Hitching Post Wedding Chapel ordered to perform same sex marriages

posted at 8:01 am on October 20, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Every once in a while a case comes along where I am tempted to suggest that we skip a few steps in the normal process. Or maybe the vast majority of the steps. This one is a situation where my inclination is to say, let’s just skip the local court case, the appeals and the endless debate in the media and on the blogs. Let’s just pack this one up, fly to Washington, DC, go knock on the door to the Supreme Court, hand it to John Roberts’ clerk and say, Here you go, boys and girls. Have at it.

City officials in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho have informed two ordained ministers that they must perform same sex marriages or face jail time and a fine.

City officials told Donald Knapp that he and his wife Evelyn, both ordained ministers who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, are required to perform such ceremonies or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines. The city claims its “non-discrimination” ordinance requires the Knapps to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies now that the courts have overridden Idaho’s voter-approved constitutional amendment that affirmed marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

“The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Many have denied that pastors would ever be forced to perform ceremonies that are completely at odds with their faith, but that’s what is happening here – and it’s happened this quickly. The city is on seriously flawed legal ground, and our lawsuit intends to ensure that this couple’s freedom to adhere to their own faith as pastors is protected just as the First Amendment intended.”

Erick Erickson, predictably (and in this case with justification) is fit to be tied, reminding us of his prediction that you will be made to care. And in this case I think he’s making an important point. Even Rick Moran – who takes about as secular of a path to truth as you’re likely to find – describes this as a case where the city fathers have trampled on the Constitution.

Even for those of us who hold the unpopular view that the government has no business demanding a permission slip (read: license) or charging a fee to any consenting adults to get married, there was always a line which could obviously not be crossed. If you happen to agree that the government can’t stick its nose into the question of who can get married, you surely must also agree that it has no business ordering anyone to perform a marriage. Of anyone… gay, straight or otherwise.

These same libertarian leaning souls should already be enraged that Big Brother is forcing people to bake cakes, take photos or prepare plates of finger sandwiches for events where they do not wish to do business. But that battle – at least for the moment – seems lost. And in the case of the Hitching Post, one could almost make the argument that since Uncle Sam had determined that all facilities for ceremonies – you will recall the situation with Liberty Ridge Farm – must be open to everyone, then the chapel in Idaho might have to let such couples marry in their chapel. But to tell the pastors that they must perform the service?

Surely this is a situation where the courts can draw a distinction between the business and the person performing the service, because the service in question is somewhat unique. The Knapps are not bakers or photographers or caterers. The “business” they engage in involves more than pots and pans, rolls of film or fancy plates. Their “job” is, as I said, somewhat unique because in the course of practicing it, they are simultaneously engaging in the free exercise of their religion. And the phrase the free exercise thereof should be ringing a bell.

If this idea is held up in the courts, then the First Amendment has pretty well been gutted. But somehow I don’t believe it can be.


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listens2glenn on October 22, 2014 at 2:32 PM

I think I see the issue. The problem is you’re not answering questions in the way a libertarian does.

It is true I am not a tribal libertarian. I do not care what libertarians think about my opinions. I am not trying to conform to their culture. I just care about political freedom.

Your whole premise is that the current government-marriage regime can somehow be unwound.

“Unwound” mischaracterizes the process in which I would have us engage. “Dissipating the advantage” is more like it, by giving that advantage ultimately to everyone without regard to whomever you happen to be boinking, something that should never be the government’s business anyway.

First off, I think it’s a pipe dream that we can ever really get the government out of marriage.

And I agree with you, at least with regard to withdrawing it. Thus the process of dissipating the advantage so that no one cares about the advantages any more. Change the culture by restructuring the law’s incentives and disincentives.

Drive that restructuring by pointing to the innate unfairness/inequity of it to each group left out.

So you tell me I should work to get the advantage of marriage to everyone in whatever arrangement they want. While that might seem libertarian as first blush, I would characterize it more as anarchist than libertarian.

