IDAHO: City ordinance says pastors must “marry” homosexuals or go to jail

In the Washington Times I read this.

Idaho city’s ordinance tells pastors to marry gays or go to jail

Coeur d‘Alene, Idaho, city officials have laid down the law to Christian pastors within their community, telling them bluntly via an ordinance that if they refuse to marry homosexuals, they will face jail time and fines.

The dictate comes on the heels of a legal battle with Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post wedding chapel in the city, but who oppose gay marriage, The Daily Caller reported.

A federal judge recently ruled that the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, while the city of Coeur d‘Alene has an ordinance that prevents discrimination based on sexual preference.

The Supreme Court’s recent refusal to take on gay rights’ appeals from five states has opened the doors for same-sex marriages to go forth.

The Knapps were just asked by a gay couple to perform their wedding ceremony, The Daily Caller reported.

“On Friday, a same-sex couple asked to be married by the Knapps, and the Knapps politely declined,” The Daily Signal reported. “The Knapps now face a 180-day jail term and a $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.”


Read the rest over there.

Mind you, it won’t go anywhere, but it doesn’t have to succeed… right now.   Liberals use the technique of creeping incrementalism.   They know they will fail… this time.  But each time they bump the needle one more degree in their direction and pick up a few more supporters for their cause.

So… see what’s happening?

Fathers! Get ready!

Si vis pacem para bellum!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liberals, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Religious Liberty, Si vis pacem para bellum!, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Dennis Martin says:

    Just to clarify, the article is from October 20, 2014, unless I am mistaken.

  2. jmcj says:

    Idaho, of all places. Who’d have thought?

  3. snoozie says:

    “Fathers! Get ready!”
    Indeed it’s coming….and indeed it’s already here. So on that note might I please ask what happened to the ‘Credo priests’ post on the statement to uphold the Traditional teaching of the Catholic Church on marriage? PLEASE tell me that the pressure from ‘on high’ to bury such good and holy works, even in their inchoate state, hasn’t already begun. If indeed the case, the state isn’t our biggest worry….the most painful and deadly persecution comes from within.

    St. Aemilianus, pray for us!

  4. snoozie says:

    Just saw the post referred to above bumped up to the top of the page. Thanks Father!

  5. Heather F says:

    From what I understand of this story, the issue was that “The Hitching Post” was not a church but rather a for -profit wedding chapel business, and therefore legally not considered the same as an actual church. As noted, this is an old story from last October, and I don’t know what actually came of it, but I think I saw someone in another combox mention that the attempted strong-arming ended up failing and yes they were indeed determined to be protected under religious freedom.

  6. Joe in Canada says:

    Exemplifies the importance of voting in school board and local civic elections. Often bylaws and policies that wouldn’t be passed by a state legislature are brought in locally. Activists know this.

  7. Theodore says:

    The city struck its colors soon after this and decided that they were not going to enforce the ordinance. It was due to the hue and cry that was raised throughout the state as well as (I’m told off the record) that snow removal might be a little delayed in the winter if it went through with making the Hitching Post perform this ceremony. In C’dA snow removal can be a BIG thing.

  8. tzabiega says:

    The late Cardinal George once wrote in the diocesan newspaper that it is the gay marriage issue which is most likely to send the Catholic Church underground, specifically because of situations like the one noted. It is best if the Catholic Church completely gets out of the civil marriage business, i.e. do what is done in Mexico or what was done in Poland under Communism. The couple would be required to get a civil marriage certificate and bring it to the Catholic Church prior to the Sacrament of Matrimony. That way the Church can free itself from being accused of legal discrimination, as the Sacrament would then only be considered a worship service, and not a legal “right.” The bishops should already be preparing for this, as it is almost 99% certain that the Supreme Court will make gay “marriage” a constitutional right.

  9. Giuseppe says:

    The court will rule that states cannot prohibit gay weddings. Details to be worked out.

