A North Carolina county judge resigned on Monday because he did not want to violate his Christian faith and perform same-sex marriages, which are now permitted under the state's law.
With the news that North Carolina's same-sex marriage ban was struck down by a federal judge on Oct. 10, Judge Gilbert Breedlove, a 57-year-old magistrate in Swain County and also an ordained minister, could not, in good faith, be forced to conduct same-sex courthouse weddings when his Christian belief tells him that a marriage is only between a man and a woman.
An atheist organization has launched a social media campaign in the hopes of creating awareness for the secular electorate.
The New Jersey-based American Atheists launched the #AtheistVoter campaign on Tuesday as the midterm congressional elections draw near.
Idaho couple Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers and owners of the Hitching Post Lakeside Chapel of Coeur d'Alene, are facing thousands of dollars in fines and possible jail time for refusing to host gay wedding ceremonies, which the city claims violates its anti-discrimination ordinance. The couple has since filed their business as a religious organization, which means they might be saved by an Idaho law that protects religious freedom.
Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel for the Scottsdale, Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom legal organization, told The Christian Post that while Coeur d'Alene has an ordinance saying that under "public accommodation" businesses cannot discriminate, state law offeres a possible exemption for the Knapps.
"In addition to our federal claims (i.e. First Amendment), our complaint brings a cause of action under the Idaho Free Exercise of Religion Protected Act," Tedesco said. "[Under] Idaho Code § 73–401 et seq., this state law says 'government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion ...'" more >>
Matt Stolhandske, a board member of Evangelicals for Marriage Equality who describes himself as a gay evangelical Christian, is now seeking to raise funds to help Oregon-based Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein pay off approximately $150,000 in fines levied against them by the state because they refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding.
The Kleins' case became a national conversation last September after they were forced to shutter their business, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, after gay activists killed it with "mafia tactics."
In January, investigators from Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries found the Christian bakery owners guilty of violating the civil rights of lesbian couple Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman of Portland for refusing to bake their wedding cake. Investigators said they found significant evidence that the Kleins discriminated against the couple unlawfully because of their sexual orientation. more >>
Cardinal Timothy Dolan recently addressed the new document approved by the Vatican regarding the church's relation to Catholic divorcees, gays and married gays, and expressed his admiration for Pope Francis during the segment.
In an interview with ABC News George Stephanopoulos Dolan concurred that the Pope's recent statements on homosexuality at this month's Synod represent an 'evolution,' not a 'revolution' within the Catholic Church.
"Pope Francis never ceases to surprise us," said Dolan to ABC News. "Just when you think you might have him figured out, he offers another fresh innovative way of looking, that talk to which you just referred at the close of the synod was nothing less than inspirational. He spoke from the heart. He spoke about himself as the Pope and the church and he challenged all of us. And it reminds me of Jesus. Always walking down the road, and never forgetting the people on either side." more >>
Matthew McConaughey recently admitted that his decision to marry longtime girlfriend Camila Alves required a lot of reflection as well as guidance from their pastor.
Together since 2006, McConaughey and Alves welcomed two children before finally tying the knot in June 2012. And since their nuptials, the couple has welcomed a third child. However, without careful study and spiritual guidance, the pair may not have ever married at all.
"We talked about it spiritually," McConaughey explained to GQ magazine this week. "We did a lot of reading and talked to a lot of people that had been divorced, a lot of people that had been happily married. We talked to our pastor. In the end, our understanding was, 'Let's go make a covenant, with you, me, and God." more >>