Knapp v. City of Coeur d’Alene

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Description:  Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, officials told Donald Knapp that he and his wife Evelyn, both ordained ministers who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, are required to perform same-sex 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 such 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.


Hearing Monday in case of Idaho ministers told to perform same-sex ceremonies


Monday, July 20, 2015

 
WHO:  ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp, ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot

WHAT:  Available for media interviews following hearing on motion to dismiss in Knapp v. City of Coeur d’Alene

WHEN:  Monday, July 20, immediately following hearing, which begins at 11:15 a.m. PDT

WHERE:  U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, 6450 N. Mineral Dr., Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

City officials told Donald Knapp that he and his wife Evelyn, both ordained ministers who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, are required to perform same-sex ceremonies or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines. The city publicly claimed its “non-discrimination” ordinance requires the Knapps to perform such 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. ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp will argue against the city’s motion to dismiss the case.
 
  • Backgrounder: Pre-enforcement challenge lawsuits
  • Video Q&A: Knapp v. City of Coeur d’Alene and pre-enforcement challenges

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.


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Additional resources: Knapp v. City of Coeur d'Alene

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Previous news releases:

  • 2014-10-21: City of Coeur d’Alene confirms for-profit wedding chapel violates ordinance
  • 2014-10-18: Govt tells Christian ministers: Perform same-sex weddings or face jail, fines

Commentary:
  • Jeremy Tedesco: Idaho for-profit wedding chapel under fire with same-sex 'marriage' proponents (Zenit, 2014-11-04)
  • Matt Bowman: Hitching Post controversy forces ACLU doublespeak on religious freedom (Washington Examiner, 2014-11-03)
  • Jeremy Tedesco: Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho in ‘damage control mode’ over sexual orientation nondiscrimination ordinance (CNS News, 2014-11-03)
  • Jeremy Tedesco: Marriage and the Left’s duplicity on pre-enforcement challenges (National Review, 2014-10-28)


"So, the Hitching Post updated its website. And your point is?" (Alliance Defending Freedom, 2014-10-20)


The Revs. Knapp have not changed their religious beliefs and how they perform marriage ceremonies at The Hitching Post. They have always only performed marriages between one man and one woman. The civil marriages the pastors perform are consistent with their religious beliefs and include the same biblical principles as their traditional ceremonies. They also perform marriage ceremonies for persons of non-Christian faiths because the Bible teaches that marriage is a common grace and creational gift bestowed by God for the benefit of all human society. What has changed is what is legally called marriage in Idaho. What has changed is that the city recently passed a law that threatens the pastors with jail time and fines if they don’t violate their religious beliefs and perform same-sex wedding ceremonies. They have changed their website to clarify the types of services they provide in light of the changes in Idaho law. It is not unusual to offer needed clarification in changing circumstances. The criticism regarding changes made to The Hitching Post website are a manufactured distraction meant to divert attention from the very real threats to the pastors’ constitutionally protected freedom.


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