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Mike Huckabee’s False, Fear-Mongering Facebook Rant About ‘Hitching Post’ Gay Marriage Story

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How many people have told how many lies about the Idaho wedding chapel being “forced” to marry same-sex couples? Mike Huckabee’s name should be near the top of the list.

If you’re as old as I am, you were raised to think that pastors and political leaders were to be admired and revered. 

Mike Huckabee in one fell swoop disintegrated that idea yesterday when he posted an outlandish, false, fear-mongering, hate-filled, anti-gay warning on Facebook.

Huckabee has been using false “religious liberty” stories to fuel his likely 2016 run for the White House. In polls this year, he’s consistently the GOP’s top choice among likely candidates — assuming Mitt Romney is not a likely candidate. Of course, Hillary Clinton beats Huckabee by 10 percentage points in head-to-head runoffs, but I digress.

As much of America now probably knows, the state of Idaho is now a marriage equality state. 

The tiny Idaho city of Coeur d’Alene has a reasonable non-discrimination ordinance, and now that same-sex marriage is legal, one for-profit wedding chapel has been all over the news.

LOOK: Almost Everything You’ve Been Told About The Idaho Wedding Chapel Story Is A Lie

The Hitching Post is owned by a husband and wife team of Christian ministers who make their living marrying people. But rather than choose to establish a ministry, they chose to create their business as a for-profit business, subjecting themselves to the laws of the land.

Along comes the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian law firm that has fought and lost same-sex marriage from California to Virginia. 

They somehow convinced Donald and Evelyn Knapp to sue their beloved city over the non-discrimination ordinance, despite the fact that no same-sex couple has asked the Knapps to marry them, no one has filed a complaint with the City, and the City has even told the Knapps they would work with them to help them.

But it’s election season, and the religious right is feeling attacked because gay people are destroying civilization by declaring love for one another and marrying.

Enter ordained Southern Baptist minister Mike Huckabee, eager to expand his audience, his base, his Fox News ratings, and his Facebook likes.

Besides, what’s wrong with lying for Jesus, right?

“Remember when same-sex marriage activists used to claim that it would never infringe on other people’s religious beliefs? Well, that was a lie,” Huckabee wrote on Facebook yesterday. “Donald and Evelyn Knapp own a wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, called The Hitching Post. They’re both ordained ministers and devoutly religious, so they declined to perform a same-sex wedding.”

Let’s stop right there.

Can Pastor Huckabee please name the same-sex couple who asked the Knapps to marry them?

Also, what “same-sex marriage activists” are “infring[ing] on other people’s religious beliefs”?

“Last week, after the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of Idaho’s same-sex marriage ban, the city declared the Knapps in violation of the town’s anti-discrimination law.”

Let’s stop again.

That’s a lie too.

“If they refuse to violate their religious beliefs and marry gay couples, they’ll face – brace yourself – up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $1000 a day.”

And, false again. The city’s ordinance provides for a discretionary fine of $100 to $1000 per instance — not per day. And that’s providing someone files a complaint and the City finds them guilty. None of which has happened.

“The Knapps say they’ll shut down their business first.”

Also, false. The Knapps earlier this year said that, but now they’re fighting.

“The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a federal lawsuit on their behalf. The city claims they don’t deserve a religious exemption because they’re a for-profit business.”

False.

“Here’s my question: how many pastors accept payment for performing weddings? Because if you do, you’re next.”

And, false.

Here’s what the City of Coeur d’Alene wrote on their Facebook page after the religious right attacked them.

“The city of Coeur d’Alene has been contacted by a huge volume of people inquiring about our anti-discrimination ordinance, passed in 2013 by the City Council. These contacts have been a reaction to a lawsuit filed by the owners of a local marriage chapel, the Hitching Post, which claims the city has taken inappropriate action against their business for their decision to not perform same-sex marriages. In fact, the city has received no complaints about the Hitching Post and we have never threatened them. If we did get a complaint we would investigate it like any other complaint to determine if there is a legitimate violation of a city code. If we investigate it and determine that they fall within our exemption for religious corporations, we would not pursue it further because they would be exempt.

[Bolding mine]

Further, City of Coeur d’Alene spokesperson Keith Erickson made clear that the City has “never threatened to jail them, or take legal action of any kind.”

Mike Huckabee calls gay people bullies.  

Who’s the bully here? 

No gay person who has filed no complaint against ministers who don’t want to marry gay people?

Or a man who uses the might of his decades in public life, a Fox News TV show, and a Facebook page filled with 1,618,896 fans to attack a tiny Idaho town of about 45,000 people?

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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