Same-Sex Marriage Showdown: Idaho Ministers Told To Perform Same-Sex Marriages Or Face Fines

post1There is an interesting case out of Idaho that could be a critical showdown between anti-discrimination laws and freedom of exercise of religion. At the heart of the controversy are two Christian ministers, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, who own a Coeur d’Alene wedding chapel. They have been told that they must either perform same-sex weddings or face a $1000 fine. It raises a legitimate claim of the encroachment of state laws into areas of faith — a question that has been previously raised in less direct ways involving bakeries, photographers and other businesses that has refused for religious reasons to service same-sex marriages. We have previously discussed the difficulty in drawing lines under the First Amendment. If this business is protected, then why is not a bakery of religious individuals? Conversely, if this business is not protected, how about all of the religions that accept payments for religious services?

The case centers on the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene, which is registered with the state as a “religious corporation” limited to performing “one-man-one-woman marriages as defined by the Holy Bible.” However, unlike most churches, this is registered as a for-profit business. It is not unique in such a status, but that distinction could prove determinative in the case.

The city has an ordinance passed last year that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in matters of housing, employment and public accommodation. As a for-profit business, the ordinance does not treat the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel any different from a car wash.

Of course, it is different in the character of its work. The controversy however has played out in a variety of different contexts. This is an issue that we previously discussed when Harvard banned men from workout areas to satisfy the demands of Muslim women as well as other accommodations at other universities. Conversely, cities have banned the boy scouts because they exclude gay scout leaders and were thus discriminatory organizations. We have also seen private businesses who have been forced not to discriminate against homosexuals such a bakeries, florists, and photographers. I have previously written on the growing collision of free exercise of religion and anti-discrimination laws. Where does one draw the line where a florist cannot bar a homosexual but a grocery can bar males? The inherent conflicts in these cases leaves us without a single cognizable rule.

That is why this case could be so important. While I have long supported gay rights and same-sex marriage, I am sympathetic with the Knapps. I have great concern over the state telling a religious business to violate the core of its religious values. One possible distinction would be to require a non-for-profit status, but that distinction does not answer all of these questions. Churches and synagogues often receive payment for marriages even though they are non-for-profit. Moreover, most not-for-profit corporations are non-religious. The distinction avoids the key question: do people (and corporations) have a right to follow core religious principles. The recent ruling in Hobby Lobby would seem to support such a claim.

The case in Idaho is the perfect microcosm of the various national issues swirling around same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage has long been illegal in Idaho so this issue had not arisen for the couple. However, last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an order on May 13 allowing same-sex marriages to commence in Idaho on Oct. 15. It was just two days later that the couple received a call asking for a same-sex wedding ceremony. When they declined, they were contacted by the city.

I believe that the couple has a strong argument under the First Amendment as well as Idaho’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Regardless of one’s view of the merits, however, this could be a defining moment for constitutional law.

Source: Spokesman

660 thoughts on “Same-Sex Marriage Showdown: Idaho Ministers Told To Perform Same-Sex Marriages Or Face Fines”

  1. You don’t read or reply David. You have NEVER answered re the examples I, and others on other threads, have given you re infertility etc. I imagine it is because you can’t/ Your position would be, based on what you repeatedly post, that those who are infertile, barren, carrying disastrous DNA to be passed on to another generation, also have no reason to marry, maybe should not since they cannot, or should not in the latter examples, reproduce.

    You cite me as 2 times saying it is not a “race” and then go to say I said homosexuality is a race.

    The first paragraph if you could remove your blinders that you quoted from me was that it is the same IN THAT it is not something over which one has a choice such as eye color. Hate to burst your bubble David but I am also not calling green eyed people a race, or blue eyes people a race. It is an example. Got it??
    I cannot reply any more to you. As I wrote believe in another thread, or writing to you is too often like butting your head against a concrete wall. You take what I wrote prove that I said what I said I said, not what you want me to have said, and then say, but you said Z despite just quoting me not saying .

    1. leejcaroll wrote: “You don’t read or reply David.”

      Are you making a joke? I don’t read or reply? Really?

      leejcaroll wrote: “You have NEVER answered re the examples I, and others on other threads, have given you re infertility etc.”

      Yes I have. Concerning infertility, I think in most cases they should forgo marrying because the secondary reason for marriage does not apply. Nevertheless, marriage should not be made illegal for them because the primary reason for marriage still exists. Any particular case may have additional facts that would warrant marriage. We cannot carte blanche forbid it. I don’t know how to be much more clear about it.

