Gym muscles out member after transgender spat

At Planet Fitness, Yvette Cormier wanted to shape up — and instead, she got shipped out! The customer of a Michigan branch found out the hard way that if she wants to exercise her rights to privacy and free speech, she’ll have to find another gym. In a story that sums up the opposition to the Left’s infamous bathroom ordinances, Yvette came face to face with the consequences of giving gender identity a special place in local laws. Imagine her surprise, Yvette told gym management, when she walked into the women’s locker room and saw “a man” standing there.

“Freaked out,” she complained to the branch, who said the man identifies as a woman and had every right to use the facility of his choice. Stunned, Cormier contacted Planet Fitness’s corporate office — where she heard more of the same. According to the company’s PR director, “Planet Fitness is committed to creating a non-intimidating, welcoming environment for our members. Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use all facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity.”

The gym, she was told, is a “no judgment zone” — but apparently not for everyone. The gym, she was told, is a “no judgment zone” — but apparently not for everyone. When Yvette started warning women about the policy, Planet Fitness revoked her membership. “This is very scary,” she told reporters this week. “I feel like it’s kind of one-sided. I feel like I’m the one who is being punished.” Of course, the irony is that the same Planet Fitness company who said it was a man’s right to disrobe in a ladies’ locker room women kicked a pregnant woman out of the club in South Carolina for showing her belly button! That violates the dress code — but a cross-dressing man doesn’t?

Sound bizarre? Unfortunately, this is the kind of topsy-turvy scenario that will be playing out in public restrooms, showers, and locker rooms across the country if more cities don’t turn back this push to elevate sexual orientation and gender identity above personal privacy and public safety. You don’t have to be a Christian or a conservative to understand the effects the practical effects of these laws. “Tolerance” sounds like a great idea until your little girl is in the restroom with a grown man. By introducing gender politics into an environment like a gym, Planet Fitness is creating a culture ripe for abuse.

By Tony Perkins – Washington Update –

Bill for Marriage and Religious Freedom Act coming up

Why do we need a new federal law to protect those whose religious convictions see marriage as it has been understood for our whole national history? Because a war is taking place in America to delegitimize religion.

The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act was introduced in the last Congress – in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) with 11 co-sponsors and in the House by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) with 92 co-sponsors.

This legislation will soon be re-introduced in the current session and should be given priority by Senate and House leadership and passed. It is of enormous national importance.

The bill will protect individuals from discrimination, under federal law, so that they may be free to express and conduct their business according to their religious conviction that marriage is a union between one man and one woman and that sexual relations take place within this framework.

The bill only affects federal law, not state law. But it is an important step in the right direction of establishing a federal legal regime protecting those with traditional biblical faith and convictions regarding marriage, sex, and sin.

This law would not preclude anyone from choosing alternative lifestyles. What it would do is protect those who, because of their faith, reject those lifestyles from being forced to accept them.

Why do we need a new federal law to protect those whose religious convictions see marriage as it has been understood for our whole national history?

Because a war is taking place in our country to delegitimize religion and to use every means of legal aggression to make it impossible for those with traditional biblical faith to live according to their convictions in their public lives….

By Star Parker – One News Now –

Florida city spies on churches, demands licenses

A Florida city’s code-enforcement division, which was subject in 2013 to a scathing audit for falsifying inspections, employing unqualified inspectors and failing to clean up nuisance properties, has now decided to go after churches.

The City of Lake Worth, in Palm Beach County, has taken the position all churches are required to obtain a “business license” to conduct worship services. It is using city employees to covertly attend services and acquire evidence, including video, “for future court presentation.”

City-code enforcement officer, Gerard A. Coscia – wearing a hoodie – was sent to the Common Ground Church on Feb. 9 to clandestinely film the worship service, reported the Examiner.

The following Sunday, Coscia returned to the church, which meets in the Coffee Grounds Coffee Bar, handed his business card to pastor Mike Olive and told him, “This Sunday is your last Sunday.”

Olive said he had never received a notice from the city for any violation of any local law, and only learned a non-compliance affidavit had been issued when a church employee checked the city website.

