The religious right is spewing hate and lies, claiming that two ministers are being forced to marry same-sex couples–even claiming the ministers have been arrested. How is this possible?
Two ministers, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, own a for-profit wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho,Â but say they cannot marry same-sex couples because of their faith. Now that same-sex couples can legally marry in Idaho, the Knapps face a possible issue.
Earlier this year, as you can see in this video,Â Donald Knapp (photo, above,) said he’d close the chapel rather than violate his faith. At the center of the controversy is their small town’s anti-discrimination ordinance.Â
Bottom line, depending on how they’ve licensed their business, they likely would be exempt from the ordinance, but that hasn’t stopped theÂ maniacal anti-gay religious right who have hitched their wagons to the Hitching Post’s story and are profiting from it — because that’s just what they do.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is a right-wing Christian law firm created by the same folks who brought you anti-gay groups like theÂ American Family Association, theÂ Family Research Council, Focus on the Family,Â Campus Crusade for Christ, andÂ Coral Ridge Ministries, among others. It’s headed by the guy who made his name investigating pornography during the Reagan years, under Attorney General Edwin Meese.
The ADF claims an 80 percent winning record, although it has lost many high-profile cases, includingÂ Bostic v. Rainey, which brought same-sex marriage to Virginia,Â Bishop v. Oklahoma, which did the same for Oklahoma, theÂ Elane Photography case, which found that photographers cannot refuse to do business with same-sex couples, and most infamously,Â Perry v. Schwarzenegger, which ultimately brought same-sex marriage to California.
Now, the ADF has filed suit in Idaho, claiming two ministers who own a wedding chapel have licensed it as a religious business and therefore should be exempt from their local anti-discrimination ordinance.
The suit itself would appear to contain several incorrect statements, including the extent of the Knapp’s liability, but we’re not attorneys and can’t speak to the merits of the case.
The ADF claims that last FridayÂ the Knapps “respectfully declined” to perform a same-sex wedding “and now face up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines for each day they decline to perform that ceremony.”
Having read the City ofÂ Coeur d’Alene’s anti-discrimination law, I am of the opinion that the fine is $100 to $1000 per instance, not per day, and only if the City chooses to impose a fine at all.
Meanwhile, the religious right and the far right media have gone to town on this story over the past few days, and the lies they’re telling are atrocious.
A story Monday at the right-wing American News is titled: “City Arrests Pastors For Refusing To Perform Gay Weddings.“
That’s a lie.
A story at what appears to be Herman Cain’s website, is titled, “Idaho city tells pastors: Celebrate gay weddings or face fines, jail time.”
That’s a stretch.
It has one word in its first sentence: “Fascism.”
Bakers, photographers and florists are being forced to shut down their businesses unless they accede to demands that they join in the celebration of gay “marriages,” [sic] but so far no one has faced jail time for putting commitment to the Word of God ahead of the demands of homosexuals and their cultural champions.
Until now. A couple in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho who own a wedding chapel there declined the request of a gay couple that they perform their “wedding.” They [sic] couple did what gay couples seem to do a lot in these situations. They didn’t just go find someone else. They complained to authorities, who are now threatening to throw the pastors in jail.Â
First, “being forced to shut down their businesses” is stretching the truth massively. If a business owner chooses to shut their business rather than follow the law of the state that licenses them to do business, that’ not “being forced.”
Second, there has not been any complaint filed, as of this writing, against the wedding chapel, known as “The Hitching Post.”Â
Even the Alliance Defending Freedom seems to be fibbing.
“Two Ministers Ordered To Perform Same-Sex Wedding Face Jail, Fines,” reads an article on the ADF’s own website. That can only be true if indeed the Knapps were “ordered to perform [a] same-sex wedding.” They have not been. Nor do they currently face jail time or fines.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, super-sleuth blogger and LGBT activist Jeremy Hooper reported that recently, the Hitching Post’s website was changed from reading:
We also perform wedding ceremonies of other faiths as well as civil weddings.
The Hitching Post specializes in small, short, intimate, and private weddings for couples who desire a traditional Christian wedding ceremony.
But in an article published earlier today at none other than the Coeur d’Alene Press, the extent of the right wing’s madness seems to have been exposed.
“When contacted by The [Coeur d’Alene]Â Press for comment, Don Knapp said the Hitching Post is not operating as a not-for-profit religious corporation.”
So, now they have a problem.
Worse, so may theÂ Alliance Defending Freedom.
Donald Knapp also told the Coeur d’Alene PressÂ he doesn’t even know the ADF attorney who has been emailing with the City ofÂ Coeur d’Alene.
And even worse for the ADF’s case:
“We have never threatened to jail them, or take legal action of any kind,” said city spokesman Keith Erickson.
So, fromÂ start to finish (or, til now, since the religious right sees this as a money-maker) this story has been built on one lie after another.
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Man Shoots and Kills Atlanta Supermarket Cashier, Wounds Guard Over Mask Policy: Police
A man pulled out a gun and shot and killed an Atlanta-area Big Bear Supermarket cashier over the store’s mask policy, according to police. Two people, including a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office reserve unit deputy who was inside the supermarket working as a security guard, and the suspect, were also wounded.
