More than $210,000 has been raised in support of the Oregon Christian bakers who are being forced by the state to pay $135,000 in "emotional damages" to a lesbian couple for declining to bake them a wedding cake in 2013, an act that would have violated their deeply-held religious convictions.
Although an online fundraiser established on GoFundMe.com to support Melissa and Aaron Klein, the owners of the now-closed Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery in Gresham, raised over $100,009 in nine hours in April, the campaign was taken off the website because the Kleins had been "formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law."
After removing the Kleins' fundraiser, GoFundMe later revised its user policy to state that the site can't be used to raise money in "defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts." The website additionally shut down the fundraiser for Barronelle Stutzman, a Washington florist who's also facing heavy fines for not working a gay wedding. more >>
South Carolina's House has passed the bill that will remove the Confederate battle flag from its capitol grounds following an emotional speech by a descendent of Jefferson Davis.
Legislators voted Tuesday evening to pass the bill following the remarks of Republican Representative Jenny Horne, whose district includes Charleston.
"God's Not Dead 2: He's Surely Alive," the sequel to the $60 million grossing 2014 film, hits theaters on Easter of 2016 and will feature a slew of cameos from well-known celebrities, including an appearance from "Duck Dynasty" star Sadie Robertson.
Robertson will follow in the footsteps of her parents, Willie and Korie, who made a cameo in the original "God's Not Dead" film.
The sequel to the faith-based mega-hit stars Melissa Joan Hart, who's best known for her roles in the TV series "Clarissa Explains It All" and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," and actor Jesse Metcalf who made a name himself as the adulterous landscaper on ABC's "Desperate Housewives." more >>
A Sudanese court has ruled that a young Christian woman must pay a fine or serve a one month jail sentence after she and 11 other girls were accused of violating Shariah law by wearing trousers and skirts while walking home from a church function in the nation's capital of Khartoum.
According to Sudan Tribune, only one of the 12 Christian girls who were arrested on their way home from a church service at El Izba Baptist Church in Khartoum on June 25 was ordered to pay a fine of 500 Sudan pounds, which is the equivalent to about $83. The judged stated that if she was unable to pay the fine she would be imprisoned for one month.
As previously reported, the women were stopped by police on their way home, arrested and taken to the local police station where two of them were freed without charge, while the other 10 were forced by officers to strip out of their clothes. The officers claimed they needed the women to strip so that they could inspect the clothes to determine if they were in violation with the law, an explanation that many believe is "hypocritical." more >>
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 >>