Why? If you are going to make such a claim, you should support it with some kind of rational argument. I am just for doing what you are claiming to be what you really consider best – bringing about the removal of the relative advantages of marriage over those deprived of marriage.

Is your claim honest?

alchemist19 on October 22, 2014 at 1:43 PM

The rest of your comment engages in historical difficulties faced by Muslim and other pre-Modern societies that have pathologies out the ying-yang even without regard to traditional polygamy, something I am not promoting nor have seen anyone else promoting here, and reviewing the arguments you apply to SSM but steadfastly refuse to apply to consanguinous and polyamorous marriages.

And, of course you throw in the gratuitous accusations of emotional thinking.

Try looking at what I am actually saying, alchemist, instead of falling back on old, rote ‘libertarian’ arguments.

BTW, your tribal loyalty to gay advocacy and rote libertarian thinking on the issue is most clear with regard to your opposition to adult consanguinous marriages. At least with polygamy you can throw out the phony arguments of how it has worked in barbarian societies. Although even with polygamy I cannot for the life of me see how you can rationalize applying those historical examples to gay polygamy. What possible business could it be of yours if a married gay couple wants to add a third?

fadetogray on October 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM

It is true I am not a tribal libertarian. I do not care what libertarians think about my opinions. I am not trying to conform to their culture. I just care about political freedom.

And I care about individual freedom.

“Unwound” mischaracterizes the process in which I would have us engage. “Dissipating the advantage” is more like it, by giving that advantage ultimately to everyone without regard to whomever you happen to be boinking, something that should never be the government’s business anyway.

Even if you characterize it like that it’s still not possible, unless you’re starting from the premise that the only reason people are choosing to enter into these relationships is for the government benefits.

And I agree with you, at least with regard to withdrawing it. Thus the process of dissipating the advantage so that no one cares about the advantages any more. Change the culture by restructuring the law’s incentives and disincentives.

Drive that restructuring by pointing to the innate unfairness/inequity of it to each group left out.

And again here. You make it seem as if the only reason people enter into these relationships in the first place is the benefits associated with them, and that if enough people have access to the benefits that people will stop caring about them. This seems wrong. Is it your position that people will stop caring about being able to visit a sick spouse in the hospital and being able to make medical decisions for them, or are you suggesting it’s politically & legally possible to disconnect that power from civil marriage?

Why? If you are going to make such a claim, you should support it with some kind of rational argument. I am just for doing what you are claiming to be what you really consider best – bringing about the removal of the relative advantages of marriage over those deprived of marriage.

Is your claim honest?

I accepted from the outset that what might be the libertarian ideal of getting the government out of the marriage business is not realistically going to happen, and that replacing the current set of laws governing marriage with a free-for-all is not necessarily an acceptable libertarian solution. I’ve started from the premise of working within the current vested rights for marriage and you’re trying to drag me back into the position of trying to remove those vested rights, either by having the government deny them – a legal impossibility- or by making people not care about them – a practical impossibility. I understand the desire for you to try to make me argue for a position that’s impossible to defend in a realistic manner, but that’s not what I’ve said.

The rest of your comment engages in historical difficulties faced by Muslim and other pre-Modern societies that have pathologies out the ying-yang even without regard to traditional polygamy, something I am not promoting nor have seen anyone else promoting here, and reviewing the arguments you apply to SSM but steadfastly refuse to apply to consanguinous and polyamorous marriages.

The liberty-killing aspects of polygamy aren’t just found in Muslim or pre-modern societies; we see the same things happening in the sects where polygamy is practiced in this country today. It appears based on all available evidence that the things I brought up are inherent to the practice.

And, of course you throw in the gratuitous accusations of emotional thinking.

