Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Christian News Network: Republicans in Idaho have proposed a resolution calling for support for using the Bible alongside public school curriculum.
The Christian Post: Included in the release were comments from ADF’s senior legal counsel David Hacker who said, “Universities cannot function as marketplaces of ideas if free speech requires a warning sign or is otherwise severely limited on campus.
The Washington Post: “Universities cannot function as marketplaces of ideas if free speech requires a warning sign or is otherwise severely limited on campus,” David Hacker, an attorney for the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom and counsel for Abolitionists4Life, said.
Reuters: The lawsuit in federal court in Idaho was filed after the anti-abortion group Abolitionists4Life hosted two events on campus last spring that sought through images to “communicate its pro-life message,” the organization’s senior legal counsel, David Hacker, said in a statement.
UPI: “We commend Boise State University for acknowledging this by revising its speech policy so that students can speak more freely throughout campus without fear of punishment,” ADF senior legal counsel David Hacker said. “Universities cannot function as marketplaces of ideas if free speech requires a warning sign or is otherwise severely limited on campus.”
National Right to Life: “Universities cannot function as marketplaces of ideas if free speech requires a warning sign or is otherwise severely limited on campus,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker. “We commend Boise State University for acknowledging this by revising its speech policy so that students can speak more freely throughout campus without fear of punishment.”
Idaho Statesman: The Alliance Defending Freedom filed the lawsuit on Abolitionists4Life’s behalf. The Alliance Defending Freedom was founded by leaders of the religious right, including Dr. James Dobson, of Focus on the Family; Don Wildmon, of the American Family Association; the Rev. D. James Kennedy, of Coral Ridge Ministries; and Bill Bright, of Campus Crusade for Christ.
Life News: “Universities cannot function as marketplaces of ideas if free speech requires a warning sign or is otherwise severely limited on campus,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker. “We commend Boise State University for acknowledging this by revising its speech policy so that students can speak more freely throughout campus without fear of punishment.”
ADF Media: Boise State University has revised its speech policy in light of a lawsuit Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed last year on behalf of a pro-life student group. The university’s new speech policy no longer requires student organizations to post warning signs on campus for events school officials deem “controversial” and no longer limits literature distribution on campus.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Cities across the U.S. are contemplating new laws that would put “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in the same category as race or religion.
Alliance Defending Freedom: The people of Idaho, Wyoming, and North Dakota have spoken. And they have made it clear this legislative season that they do not need a sexual orientation, gender identity (SOGI) nondiscrimination ordinance in their states.
WND: “The government can’t tell ministers they must perform same-sex marriages under threat of jail time and crippling fines,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco.
CDA Press: “The whole problem is that prior to the case being filed, the city was saying the distinction between covered and not-covered was whether or not a business was a nonprofit or for-profit. But after we filed, they changed that statement,” Jeremy Tedesco, ADF senior legal counsel, said. “This ordinance has criminal penalties and jail time if you violate it and because of that, the city needs to have clear guidelines for people like the Knapps who are trying to figure out if they’re exempt.”
Idaho Statesman: The group Abolitionists4Life sued last year in federal court in Boise after protesting university-imposed restrictions that members said violated the group’s free speech rights. The lawsuit was brought by the Alliance Defending Freedom.
WND: “The government can’t tell ministers they must perform same-sex marriages under threat of jail time and crippling fines,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco.
Reuters: A county branch of the Republican Party in Idaho voted to shelve for now a measure that would have labeled the state as Christian to bolster what supporters called the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of the United States.
CDA Press: “ADF continues to defend the Knapps’ fundamental freedoms and is working to ensure that all religious business owners are protected from the kind of unlawful, punitive action the Knapps were threatened with,” Jeremy Tedesco, ADF senior legal counsel, said in an email to The Press.
One News Now: ADF attorney Ken Connelly explains that the bill didn’t include sufficient religious or conscience protections. Similar laws in other states have demonstrated those shortcomings.
CBN News (AP): “The proposed legislation would have had adverse effects on churches, schools, and businesses, and would have interfered with the ability of every Idahoan to live and work according to the dictates of his or her conscience,” ADF Legal Counsel Ken Connelly, who testified before the committee, said.
ADF Media: The State Affairs Committee of the Idaho House voted 13-4 Thursday to reject a deeply problematic bill that Alliance Defending Freedom had said in oral testimony and in written legal analysis “will threaten First Amendment and statutory freedoms and expose the State to legal and fiscal liability.”
The Washington Post (AP): Hundreds of people line up to attend or testify at the House State Affairs Committee hearing on a bill that would include sexual orientation and gender identity protections to the state’s Human Rights Act, at the state Capitol building.
Idaho Press: Several others spoke against the bill on behalf of out-of-state organizations, including United Families Utah, the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Idaho Press-Tribune: Several others spoke against the bill on behalf of out-of-state organizations, including United Families Utah, the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Baptist Press: “It seems that they are waiting for this to sort of trickle out,” Kellie Fiedorek, litigation counsel for ADF, said. She expects the high court to wait on a decision from the Fifth Circuit and possibly the 11th Circuit, which consists of Alabama, Florida and Georgia.
