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Proposed Law Would Force Churches to Host Gay Weddings


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Proposed Law Would Force Churches to Host Gay Weddings

By Todd Starnes

Religious liberty groups are blasting a proposed ordinance that would force churches in Hutchinson, Kan. to rent their facilities for gay weddings and gay parties.

The Hutchinson City Council will consider adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected classes in the city’s human relations code. They are expected to vote on the changes next month.

According to the Hutchinson Human Relations Commission, churches that rent out their buildings to the general public would not be allowed to discriminate “against a gay couple who want to rent the building for a party.”

Meryl Dye, a spokesperson for the Human Relations Commission confirmed to Fox News that churches would be subjected to portions of the proposed law.

“They would not be able to discriminate against gay and lesbian or transgender individuals,” Dye said. “That type of protection parallels to what you find in race discrimination. If a church provides lodging or rents a facility they could not discriminate based on race. It’s along that kind of thinking.”

Matthew Staver, chairman of the Liberty Counsel Action, told Fox News the proposed law is “un-American.”

“It is a collision course between religious freedom and the LGBT agenda,” Staver said. “This proposed legislation will ultimately override the religious freedom that is protected under the First Amendment.”

He argued that churches cannot be forced by the government to set aside their religious convictions and their mission. And, he warned, some churches could even be forced to rent their buildings for drag parties.

“What we are ultimately going to see is churches forced to confront this law, forced to do things and allow their facilities to be used by people and for events that diametrically undercut the mission of the church,” he said.

Robert Noland, of the Kansas Family Policy Council, said the law would extend well beyond allowing access for gay weddings.

“They (churches) could not deny renting space to a gay couple if they want to have a party,” he told Fox News. “This is just another example of government creating a law imposing upon the freedom of religion and basically telling churches what they can and can’t do.”

So what could happen to churches in Hutchinson that refuse to accommodate gay parties or weddings?

“Unless the city council includes an exemption for churches, it would generate a discrimination complaint for the gay couple and it would be investigated,” Dye told Fox News. She said any churches found guilty of violating the law could be subjected to fines or other penalties.

Gary Ridge, an associate pastor of Westside Baptist Church, told Fox News their congregation would not comply with the proposed law should it pass. He said their church would refuse to host either gay weddings or parties – even if it meant a possible investigation or fines.

“We apply the Bible to our lives,” he said. “When there is a contradiction between what the city council asks and what the Bible says, we are going to follow the Bible.”

“This is an opportunity for the LGBT community to cram their belief system down on our community,” Ridge said. “It may look like a small step, but it’s not the end. Before you know it they will be able to shut down churches for preaching Romans 1:26-27. We’ll be sued for refusing to have homosexual weddings.”

Ridge said Hutchinson is a conservative city, a part of the Bible Belt – and he blamed the controversy on outsiders.

“This is part of a bigger desire to have their lifestyle condoned and accepted,” he said. “We don’t condone their activity.”

The Hutchinson measure would also have a major impact on private businesses and landlords. Restaurants, bars and retail shops would be required to provide special bathrooms for individuals who may have male body parts but identify as a female.

According to a FAQ sheet provided by the city, employers would also be forced to allow workers to dress based on their gender identity. Read the entire FAQ sheet by clicking here.

“Dress codes would not be precluded as long as an employer allows an employee to appear, groom and dress consistent with the employee’s gender identity and gender expression,” the FAQ stated.

As far as bathrooms, the city FAQ stated, “A transgender person must be allowed to use restrooms appropriate to their gender identity rather than their assigned gender at birth without being harassed or questioned.”

The city’s revised ordinance would also require transgender individuals to use the locker room and shower facilities of their choosing.

Another issue for Hutchinson’s Christian community involves workplace discrimination. The policy dictates that business owners or landlords are not allowed to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

That’s a problem for Michael Brockman, pastor of Christ Lutheran Church.

“I know a couple who owned a bed and breakfast in Kansas City,” he said. “They decided to shut down because they could see that they were going to be forced to make decisions that might have legal effects upon them. They might be sued if they didn’t rent their facility out to a gay couple who might want to use it.”

Staver said it’s unfair that Christian business owners might have to make decisions about their future.

“You shouldn’t have to choose between participating in the marketplace, running a business or operating a church on the one hand and accepting the LGBT agenda on the other,” Staver said. “This is a battle that is coming. This is a culture divide I think we will see play out across the country.”

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/proposed-law-would-force-churches-to-host-gay-weddings.html

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Interesting. It's a good thing JWs Kingdom Halls are not up for rent. That is why it is a good thing we don't run schools, hospitals etc because this was inevitable.

It will be fascinating to watch as churches squirm in the legal quagmire of this issue while they still have not sorted out the USA problems of church businesses supplying medical cover that includes items and services they are doctrinally object to.

Jehovah is walking themm up the path leading to Revelation chapters 17 & 18 . . if they read their Bibles instead of raising political activism they might be able to "get out of her, my people".