Because that’s what you’re doing. If there’s a shred of logic behind the anti-SSM movement I’ve never seen or heard it. I’ll give you a chance to prove me wrong though. Just give me a reason why we should have a law prohibiting same-sex marriage. I can understand why we prohibit murder, rape, robbery, arson, extortion, polygamy, incest, but I can’t come up with a logical reason why we tried to prohibit marriage between two adult members of the same gender. So you tell me: Why do these laws exist in the first place? What purpose do they serve? What legitimate government interest is advanced? Why?

Try looking at what I am actually saying, alchemist, instead of falling back on old, rote ‘libertarian’ arguments.

Is individual liberty not something you’re interested in?

BTW, your tribal loyalty to gay advocacy and rote libertarian thinking on the issue is most clear with regard to your opposition to adult consanguinous marriages. At least with polygamy you can throw out the phony arguments of how it has worked in barbarian societies. Although even with polygamy I cannot for the life of me see how you can rationalize applying those historical examples to gay polygamy. What possible business could it be of yours if a married gay couple wants to add a third?

fadetogray on October 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM

We can get to incest in a bit after we’ve put the polygamy issue to bed. Now as has often been pointed out in these threads, same-sex couples don’t procreate so the problems associate with polygamy and its deleterious effects on children wouldn’t necessarily be present with homosexual polygamy. But if polygamy is forbidden for heterosexuals and done so with good cause then allowing homosexuals to do it would, from where I sit, be sexual orientation discrimination. And I won’t abide that so no polygamy for the gays.

alchemist19 on October 22, 2014 at 5:17 PM

IF … Christian believers, the government, or anyone else (Islamists?) would attempt to block/stop/prevent consenting, same-gender adult cohabitants from engaging in same-gender sexual intimacy … THEN … you would have a valid example of “trampling on someone elses freedom.”

listens2glenn on October 21, 2014 at 11:35 PM

Does that mean you agree with the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas which struck down state sodomy laws?

alchemist19 on October 22, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Then call it a “civil-union” … and be DONE. “Civil unions” should have ALL of the same “legal status” of a marriage, in the eyes of the government.

listens2glenn on October 22, 2014 at 2:25 PM

There was a window of opportunity where that might have been possible but since so many states passed state amendments which prohibited marriage along with civil unions, and since the federal government does not recognize civil unions, going to court and fighting for civil unions would have been equally as difficult for less of a reward. The opposition made their own bed on this one; if you were completely unwilling to compromise when you had the people behind you why should you expect the other side to compromise now that they have the people behind them?

alchemist19 on October 22, 2014 at 5:25 PM

And again here. You make it seem as if the only reason people enter into these relationships in the first place is the benefits associated with them, and that if enough people have access to the benefits that people will stop caring about them. This seems wrong.

Your thinking is so deeply wedded to seeing the struggle in terms of interest groups and sex it seems like there is no way I am going to get you to understand what I am saying.

All that changes is that no one is denied access because they are not married. Because everyone can be ‘married’ in order to access any particular marriage benefit.

People no longer care not because they don’t have the benefits but because everyone has the benefits, so they are no longer perceived as benefits. They are just what is. You want your son to get the family business when you die? Just marry him for that purpose. Contract the ‘marriage’ that way.

‘State’ involvement in marriage was for making sure children had a father to provide for them. Fathers provided for the children, and in return the mothers didn’t screw anyone else so the father would know the children were really his.

Things changed. Circumstances are different now. What we have now is a joke, an extreme perversion of what marriage was. Now it is all about the feelings of the people f**king, not the well being of the children getting made. It has expanded to the absurd. Best to keep expanding it into irrelevance.

For people who love each other and want a traditional marriage because they love each other and that is what adults who love each other do? Nothing changes.

fadetogray on October 22, 2014 at 7:12 PM

fadetogray on October 22, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Is it your position that things were “better” when wives were basically the property of their husbands? It sounds a lot like you’re claiming the purpose of marriage was to propagate proscriptive gender roles and that if it’s not doing that then there’s no point to it.