“The subject pulled out a weapon and shot a cashier at the location,” DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said, according to 11Alive. “The individual is deceased.”
“Although details are not complete, authorities say that the male suspect was involved in a dispute with a young woman before he began firing at her inside the store,” the spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.
There apparently was an altercation over the mask policy, which is clearly posted on the store’s door.
“A witness, identified as Alan Williams, said a man walked into the store, struck the woman with a gun, then shot her. That’s when the deputy and the suspect exchanged gunfire.”
This is a breaking news and developing story.
#AbbottFailedTexas Trends as State Electric Authority Warns of Possible Power Outages Again – This Time in Heat Wave
Over the winter at least 151 Texans died as 4.5 million homes and businesses went without power in a massive failure created by poor planning, lack of regulation, and sheer greed.
Last week Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott promised he had fixed the problem.
Everything that needed to be done was done to fix the power grid in Texas.
Today, I signed bills into LAW to reform ERCOT & weatherize & improve the reliability of the state’s power grid.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 8, 2021
On Monday, less than seven days later, ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, urged customers to turn air conditioning to no cooler than 78 degrees and to conserve power, as it expects more blackouts throughout the week – this time during extreme heat.
In a statement ERCOT also asked Texans to not use ovens, washing machines, or dryers.
“If you don’t need something – we are asking you to turn it off and unplug it if possible.”
BREAKING: ERCOT is now asking people to conserve electricity through Friday, saying there are a significant number of power plants offline and expecting possible record use for June. pic.twitter.com/zWZkf0bkPq
— Matt Largey (@mattlargey) June 14, 2021
Many Texans, and many Americans, are furious.
— Heather (TX) 🇺🇸 (@hka003) June 14, 2021
Thanks to @GovAbbott, on one of the first hot days, we’re already being told to conserve electricity.
They didn’t FIX the grid because they were too busy legislating women’s vaginas & stopping POC from voting.
VOTE @GregAbbott_TX out in 2022 to save TEXAS!!! #AbbottFailedTexas https://t.co/a97aR7DO2u
— Kelly ツ (@kellwoohoo) June 14, 2021
So now ERCOT ‘CAN’T HANDLE COLD OR HEAT’. Someone should check the flight logs to Cancun bc I’m sure Cruz is already on his way there. And fuck Abbott too #AbbottFailedTexas
— Amelia (@agerson24) June 14, 2021
…are you FREAKING KIDDING ME, Texas?!
ERCOT: Our grid wasn’t built for temperatures this cold!!!
ERCOT: uhm….it’s too hot! How could we ever have anticipated this! https://t.co/vlqcXW6wUN
— Joe Vargas (@AngryJoeShow) June 14, 2021
— KiKi ♡✌🇺🇸🌊👑💙📣 (@KLoYo77) June 14, 2021
What could go possibly wrong with a combination of Texas’s summer power outages and its new conceal-carry for all law?#AbbottFailedTexas
— Truth Integrity Logic Fully Vaccinated (@LogicIntegrity) June 14, 2021
ERCOT has issued a new warning to Cancun that Ted Cruz might be back sooner than expected.
— Richard Hine (@richardhine) June 14, 2021
If you listen closely, you can hear Ted Cruz booking a flight to Cancun https://t.co/gmPLkaeMXi
— Nunca Trumpismo (@NeverTrumpTexan) June 14, 2021
— Rachel (@Rachelmoor29) June 14, 2021
— ₚₒₗᵢₜᵢcₐₗ ⱼₒᵢₙₜ™ (@PoliticalJoint) June 14, 2021
We need Beto.
While Abbott prattles on about a bloody wall, we need our grid repaired now. This is going to a long, hot summer.
— ToutdeSuiteLaSinner (@ToutSuiteSinner) June 14, 2021
FBI Warns Congress of More Possible QAnon Violence Targeting Democratic Lawmakers
The FBI has briefed members of Congress that QAnon “digital soldiers” may become violent and engage in more acts of domestic violent extremism, like the January 6 insurrection. In an unclassified version of the threat assessment delivered to top lawmakers in April the Bureau warns that Democrats may be targeted.
Rather than walking away from the far right wing conspiracy movement that paints some top Democrats as part of a dark cabal of cannibalistic Satan-worshipping pedophiles being fought by Donald Trump, some QAnon cultists think “that individuals need to take greater control of the direction of the movement than before,” CNN reports in an exclusive.
The shift is fueled by a belief among some of the conspiracy’s more militant followers that they “can no longer ‘trust the plan” set forth by its mysterious standard-bearer, known simply as “Q,” according an unclassified FBI threat assessment on QAnon sent to lawmakers last week, which was obtained by CNN.
This might lead followers to seek to harm “perceived members of the ‘cabal’ such as Democrats and other political opposition — instead of continually awaiting Q’s promised actions which have not occurred,” according to the assessment.
CNN also reports FBI Director Christopher Wray “made clear the bureau is not investigating” the QAnon movement, but only crimes committed by its adherents.
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