“I inspected the property and found the following violations: Business-rental property found without a current City of Lake Worth business license, specifically to operate as a church, or a house of worship,” Coscia wrote in his case narrative….

But Common Grounds Coffee Bar does have a business license, Olive told the Lake Worth Tribune. He should know – he owns the business. And the site is not a church – it’s a coffee shop that leases space to a church every Sunday morning in the same manner other city restaurants and businesses rent their back rooms to neighborhood groups for their meetings. The Common Grounds site has….

By Jay Baggett – WND –

Supreme Court takes up religion in the workplace

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case that could help define the limits of religious freedom in the workplace.

The case, known as Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) v. Abercrombie, centers on Samantha Elauf, a practicing Muslim who applied for a position as a model at the Abercrombie Kids store in Tulsa, Okla., in 2008. She was denied employment because she was wearing a black headscarf, known as hijab, during her interview.

Abercrombie has a “look policy” that prohibits employees from wearing black clothing and “caps;” it rates prospective employees based on their dress. Though the policy fails to define what constitutes a “cap,” it says an employee is subject to “disciplinary action up to and including termination for failing to comply with” the cap policy.

In the case, the EEOC argues that Abercrombie violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by failing to accommodate Elauf’s religious beliefs. Abercrombie claims Elauf never informed hiring managers of the conflict and that allowing her to wear a headscarf would have imposed an undue hardship on the Ohio-based company.

The company’s position was upheld by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, after a federal district court sided with the EEOC.

The high court must decide whether employers have to ask prospective workers if they need a religious accommodation, or if it is it up to the job seekers to make the need known.

Business interests are paying close attention to the case.

By Lydia Wheeler – The Hill –

Speaking Freely About Politics Can Cost You Your Job

HERE’S a quiz for the coming campaign season. Which one of these actions could get you disciplined or fired?

A) Hanging political cartoons on your office door.

B) Sending emails to your colleagues soliciting support for a controversial cause.

C) Writing a blog at home stating your opinions about a local campaign and posting it on Facebook.

D) All of the above.

The answer is D. Now, that’s not an absolute. It depends on whether you are a private or public employee. It also depends on where you live.

But if you’re a nonunion private employee, your boss has great latitude to control your political actions. As Lee Tien, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, put it, “You don’t have the right to speak freely in the workplace.” Or even outside it.

It’s an issue that bubbles up around every major election, said Paula Brantner, executive director of Workplace Fairness, an informational site for employees. But the combination of intense political polarization, the Internet’s power to spread and magnify seemingly innocuous or private statements and technology’s growing ability to blur the line between workplace and home, make it a conundrum for employers and employees.

So it’s crucial that workers and their bosses understand their rights and responsibilities.

Here are the two most important points:

For private employees, who account for about 85 percent of the work force, the First Amendment’s guarantee offers no protection from being fired for something you’ve said, either in the workplace or outside of it, as on social media. That’s because the amendment addresses actions by the government to impede free speech, not by the private sector.

And while federal laws bar employers from firing workers because of such variables as their race, religion and gender, there is no such protection for political affiliation or activity.

A handful of states and localities address this issue, among them New York, California, Colorado, North Dakota and the District of Columbia. The broadest-based laws, such as those in California and New York, make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of an employees’ political activity or beliefs in or out of work, Ms. Brantner said, unless such activity interferes with the functioning of the business….

By Alina Tugend – The New York Times –

JUDGE RUINS A FLORIST FOR HER CHRISTIAN FAITH

The Noose is Tightening

“If the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, ‘The servant is not greater than his lord.’ If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” — John15:18-20 (KJV)

Washington State Benton County Superior Court Judge, Alex Ekstrom, has issued a summary judgment in the case against a Christian florist whose faith prevented her from providing service for a same-sex couple’s wedding. The case was set to go to trial in March, but the judge’s judgment serves as the final word. Basically, he has authorized the “personal ruin” of Barronelle Stutzman.

This ruling makes her personally liable for the claims against her, which places not only her business assets at risk but also her home and personal savings as well! World Net Daily reports that this reprobate judge ordered that the state as well as the sodomite plaintiffs, each of whom filed lawsuits, could collect damages and attorney’s fees from Stutzman.

Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, with the Alliance Defending Freedom stated, “The message of these rulings is unmistakable: The government will bring about your personal and professional ruin if you don’t help celebrate same-sex marriage.”

She reports the two men had plenty of other options in the marketplace, and even received offers of free flowers from other vendors. However, this wasn’t good enough for either Groom because Robert Ingersoll and his partner Curt Freed, sued Stutzman for politely refusing to engage in a business transaction that interfered with her faith.

Ironically, Ingersoll had bought flowers for his lover from Ms. Stutzman for years, and she was well aware they were a gay couple. The problem only surfaced when he asked her to arrange the flowers for their wedding. According to her deposition, she put her hands over his, and told him that she couldn’t “because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,” and because of her belief that marriage should only be between the opposite sex.

The State Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, also sued based on details he learned in the news. According to arguments in the case, the state of Washington apparently believes the state’s statutory protections for sodomites trump the Constitution’s protection of religious liberty, even though the flower corporation was set up under a state law that protects personal assets except in cases of deception, theft or knowing fraud. None of these circumstances occurred in this case.

The defendant, Ms. Stutzman, said, “America would be a better place if citizens respected each other’s differences and the government still protected the freedom to have those differences. Instead, the government is coming after me and everything I have just because I won’t live my life the way the state says I should.”

By Donna Wasson – News With Views –

Baker Investigated For Refusing To Serve Anti-Gay Client

As Western Journalism has previously reported, a bakery in Oregon was investigated by state authorities – and eventually forced to close – because its Christian owners opted to refuse an order for a lesbian couple’s wedding cake.

The scrutiny grew from a complaint filed by the prospective clients and grew into a national story evoking emotions from those on both sides of the issue. Similar accusations have subsequently been levied against Christian-owned businesses throughout the country.

Recent reports indicate that the same standard used against the Oregon bakery is now being implemented by a man who wanted a Colorado business to make a cake critical of homosexuality.

When Bill Jack, who founded the group Worldview, asked Azucar Bakery to fill an order for a Bible-shaped cake featuring two men holding hands and the phrase ‘God Hates Gays,’ the shop’s owner immediately refused….

Marjorie Silva said of the work order….‘No way. We’re not doing this. This is just very discriminatory and hateful.’”

According to Jack’s complaint, however, it was the bakery – not his cake design – that revealed true discrimination.

“I believe I was discriminated against by the baker based on my creed,” he said. “As a result, I filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights division.”….

Many of those who stood up for the rights of Christian bakers to refuse a pro-gay order maintain their position that a business owner should not be forced to violate his or her personal convictions.

“This is a free speech issue,” explained Focus on the Family’s Jeff Johnston, “and we support freedom of speech.”

He went on to conclude that “this baker should not be required to create a cake with a message that goes against her conscience.”

By B. Christopher Agee – Western Journalism –

Fire chief’s ouster beginning of the end for Christians?

The plight of Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has caught America’s attention, but he is just the latest Christian to have his career vaporized by something that was said or written, according to religious liberty advocates.

But unlike the dozens of other Christians who have lost jobs or businesses because they dared to violate the sensitivities of the LGBT community, Cochran’s firing became a national story.

The fact that establishment media like the New York Times, ABC, NBC, CNN and others have reported the firing of Cochran is good, but it could also be bad.

The widespread coverage could signal that the media elites are sending a message to America that this is about to become standard procedure: Speak out of turn, even in your private life, in a way that offends the LGBT community, and you lose your job.

“It’s a chilling effect, said John Whitehead, president and founder of the Rutherford Institute, a legal defense and civil liberties organization. “Free speech in America, in my opinion, is basically dying. It’s being filtered by the national media and being scooped up and evaluated by the government.”

Cochran got caught in the filter, fired by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed because he wrote a book for Christian men that presented the case for traditional morals. Just one page in the book discussed homosexuality, describing it as one of many sexual sins. That was enough to get him fired, despite his many accolades both locally and nationally as a distinguished fire chief.

Travis Weber, director of the center for religious liberty at the Family Research Council, says Cochran has become the new face of Christian persecution in America. But the backlash against the mayor has been larger than he perhaps expected.

