Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink falsely claimed today that the Christian-owned Hitching Post wedding chapel was “facing jail time” if it didn’t perform gay marriages.
However, CDAPress.com reported earlier this week:
A lawsuit filed in federal court Friday on behalf of Don and Lynn Knapp, ordained ministers and owners of the Hitching Post, claims the couple’s constitutional rights to religious freedom are being violated by the city, through the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance, because it compels them to officiate over gay marriages.
The law, adopted in 2013, prohibits sexual orientation and gender identity to be used as a basis for discrimination in housing, employment and other public accommodations.
News of the lawsuit sparked national headlines over the weekend, primarily from conservative media, claiming that the city is threatening to arrest the Knapps.
“We have never threatened to jail them, or take legal action of any kind,” said city spokesman Keith Erickson.
But if a complaint is received, Erickson said it would be handled the way all such complaints are.
“The city will look into it and take whatever action is necessary,” he said.
GoodAsYou.org reports the Knapps changed their wedding policy on their website.
The Knapps’ website originally stated, “The Hitching Post specializes in small, short, intimate and private wedding ceremonies for couples who desire a traditional Christian wedding ceremony. We also perform wedding ceremonies for other faiths as well as civil weddings.”
However, after filing their strongly-worded Christian lawsuit, the Knapps’ website no longer states, “We also perform wedding ceremonies for other faiths as well as civil weddings.”
(Sources: CitizenLink, GoodAsYou.org, CDAPress.com)