The result of the “gay marriage” campaign already is being felt across America, where business owners are being ordered by courts to violate their religious faith regarding the Bible’s characterization of marriage, or be fined for not doing so.
One prominent case that made headlines recently was the case against Cynthia and Robert Gifford, owners of Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, New York.
They were fined $13,000 and ordered to start serving same-sex clients by the courts in New York after a lesbian couple wanted to use the Giffords’ farm for their “wedding,” and were refused.
“We have decided not to hold wedding ceremonies at all and we are not going to hold them on the farm until we are allowed to choose who we contract with,” Cynthia Gifford told WND. The couple, who are devout Christians, hired an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, which specializes in religious liberty cases.
Their lawyer, James Trainor, said the state of New York is stomping all over the First Amendment rights of Christian business owners.
“The end result of it, if a state agency is compelling them to host these ceremonies, it’s a form of compelled speech where the state is saying ‘you must do this’ and a casual observer (of the ceremony) would think ‘oh they must believe in this’ when in fact they don’t,” he said.
Jack Phillips owns and operates Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, and has been in business since 1993. He pours his creative spirit into each cake, which he considers a form of artistic expression.
Two local men approached him in 2012 and asked for a wedding cake, which Phillips said was against his conscience. He told them he had no problem making them birthday cakes, cookies, brownies, shower cakes – anything but a wedding cake, which he believes should be only for a man and a woman.
“The most important thing I think about when I wake up and go to work is I want to know that what I’m doing is pleasing to Him,” Phillips told CBN News in a recent interview. “I want to honor Him because that’s the most important thing.”
The Colorado Civil Rights Division ordered him to reverse his policy, educate his employees on how to serve all clients equally and submit quarterly compliance reports to make sure he has fully removed his religious views from his business decisions.
Here’s a list of recent cases in which people of faith have been targeted by homosexual activists:
- New Mexico Christian photographers Jon and Elaine Huguenin were sued by two lesbians under the state’s “sexual orientation” law after declining to photograph the lesbians’ “commitment ceremony.”
- The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association in New Jersey, was convicted of “discrimination” after two lesbians, Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster, decided to hold their commitment ceremony on the Methodist-run association’s popular family friendly boardwalk. After that, Ocean Grove quit the wedding-hosting business.
- The Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Hawaii, a Christian business, was forced to “accommodate” two Southern California lesbians after a judge ruled the B&B violated state law when the owner told Taeko Bufford and Diane Cervelli she wasn’t comfortable having them stay together in her home due to her religious beliefs. Aloha has since been ordered by the state “to provide a room to any same-sex couple that wishes to stay there.”
- In Illinois, Christian B&B owners Jim and Beth Walder are being sued by homosexual activist Todd Wathen, who demands monetary damages, attorneys’ fees and “an order directing [the Walders] to cease and desist from any violation” of the state’s Human Rights Act.
- Vermont’s Wildflower Inn paid a settlement and shut down its wedding reception business after the ACLU won a $10,000 civil penalty for two lesbians. The settlement also requires the inn’s owners to place $20,000 in a charitable trust for the lesbians.
- Oregon’s “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” bakery shut down after declining to bake for a “gay wedding.”
- The owners of Indiana’s “Just Cookies” were charged with “discrimination” under the city’s “sexual orientation” law for refusing to fill a special order for “rainbow cookies” for an LGBT group.
- Iowa’s “Victoria’s Cake Cottage,” whose owner Victoria Childress refused to provide a wedding cake for a homosexual couple out of “convictions for their lifestyle.”
- Oregon’s “Fleur Cakes,” joined “Sweet Cakes” in refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple and is being boycotted by homosexual activist groups.
- Washington state’s “Arlene’s Flowers,” whose owner Barronelle Stutzman declined to provide flowers for the wedding of a same-sex couple who had long frequented her shop, faces two lawsuits after refusing to fill an order because of her “relationship with Jesus Christ.”
- Texas’ “All Occasion Party Place,” a Fort Worth venue, refuses, on religious grounds, to rent out a banquet hall for same-sex wedding receptions.
- A Christian T-shirt maker in Kentucky was targeted by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission for refusing to print “gay pride” designs for a local homosexual group.
- Chris Penner, owner of the Twilight Room Annex bar in Portland, was fined $400,000 under the Oregon Equality Act for excluding transsexual men who, dressed as women, had been alienating other customers by using the women’s restroom. According to the Seattle Times, 11 people – calling themselves the “T-girls” – “will get the money, with awards ranging from $20,000 to 50,000.”
- The Catholic Church was forced to shut down successful adoption agencies in several states because it opposes adoption by homosexual couples.
- Christians have been kicked out of college counseling programs because they oppose homosexuality and therapists are prohibited by law from helping young people overcome unwanted same-sex attractions.