Hundreds rallied on Cochran’s behalf at the state Capitol last Monday in Atlanta and delivered petitions signed by 40,000 supporters….

Kevin Theriot, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which has taken up Cochran’s case, said such bizarre behavior by a big-city mayor cannot be allowed to stand or America will pay a heavy price in terms of lost freedom.

“Every American is guaranteed freedom of speech and the freedom to live according to our beliefs. Our elected officials are supposed to be the greatest protectors of those freedoms, not their greatest threat,” Theriot told WND. “Yet, some powerful politicians are sending a chilling message that should alarm every American. We have examples ranging from the Obama administration’s mandates forcing Americans to pay for abortion pills and elective abortions, to Houston’s mayor targeting pastors, to the city of Atlanta firing Chief Cochran for his religious beliefs.”

Conservative Christians as second-class citizens?

If this becomes the new normal, the effect will be to blackball an entire class of people, conservative Christians, making it impossible for them to hold government jobs and practice their faith, even outside of their place of employment.

That’s akin to a caste system, Theriot said.

“No politician has the right to pick and choose which Americans enjoy these freedoms, while punishing other citizens for nothing other than disagreeing with the government,” he said….

By Leo Hohmann – WND –

Carbon Dating Proves Dinos Only Thousands Of Years Old

Attorneys for a California State University, Northridge scientist who was terminated from his job after discovering soft tissue on a Triceratops fossil have filed a lawsuit against the university.

While at the Hell Creek Formation excavation site in Montana, researcher Mark Armitage discovered what he believed to be the largest Triceratops horn ever unearthed at the site, according to attorney Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute.

Upon examination of the horn under a high-powered microscope back at CSUN, Dacus says Armitage was “fascinated” to find soft tissue on the sample – a discovery Bacus said stunned members of the school’s biology department and even some students “because it indicates that dinosaurs roamed the earth only thousands of years in the past rather than going extinct 60 million years ago.”

“Since some creationists, like [Armitage], believe that the Triceratops bones are only 4,000 years old at most, [Armitage’s] work vindicated his view that these dinosaurs roamed the planet relatively recently,” according to the complaint filed July 22 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Shortly after the discovery , a CSUN official told Armitage, “We are not going to tolerate your religion in this department”. Shortly thereafter he was fired from his position….

The discovery is the latest in several recent – and controversial – soft tissue finds by archaeologists: researchers last November claimed the controversial discovery of purported 68-million-year-old soft tissue from the bones of a Tyrannosaurus Rex can be explained by iron in the dinosaur’s body, which they say preserved the tissue before it could decay.

From CBS Los Angeles –

IRS stalls Albuquerque Tea Party application 5 years

Before there were the lost Lerner emails, the congressional hearings and the retaliatory budget cuts, there was the Albuquerque Tea Party, a group of politically minded folks in New Mexico who wanted to get together and share ideas for taking back their country. The IRS had other ideas about them.

Five years after the Albuquerque Tea Party applied for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, they remain in limbo — their application apparently no closer to being approved or denied than it was the day they mailed it to the IRS on Dec. 29, 2009.

They have watched as other groups have been approved in less time, and they say they are mystified as to why the application has been held up so long, after they provided hundreds of pages of evidence and documents that the IRS requested.

“If the IRS, with its massive staff, read only 1/2 of a page daily of all the paperwork we have had to send them, they could have read it all three years ago,” Rick Harbaugh, secretary of the board of the Albuquerque group, said in an email describing his group’s five-year battle with the tax agency.

Worse yet, he said, they still don’t know why they were targeted in the first place, and every explanation from the IRS — that the targeting was by low-level employees in Ohio, for example — has been wrong. Mr. Harbaugh said they have letters from the Treasury Department saying their file was being reviewed in Washington.

The targeting exploded onto front pages in May 2013 after Lois G. Lerner, head of a division charged with scrutinizing applications for tax-exempt status, planted a question at a law forum so she could break news of the activity.

She was trying to beat an inspector general’s report due out a few days later, which said the IRS singled out hundreds of conservative and tea party groups for intrusive scrutiny and refused to approve those applications, which had piled up for years.

