“For profit wedding chapels are in a position now where last week the ban would have prevented them from performing gay marriages, this week gay marriages are legal, pending an appeal to the 9th Circuit,” Warren Wilson with the Coeur d’Alene City Attorney’s Office said….
“If you turn away a gay couple, refuse to provide services for them, then in theory you violated our code and you’re looking at a potential misdemeanor citation,” Wilson said.
“…I think that term is broad enough that it would capture (wedding) activity,” city attorney Warren Wilson said.
Similar laws have applied to florists, bakeries and photographers that have refused to work on same-sex weddings in other states, Wilson noted.
“Those have all been addressed in various states and run afoul of state prohibitions similar to this,” he said. “I would think that the Hitching Post would probably be considered a place of public accommodation that would be subject to the ordinance.”
After all, protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience does not infringe on anyone’s sexual freedoms. No one has a right to have the government force a particular minister to marry them. Some citizens may conclude that they cannot in good conscience participate in same-sex ceremonies, from priests and pastors to bakers and florists. They should not be forced to choose between strongly held religious beliefs and their livelihood.
The Knapps are filing suit against the city.
Jonathan Turley says that the Knapps have a case.
The City of Coeur d’Alene has apparently decided that the Knapps need not perform homosexual weddings (or face prosecution).