The choice is theirs.

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This is already becoming a problem in the UK. A 'Christian' couple who ran a bed-and-breakfast hotel were prosecuted because they would not allow a gay couple to stay there. Now there is a move to allow gay 'marriage', not just civil partnerships.

The 'gay' community (and lesbian/transgender) is becoming very aggressive in asserting its 'rights', regardless of the rights of others.

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This is already becoming a problem in the UK. A 'Christian' couple who ran a bed-and-breakfast hotel were prosecuted because they would not allow a gay couple to stay there. Now there is a move to allow gay 'marriage', not just civil partnerships.

The 'gay' community (and lesbian/transgender) is becoming very aggressive in asserting its 'rights', regardless of the rights of others.

My dear (late) friend and I holidayed together and often talked about setting up a B&B together with our husbands but this issue was the obvious stopping block. We knew that our Christian screening of clients would cause legal problems so we just enjoyed the holiday spots for their beauty and will now wait to be hospitable neighbours in the new system. We will always have ample space for all you brothers as you travel here (Australia) she will be the cook. . and I will have to see what talents I can offer once I hone some. The invite is open.:party:

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There have been a few cases here now where people have been prosecuted for not letting Gay/Lesbian people stay in their Bed and Breakfast establishment. There have been 'sting ' operations where Gay folk have misleadingly gone for advice to psychiatrists, saying they would like to change from being Gay to heterosexual. Then if the counsellor tries to help them with what they asked for, they make sure they get into trouble with various authorities and make it so they are unable to practice again. You cannot have a contrary opinion in public about this issue any more or you get arrested, so you have to be very circumspect on the Ministry.

There was also talk a few years ago of making it law here to rent out all religious Establishments for Gay weddings/Civil partnerships. It did not matter if you didn't normally rent out your religious establishment - they could insist on renting it. We envisaged that certain ones who had been disfellowshipped would make a point of being a nuisance in this regard and it was a worry. One old sister said that if we were forced, then let it out for the day at £50 000 (to cover for damage) and remove everything including all our signs, so they couldn't make photographs around the Hall of themselves to paste all over network sites either. Anyway, the Muslim community's Assembly/Council, which are quite powerful in city areas now, were very strongly against it and it seemed to disappear of the government agenda after that.

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There have been a few cases here now where people have been prosecuted for not letting Gay/Lesbian people stay in their Bed and Breakfast establishment. There have been 'sting ' operations where Gay folk have misleadingly gone for advice to psychiatrists, saying they would like to change from being Gay to heterosexual. Then if the counsellor tries to help them with what they asked for, they make sure they get into trouble with various authorities and make it so they are unable to practice again. You cannot have a contrary opinion in public about this issue any more or you get arrested, so you have to be very circumspect on the Ministry.

There was also talk a few years ago of making it law here to rent out all religious Establishments for Gay weddings/Civil partnerships. It did not matter if you didn't normally rent out your religious establishment - they could insist on renting it. We envisaged that certain ones who had been disfellowshipped would make a point of being a nuisance in this regard and it was a worry. One old sister said that if we were forced, then let it out for the day at £50 000 (to cover for damage) and remove everything including all our signs, so they couldn't make photographs around the Hall of themselves to paste all over network sites either. Anyway, the Muslim community's Assembly/Council, which are quite powerful in city areas now, were very strongly against it and it seemed to disappear of the government agenda after that.

:omg: Why can't these people distinguish between not approving of actions and something like race or gender?

At least over here many Americans are extremely averse to any semblance whatsoever of being told what to do by the government, including having freedom of speech being trampled.

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:omg: Why can't these people distinguish between not approving of actions and something like race or gender?

Apparently the same thing blinds them that blinds these so-called Christians who run the B&Bs over in England. They don't seem to have any problem renting rooms to straight couples that aren't married. That's just as wrong as homosexual sex. Hmmm.... I wonder how many adulterous liasons have occurred in these "Christian" B&Bs over the years.

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Interesting. It's a good thing JWs Kingdom Halls are not up for rent. That is why it is a good thing we don't run schools' date=' hospitals etc because this was inevitable. It will be fascinating to watch as churches squirm in the legal quagmire of this issue while they still have not sorted out the USA problems of church businesses supplying medical cover that includes items and services they are doctrinally object to. Jehovah is walking themm up the path leading to Revelation chapters 17 & 18 . . [b']if they read their Bibles instead of raising political activism they might be able to "get out of her, my people". The choice is theirs.

99669=5502-cure for xtian.jpg

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:omg: Why can't these people distinguish between not approving of actions and something like race or gender?

Apparently the same thing blinds them that blinds these so-called Christians who run the B&Bs over in England. They don't seem to have any problem renting rooms to straight couples that aren't married. That's just as wrong as homosexual sex. Hmmm.... I wonder how many adulterous liasons have occurred in these "Christian" B&Bs over the years.

Good point also. We wouldn't want to go to the other extreme of having a double standard.

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