      Maybe you have a question in your head that you are not articulating. I have to infer questions from your statements. Grammatically, you asked no question. You pontificated and then later inferred that a question had been asked and ignored.

      leejcaroll wrote: ” … those who are infertile, barren, carrying disastrous DNA to be passed on to another generation, also have no reason to marry, maybe should not since they cannot, or should not in the latter examples, reproduce.”

      Actually, as I have pointed out previously, there still remains a reason to marry, but I have no problem with your position that maybe they should not.

      leejcaroll wrote: “You cite me as 2 times saying it is not a “race” and then go to say I said homosexuality is a race.”

      No, the first time you said, “it [homosexuality] is the same as race…” If you made a typo or something, just let us know. The first time you did not say, “it is NOT the same as race.” You said, “it is the same as race.”

      leejcaroll wrote: “it is the same IN THAT it is not something over which one has a choice such as eye color.”

      Fine, if that is what you meant to say. You are still saying that homosexuality is the same as race. Jim22 apparently took you to mean what you said, that it is the same as race. Eye color is a characteristic of race also.

      My position is not the same as yours. My viewpoint is that homosexuality is NOT the same as race because it is something you have some control over. Twin studies, even one which you have shared, indicates a genetic component AND also other components. The field of epigenetics is your only chance to prove that homosexuality is the same as race. If your BELIEF that nobody has control over it turns out to be true, one would have to document the epigenetic mechanisms at play and who how they cause homosexuals to be produced every time. Right now it is only a guess. I very much doubt that epigenetics will prove that homosexuals are entirely produced by genetics the same way that race is.

      leejcaroll wrote: “Hate to burst your bubble David but I am also not calling green eyed people a race, or blue eyes people a race. It is an example. Got it??”

      I never claimed that you were calling eye color a race. Eye color is a characteristic of the phenotype of race, just like skin color and hair color. What you are claiming is that homosexuality is entirely inherited just like eye color. That is not true. In the identical twins you shared previously, they had the same eye color and other physical attributes, but one was homosexual and one was not. We can predict eye color from the human genome of the twins before they are even born. We can predict their gender. We can predict their race. But the one thing we cannot predict is their future sexual orientation.

      As for reparative therapy, some people have been helped by it. That is a fact. You only shared one side of the issue. Some people faked it. Some people tried it and failed, just like an alcoholic who thinks he is free of his addiction to alcohol, but later goes back to it.

      If you read the history, the homosexual activists took over the American Psychological Association and pressured them to vote to remove homosexuality. Well, that is just plain dumb. Science is not suppose to settle matters by voting based upon propaganda handed out at scientific conventions or pressuring from other homosexual scientists. Science is suppose to be about facts and what the empirical data prove. When scientists vote, it is clear that they are operating in the political realm and not the realm of science. The truth is that from a biological perspective, the sex drive is entirely about reproducing. From that scientific perspective, therefore, when a male is attracted only to males and devotes all his sexual energy into attempting to mate with other males, that is dysfunctional. I am talking from a strictly logical, objective, scientific perspective. You may not like me saying it, but it is the necessary truth to which logic leads us.

  2. So your answer is I answered you and then you repeat what you have written before. You give a nod to older prople who, well what the heck they can be married but they don’t need the benefits of the aw they are just as well having a civil union, like gay folk, I guess.
    You of course have never answered me, or others, as to people who are infertile, people whom, for health reasons should not get pregnant, people who carry genetic diseases, such as the at least 50?50 chance (and probably better in my case due to lineage, already explained, that I will pass on ALS. Better I guess a child be born with the huntingdon;s gene with a 100% chance or ALS gene with a 50% chance. I can only surmise you refuse, consistently, to address those issues because you cannot without sounding even worse then you already do.

    1. leejcaroll, I answered you. The answer is in the primary reason for marriage that requires gender diversity. I can only assume you do not read my responses. I don’t know much else to say.

      Surely what I have said is not as difficult to understand as some of what you have written.

      Leejcaroll wrote that homosexuality is the same as race Oct 22, 2014 at 10:03 am:

      “David most believe that homosexuality is not a “choice” as you still seem to believe. In that it is the same as race or other factors over which one has no biological choice…”


      Soon after, Jim22 wrote: “… if as some here want to believe, that it is not a choice, but a race, then the only way that this race can survive biologically is to force their race on others through our schools and laws. They need to cultivate our offspring.”