By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times –

State board challenged for rejecting homeschool diplomas

Thanks to the intervention of the Home School Legal Defense Association last month, a homeschool graduate in Mississippi previously denied a licensing examination for her desired career can now pursue her dream in the field of cosmetology.

A closer look in a state that ranks 49th in high school graduation rates (68 percent) behind only Nevada, the Mississippi State Board of Cosmetology (MSBC) maintained that high school diplomas of homeschoolers – who perform significantly higher on average than conventional students in academic performance – are inferior and insufficient compared with public and private school diplomas.

When a homeschool graduate submitted her diploma to the MSBC in order to receive an application to take the cosmetology licensing examination, the board rejected her request with the explanation that her high school diploma had not been issued by an accredited school.

Acknowledging the propensity of state agencies to discriminate against homeschoolers, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) assisted the homeschool family in challenging the allegedly problematic policy that singled out home learners for discrimination….

By Michael F. Haverluck – One News Now –

Canadian Mennonites Officiate First Same-Sex ‘Wedding’

Two Mennonite ministers in Canada have officiated the denomination’s first same-sex “wedding,” holding the service publicly in a “church” building in Saskatchewan.

Anita Retzlaff and Patrick Preheim of Nutana Park Mennonite Church officiated the ceremony for Craig Friesen and Matt Weins on Dec. 31, which was held at Osler Mennonite, the childhood congregation of Friesen.

“For us, a wedding is supposed to be a celebration of our commitment to each other in front of our faith communities, our other communities and God,” Friesen told CBC News. “It wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t get married in the Mennonite church.”

“Having these examples that someone doesn’t have to choose between their religion and who they’re attracted to, I think that’s important,” Wiens added.

The Mennonite Church in Canada officially opposes same-sex nuptials, but last year, leadership announced that it would allow each congregation to believe as they wish on the subject in order to keep congregations from leaving the denomination.

According to reports, Nutana Park Mennonite began discussing the issue of homosexuality 15 years ago, when some who were involved in the lifestyle urged the congregation to be more accepting. A group was soon formed on how ministers would respond to the issue.

We didn’t want to be asked by a couple and not be able to respond honestly where the congregation is at,” Preheim explained to the Star Phoenix.

The question was turned back to the congregation, and in October 2012, the Nutana bulletin began featuring an “inclusive statement,” which reads, “Nutana Park Mennonite Church welcomes into fellowship and membership all persons who confess faith in Jesus Christ without regard to their race, ethnic background, gender, age, sexual orientation, income, education, ability and other factors that give rise to discrimination and marginalization.”

Then, Retzlaff and Preheim agreed to “wed” Friesen and Weins, a move that was considered to be controversial as the majority of Mennonite ministers in Canada believe that homosexual behavior is a violation of the law of God.

As previously reported, while the Mennonite Church USA is also officially opposed to homosexuality, some have expressed frustration over what they perceive to be a passive attitude toward congregations that affirm the homosexual lifestyle. Last fall, a Mennonite congregation in Ohio voted to leave the Mennonite Church USA in part due to concerns over what it believes is a lack of discipline against those who engage in homosexual behavior.

“We felt that Mennonite Church USA and [our church] were going in different directions concerning scriptural authority and holiness,” Ross Miller, pastor of Hartville Mennonite Church in Lake, told the Mennonite World Review.

He advised that concerns about various aspects grew over a number of years, but when the Mountain States Conference, a division of the Mennonite Church USA, approved the ministerial license of a Colorado woman who identifies as a lesbian, it expedited matters and resulted in a recent vote to part ways.

“We felt there needed to be church discipline, and there hasn’t been,” Miller said, referencing disappointment that the Ohio Conference failed to pass a resolution urging the denomination headquarters to address the Mountain States’ actions, as well as a statement from an executive board member that he felt was less than satisfactory.

By: Heather Clark – Christian News Network –

Christian Club Kicked Off San Jose State University Campus

The Ratio Christi chapter at San Jose State University received a letter from the university stating that the club has been “de-recognized.” In the letter, school officials explained their actions to be in compliance with a new California State University Executive Order regarding how an organization selects its officers.