    I think the details will be that
    1. Government officials (city, state) who perform weddings will now have to perform gay weddings or at least have someone in the office who will. (This is a full-employment bill for Unitarians.)
    2. For profit wedding chapel businesses that exist only to perform weddings and not for ongoing religious service will have to perform gay weddings.
    3. Churches, though, will not have to perform gay weddings. (Churches don’t have to perform regular weddings anyway, e.g. 2nd marriages.) And there will be some monumental decision etching this religious liberty into law in a few years. (Probably written by Justice Kennedy.)
    4. Businesses that cater to regular weddings will have to cater to gay weddings (but can make it unpleasant in the way Father Z suggested by setting standards that outline the philosophical opposition to gay marriage.) Most of those businesses will close or find another line of work.

    I think 1 and 2 will not cause too much tumult. 3 is sacrosanct. No one but the activist militants want to take over churches. (95% of American is not Saul Alinsky and wouldn’t put up with it.) Plus, there are already enough mainstream liberal denominations with huge churches (usually empty on Sundays, fyi) that are more than happy to have gay weddings there.

    Number 4 is the touchiest one, and I do think that people who have objections to gay marriage should be able to opt out (for religious grounds). This will take some time to work out a clear opt-out. I worry though that too many businesses will suffer while this is worked out.

  10. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Tzabiega,

    I agree that it would be good if the civil aspects of marriage (i.e. the purely legal and contractual ones) were more clearly separated from what we Catholics recognize to be a Sacrament. Until something of this sort happens, though, the constitutional protections afforded by the First Amendment would prevent any requirement that Catholic clergy perform same-sex marriages.

  11. Pingback: Supreme Court & Gay 'Marriage': Day of Destiny - Big Pulpit

  12. Theodore says:

    Here’s a bit of constitutional good news:

    “This Court does not fault the Commission in its interest in insuring citizens have equal access to services, but that is not what this case is all about. There is no evidence in this record that HOO or its owners refused to print t-shirts in question based on the sexual orientation of GLSO [the gay pride organization] or its members or its representatives that contacted HOO. Rather, it is clear beyond dispute that HOO and its owners declined to print the t-shirts in question because of the MESSAGE advocating sexual activity outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. The well established Constitutional rights of HOO and its owners on this issue is well settled and requires action by this Court.”

    Read more at:

  13. iPadre says:

    That’s when we need to drop our legal authority to perform civil marriages. Let our people get married by a jp and come to us for a Sacrament. The government may try to tell us who we are to “marry” as civil servants, but they can’t tell us who receives our Sacraments.

  14. SKAY says:

    Two members of the SCOTUS have already performed ss marriages. I think they have shown themselves to have a bias toward one side and should remove themselves from the case. Unfortunately, given who they are, I would be surprised if they do the right thing in this situation.

  15. Fern says:

    In 1962 my future husband and I went to the civil government in France for a civil ceremony and then the next day we were at the Post Chapel for the Sacrament of Matrimony. It wasn’t that difficult! If it can be done overseas, it can be done here. What is the point of waiting until the axe falls?

  16. Sonshine135 says:

    Whether Isis in the Middle East, or the homofascists in the US, the result for Christians will be the same. They start by denying you a livelihood and end by denying you a life.

  17. Orphrey says:

    Here’s a relevant article from earlier this year in Catholic World Report about the “same-sex marriage” debate:

  18. Kerry says:

    ‘Gay’ rights, ‘gay’ marriage, anti-‘gay’, ‘gender’ identity, what a mass of corrupted language. Words have gender, people have sex. And that word is a noun, indicating whether one is male or female. It is not an orientation, nor a verb; the act is sexual relations. Note that important word, relations. Words mean things! I think the great sorrowful tragedy among this current ‘sin-makes-you-stupid’ cultural conflagration is those with same sex attraction defining themselves not as made in the image and likeness of God, but by what is done with and where they put their sexual organs. What a horrible limitation. Furthermore, the political authorities, either lacking the correct orientation, (ad orientem), or mostly from craven political motives, are poised to write into the positive law, rights. Whiskey, tango foxtrot. Charles Rice again, loosely, ‘People have to have a God, and if it’s not the real one, it will be something else’. In this case, it’s the state saying, again, burn this incense or else.
    No thanks.

  19. JustaSinner says:

    Look at the shiny objects….
    Nice to see everyone here missing the bigger picture. Gay marriage rammed down everyone’s throats just a diversion to get people angry and agitated. STEP OUT OF LINE and the left-wing statists will be there with martial law and the end of the Constitution. THAT IS WHAT IS AT STAKE HERE! Riots in Baltimore, Ferguson, and other ‘black’ cities…nice way to start martial law. King Barry Soweto I.

