Gay Marriage at the U.S. Supreme Court (Part 2)
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments over whether there is a constitutional right to gay marriage, and whether the states are free to define marriage as the union of only one man and one woman in the Obergefell v. Hodges case.
If you missed the CALL TO PRAYER and learning about what MFC did at the U.S. Supreme Court, check out Part 1 of this 2-part email series:
In this Part 2 piece, we address head-on the tired old line used by gay marriage activists: "legalizing gay marriage won't affect you."
Does anyone actually believe that anymore?
I think the families impacted below would say that the legalization of gay marriage has affected them deeply.
Read the featured stories below, but here's a LONG LIST of individuals and families personally impacted by the legalization of gay marriage!
Melissa Klein and her family,
Owner of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon
Melissa and her husband Aaron are owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon. They had to shut down their family-owned bakery after declining to provide a wedding cake to a lesbian wedding, since Aaron and Melissa are both Christians.
They lost their business, and now an Administrative Law judge has ruled that they have to pay the lesbian couple a $135,000 fine personally.
“'They don’t have business assets so when we talk about [the fine] it’s personal,' [their lawyer] added. 'It means that’s money they would have used to feed their children that they can’t use anymore.'
Aaron said the sum is enough to financially ruin their family.
'The state is now saying that we can award damages above and beyond what you have already suffered … and they have no qualms about doing this,' he said. 'It is really showing the state is taking a stance on absolutely obliterating somebody that takes a different stance than the state has.'"
Franklin Graham is also defending the Kleins! His organization, Samaratain's Purse, is helping raise funds for the Kleins. Graham said:
“You can’t call it anything else,” he wrote. “This is wrong, and it’s happening right here in our own country. Liberal judges and officials siding with the LGBT crowd are trying to make a point with the undeserved punishment of this family. This is America—we should have the freedom to live by our sincerely held religious beliefs. It’s obvious who is really being discriminated against here.”
Owner of Arlene's Flowers in Washington
Barronelle has been a florist for over 30 years, even providing floral designs for the gay couple who ultimately came after her for declining to provide a cake for his gay wedding since she is a Christian.
The Washington attorney general ultimately sued Barronelle himself. The State offered to settle with Barronelle, saying she could pay a fine and agree to do floral designs for gay weddings--and then the case would be over with.
"No. It's not about the money. It's about freedom. It's about my eight kids and our 23 grandchildren and the future and now. There's not a price on freedom. You can't buy my freedom. And it's me now, but tomorrow it's going to be you. You got to wake up."
Owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled that Jack's declining to design a cake for a same-sex union ceremony is unlawful discrimination.
Ironically, another CO man set out to make a point. He asked pro-LGBT bakers recently to make cakes with Bible verses about God hates sin, homosexuality is a sin, God loves all sinners--and an image of a gay couple with a red X over the image. Obviously, the pro-LGBT bakers declined to make the requested cake, so the CO man (like the gay couple who filed a complaint against Jack) filed a complaint with the CO Civil Rights Commission.
Of course, the CO Civil Rights Commission ruled differently in the second case than Jack's.
“'These cake artists should not be forced to violate their conscience, but clearly the commission should have done the same for Jack Phillips,' [said an Alliance Defending Freedom attorney] 'He risks losing his lifelong business altogether if he continues to run it consistent with his faith. Such blatant religious discrimination has no place in our society.'
That’s a great point. If the owner of [the pro-LGBT baker] can run her business according to her beliefs – why can’t the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop?"
Robert and Cynthia Gifford,
Owners of Liberty Ridge Farm in New York
Our friends, Robert and Cynthia Gifford, came to MN in 2013 to try to explain to the MN Legislature how gay marriage impacts religious freedom.
Just one year after gay marriage became legal in NY, a lesbian couple filed a Human Rights complaint against Christians Robert and Cynthia for declining to host the gay wedding on their beautiful farm, where they also live.
The Giffords were ordered to pay over $10,000 in fines, and they no longer host weddings. They chose to halt a major portion of their income rather than violate their beliefs.
Photographer & Owner of Elaine's Photography in New Mexico
Elaine and her husband are Christians. Elaine politely declined to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony because of her beliefs.
As a result, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission ordered Elaine to pay a nearly $7000 fine. Then, the New Mexico Supreme Court upheld that ruling, adding that giving up one's beliefs is "the price of citizenship." Wow.
Rice Creek Hunting & Recreation, Inc.
Little Falls, MN
(yes, this can and did happen in MN too)
Last summer, the owners of a Rice Creek hunting preserve (that permits weddings on the land) received a complaint from the MN Department of Human Rights after they declined to permit a gay wedding because of their Christian beliefs.
In order to preserve their business, the owners settled the complaint with the Human Rights Department. In the terms of settlement, the hunting preserve owners now have to permit gay weddings on their land, and they also had to pay for the gay couple's wedding and reception.
Clearly, gay marriage has an impact.
Prominent Religious Leaders Say "We Will Not Obey"
Key religious leaders, including Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, the Benham Brothers (whom you can meet at our dinner on May 28th!) and many others--including Minnesota Family Council, have signed a pledge alerting the U.S. Supreme Court that if they create a constitutional right to gay marriage, we can not obey. We must choose Christ over an unjust ruling.
Minnesota Family Council's Vision is strong families, communities and culture, through Christ. We believe Minnesota thrives when religious liberties flourish, life is cherished at all stages, and God’s design for marriage and family is honored and lived.
Will you please help support our ministry today?