new project Logo documentary "The T Word." The doc follows the lives of young transgender people, who Cox points out face (on the whole) less adversity than you might have feared. Two of the show's castmembers were in attendance at "The View."

Cox also joked, defining the "T" in "T word," giving "trans" as a definition, but also pointing out the usage found among queens on "RuPaul's Drag Race." "T means truth," Cox said, with a laugh. "Trans folks started that by the way!" 

Cox talked her early days as an actress — working in independent film. She also talked her breakthrough — getting cast in "Orange is the New Black." Cox describes the serendipity of finding the show; in the early stages of casting Jenji Kohan had (jokingly) said: "We need to hire someone on this show, and ideally, they will have a twin brother." Along came Laverne and the rest is history.

Check out the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Laverne Cox Talks New Show, Jenji Kohan, and 'Telling the T' on 'The View': VIDEO" »


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