The Oregon Christian bakery owners who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding on the grounds that it would violate their religious convictions have been ordered to pay $135,000 in emotional damages, and have also been prohibited from speaking about standing up for their Christian beliefs.
On Thursday, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian issued his final order in the case against Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery in Gresham, who were found guilty of discrimination in January for declining to bake a cake for a lesbian couple's wedding in 2013. Avakian ordered the Kleins to pay complainant Rachel Bowman-Cryer $75,000 for damages and $60,000 to her partner Laurel Bowman-Cryer.
"Respondents' claim they are not denying service because of complainants' sexual orientation but rather because they do not wish to participate in their same-sex wedding ceremony. The forum has already found there to be no distinction between the two," Avakian wrote in his order. "Further, to allow respondents, a for-profit business, to deny any services to people because of their protected class, would be tantamount to allowing legal separation of people based on their sexual orientation from at least some portion of the public marketplace." more >>
The day the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) handed down its decision compelling all the states to redefine marriage was considered among the darkest days in our history for some, while others danced and celebrated.
How will churches regard June 26, 2015?
A Florida senator drafting a bill for the state that will protect pastors from marrying gay couples recently addressed the shifting views of President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton when it comes to same-sex marriage while defending the proposed legislation.
Florida State Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, and State Senator Aaron Bean, R-Jacksonville have been drafting separate versions of a Pastor Protection bill since before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage last week. Plakon told Charisma that the bill is necessary due to the speed at which politicians and the culture have evolved on this issue.
"The LGBT community says it has no interest in solemnizing these types of marriages in churches," said Plakon. "Wasn't it five years or six years ago or so that President Obama and Hillary Clinton were for traditional marriage, and now, the other night, the White House gets lit up in rainbow colors? It's progressing quickly, and we need to put a backstop on this." more >>
For many who still believe that marriage is defined by God as one man and one woman, Friday's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to arrogantly redefine the institution came as no real surprise. Nevertheless, no matter how deliberately we may have prepared our hearts for this day, it is still just as heartbreaking and every bit as egregious.
The 5-4 ruling by the High Court imposing same-sex marriage on the entire country strikes at the heart of marriage, which is our nation's most fundamental institution. It ignores our most basic form of government — federalism. It grossly violates the separation of powers. It tramples over the will of more than 50 million Americans who voted to define marriage in their state constitutions. It threatens our country's first freedom — religious liberty. Most importantly, it defies Almighty God.
To echo Chief Justice John Roberts' dissenting opinion, many today will celebrate the ruling. The marriage equality movement has achieved its desired goal. Same-sex couples will celebrate this new right provided by the Court to marry. They will celebrate the availability of new benefits. But they cannot celebrate the Constitution. The Constitution had nothing to do with this decision. more >>
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has imposed same-sex marriage upon every state in the nation, it would be wise for each of us to think through this issue a little deeper. And so here are 20 questions for anyone who supports this newfangled definition of marriage:
1. Is sex outside of marriage sinful?
2. Is sexual sin the only sin against a person's body? (see 1 Cor. 6:18) more >>
UFC President Dana White has told Cuban middleweight fighter Yoel Romero to keep religion and politics at home, after Romero thanked Jesus Christ following his win over Lyoto Machida in Saturday's UFC Fight Night 70 event in Hollywood, Florida.
"You just won the biggest fight of your career, America doesn't want to hear your thoughts on Jesus. Keep that stuff at home; religion, politics, all that stuff. When you're out there fighting and you're being interviewed, they want to hear about the fight," White said in an interview with MMA Fighting.
"It's awesome you love Jesus; love Jesus all you want. You just don't have to do it publicly." more >>