An attorney allied with Alliance Defending Freedom filed a petition Thursday in New York state court asking for a review of the NY State Division of Human Rights decision that fined farm owners Cynthia and Robert Gifford $13,000 for refusing to host a lesbian wedding ceremony on their property.
"All Americans should be free to live and work according to their beliefs. Entering the marketplace doesn't mean the government can force a person to surrender their First Amendment freedoms or face punishment," said James Trainor, the attorney.
"The commission demonstrated stunning disregard for the Giffords' First Amendment rights, which were never considered at the hearing. The commissioner's order in essence gives an ultimatum: host same-sex marriage ceremonies or none at all," Trainor added. more >>
This column orginally appeared in The Atlantic.
On April 24, 2012, President Obama went on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to make his case for student-loan forgiveness and college affordability. After slow-jamming the news, Obama pointed to a surprisingly traditional justification for helping young people reduce their student loan debt: It was causing them to delay marriage.
This moment encapsulates the overlooked underpinning of President Obama's economic message: his focus on family. It is an approach fit for our times, as families in America face extraordinary pressures, obstacles and burdens. Both parties would be wise to emulate this in the upcoming midterm elections. more >>
Dr. James Dobson and his son, Ryan, have collaborated on a new video series titled "Building a Family Legacy" that is being simulcast in churches across the U.S. through Oct. 5.
The series combines Dr. Dobson's classic Focus on the Family videos with four new films by him and Ryan. It also includes the new film, "Your Legacy," and is designed to equip parents and grandparents to "build a lasting legacy of faith in their families," notes the press release.
"It's harder now to raise kids than it's ever been because the culture is at war with families," Dr. Dobson said. "I feel 'Building a Family Legacy' contains the most important message of my career. There is nothing more important than parents passing on a generational legacy of faith and values to their children." more >>
A Louisiana church barred a local Alcoholics Anonymous group from using its sanctuary for meetings in fear of possibly being forced to perform same-sex marriages by the state.
The lead pastor of Westwood Baptist Church in Keithville, Louisiana, recently wrote a letter to the organization informing them about their decision to no longer allow them to use their facility for meetings after five years of working together.
WASHINGTON — Oregon couple Aaron and Melissa Klein were forced to close their bakery after declining to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian marriage ceremony and are now facing the threat of having to pay $150,000 in damages.
Seated next to his wife at a panel on marriage at the Values Voter Summit on Friday, Aaron talked about their faith and what Melissa's bakery meant to her before they had to shut down their business.
"The boycotting, the harassment. I mean, quite frankly, they didn't just harass us they harassed the other wedding vendors that we did business with," Aaron told the audience without going into too much detail about their case due to pending litigation. "It cut off our referral system, we had to shut the shop down. … We were facing in excess of $150,000 in damages for this, just for simply standing by my First Amendment rights." more >>
To judge by media coverage, the legalization of same-sex marriage is an unalloyed good. Pictures of happy couples kissing and otherwise celebrating leave the impression that the only people who are unhappy about all of this are bigots and grumps.
Well, Janna Darnelle would beg to differ.
Seven years ago, Darnelle's husband of ten years told her that he was gay and that he wanted a divorce. As she wrote in The Public Discourse, "In an instant, the world that I had known and loved—the life we had built together—was shattered." more >>