      Only an hour and 19 minutes after leejcaroll wrote that homosexuality is the same as race, leejcaroll wrote:

      “I don’t know if someone said homosexuality is a race. I doubt folks think that. Heterosexuals are not a “race” I am heterosexual but I never made a conscious choice, “Hey think I like men. I could like women but nah, think men are more my choice, as though I was picking out a caramel vs a nougat. Homosexuality is not a “race” anymore ten are blue eyed people a race.”

  3. David writes “leejcaroll wrote: “but I do not recall his ever bothering to reply, or if he did being cogent enough to recall. David falls into the consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. He is unable to see past his fears, prejudices and belief that he has the right answers for everyone if we would only be smart enough to heed him.”

    Actually, I do try to answer, but I think many of you want a simple answer to a complex issue. Life is just not that accommodating. I suppose it makes you feel better about yourselves to impugn my character, describing me as fearful and prejudicial, but the truth is that I am simply being true to what I perceive about this subject. It is fascinating for me to see how everybody aligns themselves.”

    And notice no answer to what you were asked. This is your m.o.’ I didn’t answer because you want a ( ) answer and that makes you feel better about yourself by impugning my character. ‘
    When your answer is non answer and turned into I guess an adhominem (if I am using that correctly as it has been used on the blog)
    against me, or others,it is proof of your behavior and that you do not answer what might make you too uncomfortable because you would have to actually take a serious look at the positions you espouse.

    You also wrote “leejcaroll wrote: “David not all churches accept your homophobia and abhorrence of gay and gay marriage.”
    I do not have homophobia, nor do I abhor gay and gay marriage. I am simply acknowledging that some people have strong convictions about it, and nobody seems to acknowledge that conviction as a valid religious conviction. You seem to think that a minister officiating a marriage ceremony is equivalent to him washing someone’s window. It is not the same thing at all. He is doing something sacred and holy.”

    When have I ever said that about marriage – equivalent to washing a window”? In fact. Never.

    1. leejcaroll wrote: “And notice no answer to what you were asked. This is your m.o.’ I didn’t answer because you want a ( ) answer and that makes you feel better about yourself by impugning my character.”

      I answered several times. You obviously do not care about the answer. It is much easier for you to declare that no answer was given.

      You wrote to me: “you have espoused your positions repeatedly about marriage being for procreation so no point going over that old ground with you…”. So then when I do not go over old ground with you, you claim I never answered you. So now, allow me to go over this ground at least one more time.

      The primary reason for marriage is the joining of two people of the opposite gender. This is a result of humans being created as two parts, male and female. Because the genders are dissimilar from each other, they find a completion to themselves in the joining. For example, the woman’s more nurturing character makes up for the man’s lack therefore, and the man’s greater physical strength makes up for the woman’s lack of strength. Many more examples could be given. The point is that two gender dissimilar individuals come together and experience a complementary type unity. Such a completion is dependent upon gender diversity, so a couple with the same gender does not experience the same thing. Furthermore, it is biologically impossible for same sex couples to experience coitus, a major element necessary for the bonding of marriage. A marriage is considered consummated by coitus, and because same sex couples cannot consummate marriage in this way, their union should not be classified as marriage. Theirs is a civil union or domestic partnership, but not a marriage. From a biological and anatomical perspective, marriage is impossible for them.

      The secondary reason for marriage is reproduction. The man and the woman need each other in order to reproduce and propagate their kind. Sexual relations are very intimate and coitus creates a special bond between the pair. It is natural and instinctive for them not to want their partner to share that with others. Such leads to better health also, because of sexually transmitted diseases, and because multiple sexual partners lead to a decreased immune response of the body. Also, there is economic gain to them through a permanent joining. Their children require a great deal of investment to be raised such that they can function independently in society. So a woman who bears children is much wiser to do that in a committed relationship with the father of her children.

      So when reproduction is finished, should the couple part ways and divorce from the marriage because the job of reproduction is finished? No. Because the primary reason for marriage is still in play. The male and female complete each other, and by this time they have found that their complementary unity is better than each being alone.

      So the same situation exists with elderly couples who desire to marry. I think in most cases they should forgo marrying because the years of reproduction are past and the time of building a unity is shortened. Nevertheless, it should not be made illegal. There are too many complicated issues that might make marriage feasible. As mentioned before, some humans have given birth past 90 years of age. Therefore, elderly couples remain free to marry if they so choose.