A couple other statements also jump out at me. Take, for example:

‘State’ involvement in marriage was for making sure children had a father to provide for them.

So men, irresponsible louts that they were, were out there spreading their seed left and right anywhere they could until the state finally said “We can’t have that!” and set about to create a system of incentives to encourage these men who weren’t taking responsibilities for the children they were creating to get their acts together and be good parents? These unruly and boorish men were so enamored by the idea of hospital visitation rights and an exemption from the estate tax that that made them chuck bachelorhood and settle down? We created the legal institution of civil marriage just because men are so irresponsible? I really hope you answered that first question about whether things were better when women were property with a “No.”

You’re also still free – and even encouraged – to answer that question I asked about what is the purpose of laws to exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage. The answer will be even more enlightening after your last post.

alchemist19 on October 22, 2014 at 7:41 PM

FCKH8.com isn’t just another 501(c)(3) seeking attention for progressive causes. It’s a company. In fact, it’s a T-shirt company. In other words, the video of the cursing 6-year-olds is really an advertisement.

Akzed on October 22, 2014 at 8:34 PM

listens2glenn on October 22, 2014 at 2:25 PM

.
There was a window of opportunity where that might have been possible but since so many states passed state amendments which prohibited marriage along with civil unions, and since the federal government does not recognize civil unions, going to court and fighting for civil unions would have been equally as difficult for less of a reward. The opposition made their own bed on this one; if you were completely unwilling to compromise when you had the people behind you why should you expect the other side to compromise now that they have the people behind them?

alchemist19 on October 22, 2014 at 5:25 PM

.
That only leaves a confrontation of physical force . . . . . man, is that ever going to suck … : (
.
Reposting :
.

It is my belief that a majority of the citizen population of this United States would support Bible standards of morality, as the standards of acceptable PUBLIC behavior.
I understand full well that you believe a majority of the citizen population of this United States would NOT support Bible standards of morality, as the standards of acceptable public behavior.

The only response I can give is, “Fine, let’s have our Legislative bodies work on it … in the open … with nothing kept behind closed doors.” (obviously debate, argument, and decisions take place behind closed doors … but it shouldn’t remain there)

Then we’ll all find out what they could comprise/agree on.

listens2glenn on October 22, 2014 at 12:17 AM

listens2glenn on October 22, 2014 at 9:08 PM

That only leaves a confrontation of physical force . . . . . man, is that ever going to suck … : (

I have my doubts. I lose track of the number of state’s the good guys are up to now…. over 30, containing more than half the population. The sun is still shining in those 30-some states, heterosexual couples and still getting married and having children and the hellfire and brimstone are conspicuous by their absence. There might be some thing that lead to a confrontation of physical force – though I have serious doubts about it – but this issue shouldn’t be it. This has a way of turning out to be not a big deal.

Reposting :
.

It is my belief that a majority of the citizen population of this United States would support Bible standards of morality, as the standards of acceptable PUBLIC behavior.
I understand full well that you believe a majority of the citizen population of this United States would NOT support Bible standards of morality, as the standards of acceptable public behavior.

The only response I can give is, “Fine, let’s have our Legislative bodies work on it … in the open … with nothing kept behind closed doors.” (obviously debate, argument, and decisions take place behind closed doors … but it shouldn’t remain there)

Then we’ll all find out what they could comprise/agree on.

listens2glenn on October 22, 2014 at 12:17 AM

listens2glenn on October 22, 2014 at 9:08 PM

In response to the idea that we should be locked into a moral code from the Bronze Age I can only respond with the words of the person whom I consider to be the greatest man of the last millennium. Carved into the wall of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC is the following passage:

“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

alchemist19 on October 22, 2014 at 9:25 PM

IF … Christian believers, the government, or anyone else (Islamists?) would attempt to block/stop/prevent consenting, same-gender adult cohabitants from engaging in same-gender sexual intimacy … THEN … you would have a valid example of “trampling on someone elses freedom.”

listens2glenn on October 21, 2014 at 11:35 PM

.
Does that mean you agree with the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas which struck down state sodomy laws?

alchemist19 on October 22, 2014 at 5:19 PM

.
The Texas State anti-sodomy laws would have accomplished … what … had they been left to stand ?
.
Was there the very real possibility of warrants being issued to go behind closed doors, after known sodomites ?