Ratio Christi, like many other campus Christian organizations, requires that chapter officers adhere to the Christian faith and biblical beliefs. This means that non-Christians, or Christians who do not feel it is necessary to follow New Testament principles as a guide for their daily lives, are not eligible for officer positions in the group. The State of California now deems this as “discriminatory” and punishable by de-recognition.

“Colleges and universities should be encouraging student leadership, not stifling it,” said Ratio Christi President Rick Schenker. “All college students, including religious students, should have the right to form groups around shared beliefs and choose leaders who reflect those beliefs without being shut down and kicked off campus. Imagine the College Democrats being required to have a Republican student leader, or the local chapter of PETA being required to have a meat-eating leader. The results of the Cal State policy are simply ridiculous.”

In their letter to the SJSU Ratio Christi chapter, school officials explained the consequences of being “de-recognized,” a list that ranged from not being eligible for student funding and financial services to not being allowed to participate in student organization fairs, ceremonies, or training.

From Christian News Wire –

Weinstein Called Out For Anti-Christian Remarks

Michael Weinstein, founder of the controversial Military Religious Freedom Foundation, was questioned about recent anti-Christian remarks he made.

At a House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Personnel on Wednesday, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) confronted one witness with derogatory remarks he made about Christians, which the lawmaker said exemplifies the threat to religious liberty in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Forbes used his five minutes to ask Michael Weinstein, founder of the controversial Military Religious Freedom Foundation, about remarks he made about Christians.

“In a Washington Post article on July 16, 2006 they attributed a quote to you that said: ‘We’ve created this foundation to be a weapon. We going to lie down a withering field of fire and leave sucking chest wounds,” Forbes said. “Was that an accurate quote?”

Weinstein did not answer the yes or no question but instead tried to defend his stance.

“I want to make it very clear that we realize what we’re facing is a tsunami of fundamental Christian…” Weinstein said.

“Did you make that quote or not?” Forbes asked.

Weinstein went on saying, “We are facing a tsunami of fundamental Christian exceptionalism and supremacy…”

“Yes, of course I said those words. I’m proud of them,” Weinstein added.

Forbes then repeated another quote attributed to Weinstein.

“A second one on June 16, 2013, you said, ‘Today we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s Armed Forces.’ Did you make that quote?” Forbes asked.

“I did,” Weinstein said.

Forbes then told the panel of witnesses that anti-Christian remarks like Weinstein’s – not religious expression – represent “the definition of coercion.”

By Penny Starr – CNSNews.com –

Commission says Christian business owners should leave religion at home

By Todd Starnes – FoxNews.com –

The Human Rights Commission in Lexington, Kentucky has a chilling message for Christian business owners who refuse service to LGBT organizations: leave your religion at home.

“It would be safe to do so, yes,” Executive Director Raymond Sexton told me. “Or in this case you can find yourself two years down the road and you’re still involved in a legal battle because you did not do so.”

On Tuesday, a Lexington Human Rights Commission hearing examiner issued a recommended ruling that the owner of a T-shirt company violated a local ordinance against sexual-orientation discrimination. You can read the ruling by clicking here.

Take just a moment and let that sink in – a Christian business owner is being ordered to attend diversity training – because of his religious beliefs. That’s a pretty frightening concept and a mighty dangerous precedent.

“It was a landmark decision,” Sexton said. “This is a very important ruling for us.”

The examiner concluded that Blaine Adamson of Hands On Originals broke the law in 2012 by declining to print shirts promoting the Lexington Pride Festival. The Gay and Lesbian Services Organization subsequently filed a complaint.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a law firm that specializes in religious liberty cases, represented Adamson, a devout Christian.

“No one should be forced by the government or by another citizen to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree,” said ADF attorney Jim Campbell. “Blaine declined to the request to print the shirts not because of any characteristic of the people who asked for them, but because of the message that the shirts would communicate.”

ADF also pointed out that Hands On Originals has a history of doing business with the LGBT community as well has hiring LGBT workers.

But Sexton told me the law is the law. And in Lexington it’s against the law to discriminate against the LGBT community – regardless of religious beliefs.

“We’re not telling someone how to feel with respect to religion, but the law is pretty clear that if you operate a business to the public, you need to provide your services to people regardless of race, color, sex and in this case sexual orientation,” Sexton said.

 
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