Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

A baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs or face fines, a judge said Friday.

The order from administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer said Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver discriminated against a couple “because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage.”

The order says the cake-maker must “cease and desist from discriminating” against gay couples. Although the judge did not impose fines in this case, the business will face penalties if it continues to turn away gay couples who want to buy cakes.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint against shop owner Jack Phillips with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission last year on behalf of Charlie Craig, 33, and David Mullins, 29. The couple was married in Massachusetts and wanted a wedding cake to celebrate in Colorado.

Mullins and Craig wanted to buy a cake in July 2012, but when Phillips found out the cake was to celebrate a gay wedding, he turned the couple away, according to the complaint.

Nicolle Martin, an attorney for Masterpiece Cakeshop, said the judge’s order puts Phillips in an impossible position of going against his Christian faith.

“He can’t violate his conscience in order to collect a paycheck,” she said. “If Jack can’t make wedding cakes, he can’t continue to support his family. And in order to make wedding cakes, Jack must violate his belief system. That is a reprehensible choice. It is antithetical to everything America stands for.”

The Civil Rights Commission is expected to certify the judge’s order next week. Phillips can appeal the judge’s order, and Martin said they’re considering their next steps.

Mullins said he and Craig are “ecstatic.”

“To a certain extent, though, I don’t think that this is necessarily a surprise,” he said. “We thought it was pretty clear cut that he had discriminated against us.”

Mullins said he hopes the “decision will help ensure that no one else will experience this kind of discrimination again in Colorado.”

A similar case is pending in Washington state, where a florist is accused of refusing service for a same-sex wedding. In New Mexico, the state Supreme Court ruled in August that an Albuquerque business was wrong to decline to photograph a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony.

Colorado has a constitutional ban against gay marriage but allows civil unions. The civil union law, which passed earlier this year, does not provide religious protections for businesses.

“At first blush, it may seem reasonable that a private business should be able to refuse service to anyone it chooses,” Judge Spencer said in his written order. “This view, however, fails to take into account the cost to society and the hurt caused to persons who are denied service simply because of who they are.”

ACLU attorney Amanda Goad said no one is asking Phillips to change his religious beliefs.

“But treating gay people differently because of who they are is discrimination, plain and simple,” she said.

 

Nine-hundred and fifteen pink crosses filled the lawn in front of the U.S. Capitol building this Halloween day.

Rev. Pat Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, told CBN News why.

“We billed this as ‘what’s the most scary thing in Washington D.C. Today?’ The most scary thing is our government gives $540 million to an organization that kills 915 children a day. That’s over 335,000 a year,” Mahoney said.

The organization getting all those taxpayer dollars is Planned Parenthood, which aborts one child every 95 seconds.

Missy Martinez, with Students for Life, helped set up the 915 crosses marking Planned Parenthood’s daily abortions.

“Once you see that visual you realize how many it really is,” Martinez said as she stuck cross after cross into the Capitol Hill grounds.

“Because you hear the number 915 and you say, ‘Yeah that’s big.’ But you see the actual layout of 915 crosses and it’s just very sobering,” she said. “It hurts your heart when you realize it’s that many children that die every day from abortion.”

And that’s just at Planned Parenthood.

Along with the Christian Defense Coalition, Students for Life put on this display: important because student-aged Americans are the main customers for abortion. But they are also the biggest opponents, the pro-life movement‘s hope for the future.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, talked to CBN News about today’s college age generation.

“This is the generation that’s being directly targeted by Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry,” Hawkins said. “Ironically, though, this is the generation that is pro-life. They’re the least likely to actually favor abortion because we’ve seen the 3D ultrasounds of our brothers and sisters in the womb.”

“We all know what partial birth abortion is,” she continued. “So we see abortion differently than previous generations.”

Pro-lifers young and old keep talking about Planned Parenthood and its monumental amount of abortions because most Americans still don’t know about it.

“Sixty percent of the American public has no idea that Planned Parenthood provides abortions, let alone it’s the largest abortion provider in the world,” Mahoney said.

And that’s in a country where more than 70 percent of its citizens say they’re against taxpayer funding of abortions.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified on Capitol Hill Wednesday that she’s not sure about abortion funding under Obamacare.

Hawkins smirked at that claim.

“Abortions are covered under Obamacare and taxpayers are going to be funding it,” she stated. “But what’s really interesting is the secretary herself wrote a memo this April demanding that all insurance providers cover Planned Parenthood and their services in the health insurance exchanges.”

These pro-life groups wanted to make sure they put up the 915 crosses on the Capitol grounds because it’s Congress that actually funds whatever government pays for.

“We’re saying, ‘Look, 915 children die a day because of Planned Parenthood and you helped do it. You help fund this organization,'” she said.

“And under Obamacare the tragedy is that money to Planned Parenthood will only increase,” Mahoney added.

Mahoney mentioned that the House of Representatives, which is majority pro-life, could defund Planned Parenthood any day it wants to.

 

By Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent
Thursday, October 31, 2013

because-of-the-cross-titleCBN News story….Detroit is picture perfect from a distance. But up close it’s a picture of urban decay. High poverty rates, high crime rates, and high unemployment are driving people away.

Detroit Police Sgt. John Bennett has patrolled the city’s streets for more than 16 years.

“I don’t know how much longer I’m going to stay honestly. I don’t know how much longer I can hang on,” he told CBN News.

“We’ve lost in the police department a thousand officers that haven’t been replaced in the last five to six years,” he said.

Motor City‘s problems are simply bigger than police and government. That’s why 50 area pastors are coming together to pray and to plan.

And they’re being led by Promise Keepers, a Christian organization with a mission to unite men to become warriors to change their world.

“Number one, is it is a revival, renewal, and a rediscovery of the word of God,” Promise Keepers president Dr. Raleigh Washington told CBN News. “There are a lot of solid churches in the Detroit area doing a great job, but it needs to be on a combined basis. That is why the pastors are coming together.”

With Detroit’s problems being so deep and so large, how can pastors make a difference? PK President Dr. Raleigh Washington and PK founder Bill McCartney addressed that question and more on CBN News Channel Morning News, Aug. 23.

The Promise Keepers’ “Reviving Detroit Summit” included a message from former Muslim Brotherhood terrorist Kamal Saleem. Saleem told pastors radical Islam made a conscious effort to divide the city as early as the 1960s.

Nevertheless, Washington said, “I am not preaching against Islam.”

“I am preaching for Christianity because I believe Jesus Christ is the only way, the only truth and the only life,” he explained. “When I hear Islam or anyone preaching different, that goes against what the Bible says.”

Dr. Washington said it’s time for Detroit Christians of all backgrounds to stand together to pull their city from the brink of disaster.

“Racial reconciliation is critical because it undergirds oneness,” he said.

And he believes standing one with God is enough to bring revival to the Motor City.