I believe the Texas anti-sodomy laws were to keep sodomy “private,” and discourage people from discussing their own experiences with it … IN PUBLIC PLACES.

Am I wrong about that ?

listens2glenn on October 22, 2014 at 9:44 PM

listens2glenn on October 22, 2014 at 9:08 PM

.
In response to the idea that we should be locked into a moral code from the Bronze Age I can only respond with the words of the person whom I consider to be the greatest man of the last millennium. Carved into the wall of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC is the following passage:

“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

alchemist19 on October 22, 2014 at 9:25 PM

.
Thomas Jefferson was NOT referencing the ‘standards of morality’ regarding human sexuality, within that statement. Human sexuality remains unchanged … since it’s inception.

Standards of morality do NOT change with advancements in technology.

Standards of morality do NOT “change with the times” . . . . . either they’ve been wrong all this time, or they are still right … TODAY … unchanged from their original definitions.

HANG yeah … we should be “locked-in” to THE “moral code” … that’s been the standard since the beginnig of time, and remains for all time.

listens2glenn on October 22, 2014 at 10:05 PM

The Texas State anti-sodomy laws would have accomplished … what … had they been left to stand ?
.
Was there the very real possibility of warrants being issued to go behind closed doors, after known sodomites ?

I believe the Texas anti-sodomy laws were to keep sodomy “private,” and discourage people from discussing their own experiences with it … IN PUBLIC PLACES.

Am I wrong about that ?

listens2glenn on October 22, 2014 at 9:44 PM

Why was the Texas statute on the books in the first place? It was rarely enforced precisely because it was regulating conduct that went on behind closed doors. The people who won the case and got it and similar laws struck down were adults engaged in consensual homosexual activity in their own bedroom when the cops kicked the door down and arrested them.

How does absolutely forbidding sodomy anywhere discourage it in public places? Wouldn’t it be more intelligent to ban sexual activity – both heterosexual and homosexual – in public? What you’re saying doesn’t make sense.

alchemist19 on October 22, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Thomas Jefferson was NOT referencing the ‘standards of morality’ regarding human sexuality, within that statement. Human sexuality remains unchanged … since it’s inception.

Really? Sally Hemmings might have some things to say about the standards of morality related to human sexuality of Mr. Jefferson.

Standards of morality do NOT change with advancements in technology.

Standards of morality do NOT “change with the times” . . . . . either they’ve been wrong all this time, or they are still right … TODAY … unchanged from their original definitions.

HANG yeah … we should be “locked-in” to THE “moral code” … that’s been the standard since the beginnig of time, and remains for all time.

listens2glenn on October 22, 2014 at 10:05 PM

They absolutely do.

I think you might be missing the crux of what Jefferson was getting at. We can look back now at things that were done in the past which were considered morally acceptable at the time they happened but would be morally repugnant to us today. Take the idea that a wife should obey her husband. We can look at that notion today, recognize it for the tripe it is and (correctly) judge as immoral anyone who tries to enforce such a standard. It was not always that way though. There was a time when if a woman did not obey her husband that would be considered grossly immoral. Jefferson, very astutely, is warning us of the perils of holding onto traditional ideas for the sake of tradition. It assumes the ancients knew better than we do, and binds us to their whims even if we’ve since learned information that wasn’t known when the old moral standards arose which would have influenced those standards had it been known at the time. What you’re displaying here is a fundamentally VERY authoritarian belief system, and it’s precisely the sort of thing about which Jefferson was cautioning.

