As same-sex marriage became legal in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming recently, the federal government now recognizes gay married couples in 33 states, including the District of Columbia, according to Attorney General Eric Holder.
"With each new state where same-sex marriages are legally recognized, our nation moves closer to achieving full equality for all Americans," The Associated Press quoted Holder as saying.
Holder's announcement means married same-sex couples in 33 states will qualify for federal benefits, including Social Security and veterans' benefits. more >>
"Dancing with the Stars" and "Duck Dynasty" star Sadie Robertson has spoken out about saving herself for marriage and not hiding behind her family's famous last name when it comes to her own faith.
"For my whole life I've kind of been shadowing what my family says," the 17-year-old told TVGuide.com. "They'll say something about my faith and I agree. But now, it's time for me to say, 'This is who I am as well.' I'm not hiding behind my family anymore. I'm sharing my faith by myself, which has helped me to be more bold and more confident saying things. It's the same God; it's the same faith. It's just my opportunity to share it in my words. And I have enjoyed it. It's been good for me and I've grown a lot form it."
Robertson has made a name for herself with her views and her appearance on "DWTS," which has brought her a great deal of publicity. She has also spoken about her relationship with Blake Coward, who was "raised in the same kind of family." The couple shares the decision to abstain from intimacy until marriage, but Robertson has said she is not 100 percent certain if Coward is "the one." more >>
The city of Coeur d'Alene in Idaho has reportedly realized that a for-profit wedding chapel owned by Christian ministers Donald Knapp and his wife, Evelyn, can refuse to perform same-sex marriages without violating "non-discrimination" laws.
The city earlier maintained that its "non-discrimination" ordinance requires the Knapps, who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies because the courts have overridden Idaho's voter-approved constitutional amendment that affirmed marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
The couple needed to be a not-for-profit to be exempt from the ordinance §9.56, which bars facilities of public accommodation from discrimination, the city had said. more >>
The Southern Baptist Convention's official news service turned to the writings of the denomination's lead ethicist Thursday to criticize an op-ed asking that the blind eye the church has long given divorced and remarried Christians be given LGBT couples as an apple to oranges argument. While churches are maybe at fault for permitting biblically unlawful divorces and marriages within its fellowship, heterosexual remarriages are still considered marriages according to the Bible while same-sex marriage are not.
Danny Cortez, a California pastor who recently led his church New Heart Community Church in affirming same-sex relationships, published an opinion in the Huffington Post rejecting the traditional choice of embracing the Bible's teachings about marriage. He wrote that there is a "third way" where the Church can be united as the body of Christ yet have "deep disagreements." Cortez also asserted that the SBC already has such a pathway for divorced and remarried Christians.
He explained in the Tuesday piece "We all knew pastors who were officiating remarriages in our denomination that were the result of non-permitted divorces. And according to the SBC, this constitutes adultery. Therefore, the act of officiating these remarriages was in direct contradiction to Article XV. And yet, we don't dismiss the churches where these remarriages are taking place. In fact, within the same church, there are some pastors who hold the traditional view and therefore will not officiate these remarriages, and there are some pastors who will. These churches practice a third way where they give space to disagree. We don't draw a line of separation. We know how to extend grace to couples who are in these marriages. We know how not to condemn, even in the midst of disagreement." more >>
WASHINGTON — Gay marriage proponents will not allow for religious freedom of their political opponents because their belief system does not allow for the fact that dissenters can be reasonable people of goodwill, Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, argued at the Institute on Religion and Democracy's 2014 Diane Knippers Memorial Lecture.
Most of those arguing in favor of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples do not understand, or even know, the arguments of those who oppose the redefinition of marriage, George claimed. They assume there are no reasonable arguments against gay marriage and those who oppose it are simply driven by hatred of gays.
"The whole [gay marriage] argument was and is that the idea of marriage as the union of husband and wife lacks a rational basis and amounts to nothing more than 'bigotry,' reflecting animus against a certain group of people," he said. "Therefore, no reasonable person of goodwill, we are told, can dissent from the liberal position on sex and marriage, any more than a reasonable person of goodwill could support racial segregation and subordination. You've heard the analogy drawn a thousand times. And this is because marriage, according to the re-definers, consists principally of companionship — the companionship of people committed to mutual affection and care. Any distinctions beyond this one they condemn as baseless." more >>
What is this absurd reason? They're running a business. If pastors are operating a "for-profit" wedding chapel, then they must officiate at gay weddings regardless of their religious objections.
Thus, to the city attorney of Coeur d'Alene, these pastors have fewer religious-liberty rights than they would if they were performing the same services (even including receiving a fee for those services) in a not-for-profit corporate form.
There is a persistent belief amongst leftists and statists of all stripes that the for-profit corporate form somehow strips that corporation and its leaders of any real control over their speech activities. We saw this in the Hobby Lobby case, as the Left was practically beside itself at the idea that a closely-held for-profit company had even comparable rights to a not-for-profit. To them, the desire to make money should leave you at the mercy of the state. As I stated in the aftermath of the Hobby Lobby decision: more >>