CDA Press: Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Press Wednesday that the organization has not changed its goal of obtaining a formal clarification to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance.
Christian News Network: The governor of Idaho has take the fight to defend his state’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as being solely between a man and a woman to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Christian Post: An Arkansas town’s controversial transgender ordinance that Michelle Duggar of “19 Kids and Counting” had campaigned against has been repealed.
WND: A change is looming for a pastor-targeting ordinance adopted by the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, that imposes fines and jail time for refusing to perform same-sex “weddings,” according to the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing Hitching Post wedding chapel owners Donald and Evelyn Knapp in a federal lawsuit.
Crossmap: “Passing laws that guarantee special protections for some but punish others is a reckless avoidance of this duty,” said Kellie Fiedorek, ADF litigation staff counsel, in an email interview with BP. “If this ordinance is enacted, people of all backgrounds and beliefs would be forced to accept, endorse and even promote government-dictated messages, ideas and events, even if they violate their deepest convictions.”
Springfield News-Leader: A year and a half later, on Oct. 15, same-sex marriage became legal in the state. Christian religious rights legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit against the city on Oct. 17, contending that the anti-discrimination ordinance forced Hitching Post Wedding Chapel owners Don and Lynn Knapp to perform same-sex marriages, thus violating their freedom of religion.
Communities Digital News: According to ADF attorney, Jeremy Tedesco, “Right now they are at risk of being prosecuted…The threat of enforcement is more than just credible…The Knapps are in fear that if they exercise their First Amendment rights, they will be cited, prosecuted, and sent to jail.”
CDA Press: Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, also told The Press that the parties needed time to reach a settlement.
Boise Weekly: An attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian rights legal advocacy organization representing the Hitching Post also said “the parties needed time to reach a settlement.”
Zenit: You may have heard the news about a 95-year-old little wedding chapel called The Hitching Post in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Owned and operated for 25 years by two ordained Christian ministers in their 60s, Don and Lynn Knapp, the Hitching Post is a place where “marriage begins.” Within days of same-sex marriage coming to Idaho, Coeur D’Alene became “Ground Zero” in the struggle to preserve religious freedom in America.
Centre Daily Times: In Houston, city lawyers obtained subpoenas requiring five pastors to turn over sermons and other communications that mention the city’s equal rights ordinance. With assistance from the Alliance Defending Freedom, the pastors sued to nullify the subpoenas as overly broad and irrelevant to the case.
Alliance Defending Freedom: The city attorney of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, now says the two pastors of The Hitching Post will not be forced to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.
The Washington Examiner: For more than a year, liberal elites have ridiculed the idea that businesses can exercise religion. They demonized the Supreme Court for recognizing that Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood Specialties, and other family businesses have a right to operate under their owners’ religious principles.
CNS News: Unless you live under a rock, you know that The Hitching Post recently sued the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, after officials threatened its owners, ordained ministers Don and Lynn Knapp, with jail time and fines. What prompted this threat? The Knapps’ position that they would decline to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony at their wedding business, which city officials said would violate a local sexual orientation nondiscrimination ordinance.
The Trumpet: So far, the Knapps have refused to marry one same-sex couple, but have not been cited by the city for breaking the non-discrimination laws. This was because Alliance Defending Freedom filed a suit in federal court to prevent the city from citing them.
The Daily Signal: Represented by a lawyer associated with Alliance Defending Freedom, the Knapps filed suit to prevent officials of Coeur d’Alene from prosecuting them for declining to violate their religious beliefs about marriage.
Gazette Xtra: In Houston, city lawyers obtained subpoenas requiring five pastors to turn over sermons and other communications that mention the city’s equal rights ordinance. With assistance from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the pastors sued to nullify the subpoenas as overly broad and irrelevant to the case.
Hot Air: Initially, the city said its anti-discrimination law did apply to the Hitching Post, since it is a commercial business. Earlier this week, Coeur d’Alene city attorney Mike Gridley sent a letter to the Knapps’ attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom saying the Hitching Post would have to become a not-for-profit to be exempt. But Gridley said after further review, he determined the ordinance doesn’t specify non-profit or for-profit.
National Review: The Knapps filed what is called a “pre-enforcement” challenge. Leftist groups frequently use these types of challenges to advance their agenda, which is why it is so amusing that people in their camp are squawking that the Knapps filed such a suit.
FRC: Coeur d’Alene, a small town in northern Idaho appears to be trying to rein in their earlier threat to put two ministers in jail for refusing to conduct same-sex weddings. FRC’s allies at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) quickly came to the Knapps’ defense.
The Federalist: On same-sex marriage, we have to protect the freedom to say and do things that the mainstream finds repugnant.
The Daily Signal: On Oct. 17, the couple’s attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order to stop the city from forcing the Knapps to violate their religious beliefs.
KTAR News: Earlier this week, the faith-based group Alliance Defending Freedom issued a letter to clerks in Arizona Superior Courts, informing them that they can legally refuse to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples despite a judge’s ruling that overturned Arizona’s ban on same-sex marriage. The group contends state law allows a clerk to appoint a deputy to marry a same-sex couple instead.