There’s also nothing wrong with disagreeing with Thomas Jefferson on a few things either.

alchemist19 on October 22, 2014 at 10:48 PM

listens2glenn on October 22, 2014 at 10:05 PM

.
They absolutely do.

I think you might be missing the crux of what Jefferson was getting at. We can look back now at things that were done in the past which were considered morally acceptable at the time they happened but would be morally repugnant to us today.

There’s also nothing wrong with disagreeing with Thomas Jefferson on a few things either.

alchemist19 on October 22, 2014 at 10:48 PM

.
There are no “condoned by God” moral standards in the New Testament teachings, that have become “repugnant” today.

Zero.

I maintain my previous claim, that “a majority of the citizen population of this United States would support Bible standards of morality, as the standards of acceptable PUBLIC behavior.”

But I’m also not denying that there is a significant percentage of citizens who would oppose it.

listens2glenn on October 22, 2014 at 11:58 PM

listens2glenn on October 22, 2014 at 9:44 PM

.
It was rarely enforced precisely because it was regulating conduct that went on behind closed doors. The people who won the case and got it and similar laws struck down were adults engaged in consensual homosexual activity in their own bedroom when the cops kicked the door down and arrested them.

alchemist19 on October 22, 2014 at 10:33 PM

.
I have to plead ignorance to the case you are citing . . . . . I am completely unfamiliar with it.

Can you link me to any details regarding it ?
.

How does absolutely forbidding sodomy anywhere discourage it in public places? Wouldn’t it be more intelligent to ban sexual activity – both heterosexual and homosexual – in public? What you’re saying doesn’t make sense.

alchemist19 on October 22, 2014 at 10:33 PM

.
Totally my fault . . . . . that is a horrible example, and I withdraw it.

listens2glenn on October 23, 2014 at 12:07 AM

You’re also still free – and even encouraged – to answer that question I asked about what is the purpose of laws to exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage. The answer will be even more enlightening after your last post.

alchemist19 on October 22, 2014 at 7:41 PM

I wasn’t arguing against SSM. Given that marriage no longer serves its original purpose, and has not for quite some time, and since there is no point in discussing trying to go back (whether or not that would be a good thing is both beside the point and not something I expressed an opinion about), I was arguing in favor of real marriage equality rather than just the pick and choose kind of politically expedient ‘equality’ you support.

I fear blink is may be right about you. You may be too wedded to your bigotry to understand the argument.

fadetogray on October 23, 2014 at 8:26 AM

I wasn’t arguing against SSM. Given that marriage no longer serves its original purpose, and has not for quite some time, and since there is no point in discussing trying to go back (whether or not that would be a good thing is both beside the point and not something I expressed an opinion about), I was arguing in favor of real marriage equality rather than just the pick and choose kind of politically expedient ‘equality’ you support.

I fear blink is may be right about you. You may be too wedded to your bigotry to understand the argument.

fadetogray on October 23, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Your view is extremely myopic. You have decided for yourself what the “original purpose” of marriage is and now that marriages are allowed which do not comport to your self-defined purpose – and make no mistake, marriages which did not comport to your definition have been taking place for centuries – you’re trying to throw up your hands and cry about *the* purpose being lost when it only existed in your head to begin with. Now your sort of trying to take your ball and go home, hoping that since you can’t get your preferred definition that people like me, who have the Constitution on their side and defeated you in the arena of ideas, don’t get what they want either. I can think of a couple different words to describe your attitude; “adult” is not among them.

blink isn’t serious about anything she says so if you’re throwing in with an unserious person I’ll say I’m shocked but not surprised.

Just for some historical reference, the losers in Loving v. Virginia tried to say that they weren’t prejudiced, but that the people who called them prejudice were themselves exhibiting prejudice. Call me names all you want, it won’t do a thing to change who’s right, who’s wrong and who’s going to win.

alchemist19 on October 23, 2014 at 4:26 PM