  20. JesusFreak84 says:

    What I will NEVER understand is why two men, two women, whatever, would WANT to be “married” by people who don’t believe in it. If you only “get your way” by suing, have you REALLY won?

  21. These tyrannical scoundrels know they could never get the country to agree to their twisted logic so they would rather bully the world into submission and declare themselves the victors rather than enjoy true peace of soul by rationally persuading others in the intelligent arena of ideas. They are throwing a temper tantrum to get their way and in the process making themselves out to be the tyrannical jerks that they are.

  22. KateD says:

    The biggest problem isn’t the state permitting two people to contract a civil union. The graver issue is that they are violating religious liberty by forcing religious individuals to act contrary to what their faith permits and their right judgment indicates. So for instance, should it become fully legislated that homosexual acts comprise a civil rights status, not just an action of an individual, then religious institutions will not just be faced with being forced to marry such individuals, but also hire them…..So, let’s say a Christian church runs a daycare program and puts an add in the paper for a childcare provider. When a transsexual/homosexual/transvestite applies and has all the right credentials, with the equivalent of affirmative action for moving such individuals into all areas of society, the Church will be forced to hire such an individual to care for young children, never mind that the person is mentally a bag of cats. It’s like the fable of The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Never mind that the people have obviously deep psychological issues (for which they should be cared for with dignity and respect), go ahead and leave children alone in their care. Same sex marriage is just the vanguard.

  23. Supertradmum says:

    Years ago I began to write that these evils begin with marriage irregularities–how interesting that lust pushed the agenda again, as it did with Henry VIII ruining the Church in England, which had over 900 abbeys and priories when he had his hissy fit over the Pope not giving him his annulment from Katherine, (who should be canonized). Yes, England, Scotland and Wales never recovered from the killing of priests, nuns, sisters, monks, laity and the closing of Catholic colleges, hospitals, schools, houses of charity.

    It is coming. Why I want a place of safety for priests, but in this society of the invasion of privacy, one would have to be completely offgrid for such a place .

    God forgive us all for tolerating sin. St. Edmund Campion, pray for us.

  24. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    If people were to be jailed in such circumstances, would it be in some sense their duty, as with prisoners of war, to try to escape, or, again, a prudential possibility, if not some more positive ‘duty’?

    Are there canonical provisions for such circumstances, or formal counsels?

    Napoleon forced captive peoples to serve in the French army (in invading Russia, for example). And the Nazis forced captive peoples to go work in Germany (‘Arbeiteinsatz’). It occurs to me that I do not recall ever reading how the Church responded to such things…

  25. OlderCatholic says:

    Some years ago I attended a professional seminar (I’m a lawyer) which dealt with the financial disadvantages which can occur when two elderly people, presumably widowed, wish to marry late in life. In short, their ability to direct their assets to their own children (rather than to the care of the new spouse if he/she should become disabled) might be impaired, and/or their ability even to support themselves in those circumstances. And yet, having fallen in love, they wish to marry.

    One of the presenters had, and offered to give anyone who asked, the name of a Catholic priest who would be willing under those circumstances to confer the sacrament on the parties but not inform the State of this situation. So that these people would reverse the usual circumstance. Often people are married in the eyes of the State while the Church regards their union as invalid (as, a marriage after one or both parties are divorced from someone else). A couple married under the circumstances I describe would be married in the eyes of God and of the Church while the State would regard the parties as unmarried.

    I did not at that time have any clients who would have been interested in this, so I never followed out the question of what the legal/spiritual/moral results of such a procedure would have been, nor did I inquire as to the name of the priest. However, if in the future the civil state of marriage is separated from the sacrament as has been suggested here, we will have more opportunities to develop this thought. I am reasonably certain that this has actually happened in some cases, but by the nature of it it is unlikely that we would have found out about it.

  26. OlderCatholic says:

    From what I have read “The Hitching Post” involved in this story is not a church but rather a for -profit wedding chapel business. (One would hope so, with this name.) The reference to “pastors” is inappropriate. I don’t know how this rather old story came out.

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