      The problem with same sex unions is that the primary and secondary reasons for marriage mentioned above have no meaning. They are gender equivalent and they cannot reproduce naturally. Someone is sure to mention advanced scientific techniques for them to conceive, but the primary reason is still lacking. Ultimately, the complicated dynamics of same gender sex lead to the situation like that articulated by the homosexual activist Masha Gessen referenced previously. Her viewpoint is that although she lobbied for same sex marriage and got it, now she realizes that the institution of marriage should be abolished. She gives a good reason for it too, based upon her own homosexual marriage and how that resulted in strange family relationship. It basically requires a change in the institution of marriage, and a change in the definition of a family.

  4. Different article wherein a main proponent of conversion therapy “apologizes to the gay community” for that saying he was wrong, as well as scientific info.

    In summary, scientific data are lacking to show that behavior modification techniques effectively change individuals’ sexual orientations from homosexual to heterosexual. The relatively small number of attempts that have been adequately documented appear to have been largely unsuccessful.

    Does this mean that no one ever changes his or her orientation from homosexual to heterosexual through the use of such techniques? Not necessarily. It is possible that some individuals who enter such therapies eventually make such a change, although there is no evidence for a cause-and-effect relationship. Those people might have changed their sexual orientation without the therapy.

    However, so-called reparative therapy techniques – premised on the assumption that homosexuality is a form of psychopathology – appear to do much more harm than good. And even if conversion therapies were shown to be successful in more than a relative handful of cases, they would remain ethically questionable.

    The mainstream view in psychology and psychiatry is that people who are troubled about their homosexual orientation have internalized society’s prejudice against homosexuality, and that the appropriate task of a therapist is to help them to overcome those prejudices and to lead a happy and satisfying life as a gay man or lesbian.


    1. Claims by religious organizations to have changed homosexuals to heterosexuals generally have not been documented in such a way as to permit their critical evaluation. For more discussion of them, see Haldeman (1991, 1994). (return to text)

  5. @leejcarroll

    If you can not even figure out who is gay and who isn’t in the scenario above, then how can you say that there is no conversion therapy that will ever prove effective??? Face it, we don’t even know for sure what causes gay behavior, or if it is genetic, or developmental, both, or neither. To figure the stuff out takes time and honest scientific study.

    In the meantime, what we do know is that gay male behavior has a whole big bunch of bad side effects. And the more promiscuous the more potential bad effects.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    No my answer was predicated on it was a, apparently, sexual scenario you provided wihtut any context. People have been known to engage in various sexual activities for the sake of the activity at the moment, that does not mean they are gay or straight absent knowing more.
    US researchers find evidence that homosexuality linked to genetics

    re conversion therapy. It is considered harmful by most psych associuations, psychologists, med societies. It is the religious right who think it is a fine idea.

    “Organizational Positions on Reparative Therapy

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    “Confusion about sexual orientation is not unusual during adolescence. Counseling may be helpful for young people who are uncertain about their sexual orientation or for those who are uncertain about how to express their sexuality and might profit from an attempt at clarification through a counseling or psychotherapeutic initiative. Therapy directed specifically at changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation.”
    Homosexuality and Adolescence, Pediatrics.

    American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

    “The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy takes the position that same sex orientation is not a mental disorder. Therefore, we do not believe that sexual orientation in and of itself requires treatment or intervention.”
    Statement on Nonpathologizing Sexual Orientation.

    American Counseling Association

    “The American Counseling Association opposes portrayals of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation; and supports the dissemination of accurate information about sexual orientation, mental health, and appropriate interventions in order to counteract bias that is based on ignorance or unfounded beliefs about same-gender sexual orientation.”
    Resolution, as reported in the American Psychological Association’s publication, “Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth.”

    American Medical Association

    “Our AMA… opposes, the use of ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation.”
    H-160.991, Health Care Needs of the Homosexual Population.

    American Psychiatric Association

    “Psychotherapeutic modalities to convert or ‘repair’ homosexuality are based on developmental theories whose scientific validity is questionable. Furthermore, anecdotal reports of “cures” are counterbalanced by anecdotal claims of psychological harm. In the last four decades, “reparative” therapists have not produced any rigorous scientific research to substantiate their claims of cure. Until there is such research available, [the American Psychiatric Association] recommends that ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals’ sexual orientation, keeping in mind the medical dictum to first, do no harm.

    The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient. Many patients who have undergone reparative therapy relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction. The possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed.

    Therefore, the American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.”
    Position Statement on Therapies Focused on Attempts to Change Sexual Orientation (Reparative or Conversion Therapies).

    American Psychoanalytic Association

    “Same-gender sexual orientation cannot be assumed to represent a deficit in personality development or the expression of psychopathology. As with any societal prejudice, anti-homosexual bias negatively affects mental health, contributing to an enduring sense of stigma and pervasive self-criticism in people of same-gender sexual orientation through the internalization of such prejudice.

