2.26.2015

Cake Bakers, Farmers and Florists Forced into Views Opposed to Their Faith & Family Values

In 2012, Jack Phillips respectfully declined to use his creative talents at his bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop, to promote and endorse a same-sex ceremony due to his stance on biblical marriage. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ordered that he ignore his beliefs and create cakes for same-sex celebrations. He must also re-educate his staff that his religious beliefs about marriage are, according to the state, "discriminatory," and that he can no longer run his business according to them. Jack's case is now in the hands of the Colorado Court of Appeals.  See his story in the video at Alliance Defending Freedom.org at http://blog.alliancedefendingfreedom.org/2014/07/29/crumbling-freedom-cake-artist-sent-to-reeducation/ .

Like Jack Phillips,
Rob and Cynthia Gifford, the farming couple from upstate New York who were fined $13,000 for politely declining to host a same-sex marriage ceremony on their property have also been forced to deny their faith.  Alliance Defending Freedom filed a petition in New York state court asking for review of their New York State Division of Human Rights decision which requires them to allow a same-sex couple to marry on their property against their will, in violation of their faith. They have been fined $10,000 to be paid to the state and $3,000 in "mental anguish" fees to the couple. And as in the case of Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop, the state requires the Giffords and their staff to be "reeducated."
 
Now the owner of Arlene's Flowers in Seattle, Washington is being sued for all her personal assets for declining to provide the floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding, as the state attempts to force her into surrendering her personal faith in Jesus Christ.  She is represented by Regent Law alumnus Kristen Waggoner, and you can see their Kelly File interview at http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/2015/02/24/exclusive-florist-who-refuses-to-do-gay-wedding-speaks-out/Read the florist's open letter to her Attorney General at First Things at http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2015/02/stand-with-barronelle-stutzman.  
 
Media pressure and state bullying cloaked in civil rights to oppress  Christian faith and the view that marriage between a man and a woman is the foundation for family is now forcing alternative views of marriage on those who do not hold those beliefs.  These governmental efforts actively abridge free exercise of religion, and family strength, forcing individuals into beliefs they do not hold.  To learn more on this problem download the free article on "Fairness, Accuracy and Honesty in Discussing Homosexuality and Marriage," at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=317699.   Elizabeth Oklevitch and I predicted these outcomes of being told what to believe when confronted with same-sex marriage in Section III of our article at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2462093.
 
Family strength and restoration require freedom of religion for every family - including cake bakers, farmers, and florists being sued, relentlessly pursued, and ruined for their faith.

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