Christian Today: The Knapps were represented by the ADF, whose senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco had said in a statement: “The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines” and accused the city of being on “seriously flawed legal ground”. The lawsuit said that the city was “unconstitutionally forcing” them to perform same-sex ceremonies “in violation of their religious beliefs, their ordination vows, and their consciences”.
Acton Institute: Same-sex marriage became legal in the state of Idaho earlier this month after a federal court ruled in the case of Latta v. Otter that the state’s statutes and constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. This ruling affected an anti-discrimination ordinance in the city of Coeur d’Alene, which was enacted last year to cover “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” (Since there is currently no similar state or federal non-discrimination laws, the requirement only applies in Coeur d’Alene or other Idaho cities with similar ordinances.)
KHQ: “The thing is, that the city wants to take the position that the hitching post is exempt from the ordinance, that’s great, but they need to clarify that in writing,” says Jeremy Pedesco a senior legal counselor with ADF.
12 News Now: Equality North Carolina issued a news release Friday calling memos sent out by the N.C. Values Coalition and the Alliance Defending Freedom misleading. The memos encouraged state officials with “sincere religious or moral beliefs” to refrain from issuing marriage licenses.
The Washington Post (RNS): The Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative group representing the couple in a lawsuit against the city, said the Hitching Post is not a nonprofit religious organization like a church, but rather is a religious for-profit limited liability company like a Bible publisher.
Lawyer: ACLU is ‘terrified’ and ‘running scared’ from the case of the Christian ministers who refuse to perform same-sex weddings
The Blaze: Tedesco believes that the ACLU is in “major damage control” over the fact that a non-discrimination ordinance that they have defended has been used to limit the speech of ordained ministers.
Nathan Cherry: The Knapp’s now face 180 days in jail and a $1,000 per day fine for each day they refuse to perform a same-sex ceremony. Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Knapp’s to prohibit the city from penalizing the couple.
RawStory: Sgro also noted that attempts publicize resignations like Breedlove’s are “part of an effort to hype up a few small cases” by groups like the North Carolina Values Coalition and the Alliance Defending Freedom. “If you hold a job or any position that serves the public or the state, then you have to carry out the duties of that job,” he said.
KHQ: Members of the Alliance Defending Freedom firm say they have no problem, dismissing the lawsuit. But if the Hitching Post, a for-profit business operating under the religious beliefs of its owners is exempt, that want that status included in the ordinance.
The Christian Post: Since the Knapps were forewarned by the city that non-compliance would be dealt with as a criminal offense under the city ordinance, they enlisted the help of our friends at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), and filed a federal lawsuit in Idaho on October 17. A court hearing will be held soon on the couple’s request for a court order preventing the city from prosecuting them under the ordinance.
What’s next for the Christian chapel owners who refuse to back down from refusal to perform same-sex marriage?
The Blaze: Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative legal firm representing Donald and Evelyn Knapp, owners of Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, told TheBlaze Wednesday that city attorney Michael Gridley confirmed in a letter Monday that “for-profit companies … are subject to the non-discrimination ordinance.”
Sonoran News: “No one in America should be forced to choose between following their conscience and serving their employer,” said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Kellie Fiedorek. “The First Amendment protects the right to basic freedoms, including the freedom to live and work according to one’s conscience. These freedoms are guaranteed to every American, including those issuing marriage licenses.”
The Global Dispatch: “No one in America should be forced to choose between following their conscience and serving their employer,” said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Kellie Fiedorek. “The First Amendment protects the right to basic freedoms, including the freedom to live and work according to one’s conscience. These freedoms are guaranteed to every American, including those issuing marriage licenses.”
Fox News: Kerri Kupec discusses the Hitching Post case on Special Report with Bret Baier.
Andrew Sullivan: But in cases like these, I still favor maximal religious liberty – even for a public accommodation like this one because requiring individuals to perform a marriage ceremony against their beliefs is just something we don’t do in a liberal society.
Idaho State Journal: According to the Spokesman-Review, the lawsuit was filed by Georgia and Arizona-based attorneys for Alliance Defending Freedom in partnership with Coeur d’Alene attorney Virginia McNulty Robinson. The group’s website defines ADF as a “legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.”
KTVB: Their attorney, David Cortman, with the Alliance Defending Freedom, says they openly admit their chapel is for-profit, but say because of their religious beliefs, they refuse to marry gay or lesbian couples.
The Christian Post: Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel for the Scottsdale, Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom legal organization, told The Christian Post that while Coeur d’Alene has an ordinance saying that under “public accommodation” businesses cannot discriminate, state law offeres a possible exemption for the Knapps.
The Spokesman-Review: The Alliance Defending Freedom in Lawrenceville, Georgia, filed the suit on behalf of the Knapps. Attempts to seek comment from the alliance about the AFA’s involvement in the issue were unsuccessful Tuesday.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom has issued legal memos to advise North Carolina, Arizona, Idaho, and Nevada officials responsible for issuing marriage licenses that they do not have to issue certain licenses where doing so conflicts with their religious or moral beliefs.