A debate has erupted over whether Oregon's labor commissioner actually placed a "gag order" on Christian bakery owners who refused to serve a same-sex wedding after he issued a final order telling the couple to "cease and desist" from speaking publicly about their Christian conviction to refuse serving same-sex weddings.
As previously reported, the Commissioner of Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries, Brad Avakian, ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of the now-closed Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery in Gresham, Oregon, to pay $135,000 in emotional damages to Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer because they refused to bake a cake for their commitment ceremony in 2013.
In Avakian's final order, he demands the Kleins to "cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying … any communication, notice, advertisement or sign of any kind to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, services or privileges or a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination will be made against, any person on account of sexual orientation." more >>
The governor of Oklahoma has said that a Ten Commandments monument on government property recently declared in violation of the state constitution will remain on the state capitol grounds during the appeals process.
Governor Mary Fallin released a statement Tuesday noting that the Decalogue will remain on public property during an appeals process following a state supreme court decision concluding that the display violated Oklahoma's constitution.
"The monument was built and maintained with private dollars. It is virtually identical to a monument on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol which the United States Supreme Court ruled to be permissible," stated Gov. Fallin. more >>
A Kenyan politician has reportedly said that U.S. President Barack Obama needs to "shut up and go home" with his "gay agenda," ahead of an official state visit later in July. Dozens of demonstrators marched in Nairobi on Monday to "protect the family" and the traditional definition of marriage.
"We are telling Mr. Obama when he comes to Kenya this month and he tries to bring the abortion agenda, the gay agenda, we shall tell him to shut up and go home," lawmaker Irungu Kangata told demonstrators outside parliament, Reuters reported.
Kenyan politicians and pastors of evangelical churches have said that Obama should not push America's pro-gay marriage stance on the African country where the practice is criminalized. more >>
Last Thursday, the seven-member jury in the trial pitting the $280 million Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) against the small Jewish non-profit, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), found JONAH guilty of 17 out of 20 counts of consumer fraud.
According to deliberation instructions from Judge Peter Bariso, the jury was instructed to consider: 1) Did JONAH make "misrepresentations in connection with the sale, advertisement, or the subsequent performance" of its counseling program; and 2) Did they engage in "unconscionable commercial practices in connection with the sale, advertisement, or the subsequent performance of the JONAH Program"?
SPLC claimed that JONAH misrepresented homosexuality as a mental disorder and committed consumer fraud by claiming its program was capable of providing effective scientific (not just religious or spiritual) treatment to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA). SPLC also argued that JONAH misrepresented the program by using "success" statistics in advertising when there was no factual basis for calculating such figures, and that JONAH misrepresented its program as being capable of helping clients go from "gay" to "straight" in two to five years. more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham has spoken out against what he calls an "outright attack" on freedom of speech after Oregon's Bureau of Labor & Industries Commissioner Brad Avakin upheld an earlier ruling that forces Christian bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135,000 for refusing to participate in a lesbian wedding.
"Give me a break. In my opinion, this couple should pay the Kleins $135,000 for all they've been through," Graham wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
"Even more outrageous is that Avakian has also now ordered the Kleins to 'cease and desist' from speaking publicly about not wanting to bake cakes for same-sex weddings based on their Christian beliefs. This is an outright attack on their #freedomofspeech," he added. more >>
A Georgia-based radio program centered on promoting the perspectives of mainline Protestant denominations has turned 70 this year.
"Day1," a program headquartered in Atlanta originally named "The Protestant Hour," has been on the air for seven decades and since 2004 has been overseen by the Alliance for Christian Media.
The Rev. Peter M. Wallace, president and executive producer of "Day1" and the Alliance, told The Christian Post that he was "very thankful for the opportunity to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ over the radio for so many years." more >>