    As in all psychoanalytic treatments, the goal of analysis with homosexual patients is understanding. Psychoanalytic technique does not encompass purposeful efforts to “convert” or “repair” an individual’s sexual orientation. Such directed efforts are against fundamental principles of psychoanalytic treatment and often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damaging internalized homophobic attitudes.”
    Position Statement on Reparative Therapy.

    American Psychological Association

    “THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association affirms that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality regardless of sexual orientation identity;

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association reaffirms its position that homosexuality per se is not a mental disorder and opposes portrayals of sexual minority youths and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation;

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association concludes that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation;

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association encourages mental health professionals to avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts by promoting or promising change in sexual orientation when providing assistance to individuals distressed by their own or others’ sexual orientation…”
    Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts.

    American School Counselor Association

    “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning (LGBTQ) youth often begin to experience self-identification during their pre-adolescent or adolescent years, as do heterosexual youth. These developmental processes are essential cognitive, emotional and social activities, and although they may have an impact on student development and achievement, they are not a sign of illness, mental disorder or emotional problems nor do they necessarily signify sexual activity.

    The professional school counselor works with all students through the stages of identity development and understands this development may be more difficult for LGBTQ youth. It is not the role of the professional school counselor to attempt to change a student’s sexual orientation/gender identity but instead to provide support to LGBTQ students to promote student achievement and personal well-being.”
    The Professional School Counselor and LGBTQ Youth.

    National Association of Social Workers

    “People seek mental health services for many reasons. Accordingly, it is fair to assert that lesbians and gay men seek therapy for the same reasons that heterosexual people do. However, the increase in media campaigns, often coupled with coercive messages from family and community members, has created an environment in which lesbians and gay men often are pressured to seek reparative or conversion therapies, which cannot and will not change sexual orientation. Aligned with the American Psychological Association’s (1997) position, NCLGB [NASW’s National Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues] believes that such treatment potentially can lead to severe emotional damage. Specifically, transformational ministries are fueled by stigmatization of lesbians and gay men, which in turn produces the social climate that pressures some people to seek change in sexual orientation. No data demonstrate that reparative or conversion therapies are effective, and in fact they may be harmful.”
    Position Statement, “Reparative” and “Conversion” Therapies.

    Pan American Health Organization (PAHO): Regional Office of the World Health Organization

    Services that purport to “cure” people with non-heterosexual sexual orientation lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said in a position statement launched on 17 May, 2012, the International Day against Homophobia. The statement calls on governments, academic institutions, professional associations and the media to expose these practices and to promote respect for diversity.

    Statement, “Therapies” to change sexual orientation lack medical justification and threaten health”

  6. Why on a day that should be joyful, would you spoil that with a minister objecting to participating? Don’t have your wedding joy stilted for a political message!

  7. Darren Smith: “Whatever the ambiguous term “Natural Rights” is, we still have to follow common law and statutory law else face consequences in doing so. Even if someone such as John Locke was revered so highly by a particular group of individuals, as far as the law is concerned Locke’s teachings are irrelevant as matters of law.”

    Locke’s teachings are at the core of WHY all other laws have validity. Common law and of course statutory law are constructs of the social contract; the social contract is what’s established to secure natural (unalienable) rights. The Declaration of Independence thus became in effect, the ultimate strategic plan:

    Vision Statement: “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Mission Statement: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,”

    As with every strategic plan, we have a gap between the existing state of the Union and the idealized vision. And like every strategic plan, the cultural transformation must be managed:

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    Justice is to be achieved using common and statutory law as the means to guide society towards the visionary ends of recognizing that all are created equal and that everyone is created with unalienable rights. If government and the law stay true to its “constitutional” purpose, it will move the culture towards the vision in a manner that does not outpace its ability to peacefully change and without alienating the rights of citizens in the process.

    We are living in an age where the law is has exceeded its purpose and is outpacing the changing culture. We now have laws for “protected” classes of citizens which by their very nature leave other classes of citizens “unprotected”; all in the name of social justice. Social justice is a form of ex post facto legislation; it punishes current society for the natural pace of cultural transformation. To accomplish this artificial and unconstitutional purpose for government, the administrative state is created. And when agencies within this administrative state are allowed to use their “powers” to promote the unconstitutional social justice agenda, the people begin to see them as weaponized. When this 21st century weaponization begins to resemble the 18th century grievances identified in the DoI, then the 4th self-evident truth cannot be far behind:

    “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

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