Less than two weeks after a federal appeals court struck down Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage, two ministers in the northwestern Idaho city of Coeur d’Alene have filed a lawsuit claiming they could face up to 180 years in jail for refusing to perform a same-sex wedding.
The lawsuit, filed Oct. 17 in federal trial court by the conservative Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, stoked long-held fears among opponents of marriage equality.
“The day liberals promised would never come is already here,” Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council warned in a press release announcing the lawsuit, which was brought on behalf of Donald and Evelyn Knapp, two ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel.
Mike Huckabee, former presidential candidate and Southern Baptist minister, weighed in on Facebook: “Remember when same-sex marriage activists used to claim that it would never infringe on other people’s religious beliefs? Well, that was a lie.”
The governor of Idaho declared the ministers’ case to be grounds for asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to rehear the case on the state ban. “One of the key arguments against the Idaho Constitution’s defense of traditional marriage has been that redefining it to include same-sex couples would not harm anyone. But the Hitching Post example shows the fallacy of that position,” Gov. Butch Otter (R) said in a statement.
Oh, wait. Never mind. Good Thing Fox “News” is already running with this so it’s now an established TRUE FACT.
There is one major problem with all this outrage, according to city officials in Coeur d’Alene: The owners of the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel do not face arrest or fines or any other penalty for refusing to marry same-sex couples.