Christians File Ballot Initiative to Protect Businesses That Decline to Service Same-Sex ‘Weddings’

open pdPORTLAND, Ore. — A Christian organization in Oregon has filed a ballot initiative that would protect business owners against lawsuits and other penalties in the event that they decline to directly or indirectly participate in a same-sex “wedding.”

The Oregon Family Council filed the proposal, entitled the Protect Religious Freedom Initiative, on Thursday in light of the lawsuits and complaints lodged in recent months against several bakers, florists and photographers in the nation.

Earlier this year, the Christian owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham were placed under investigation after they declined to make a cake for a lesbian ceremony. The business states that it was soon forced to close its doors and operate from home due to protests and harassment from homosexuals.

“This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong,” owners Aaron and Melissa Klein wrote on a note taped to the bakery door upon closing. “The LORD is good and we will continue to serve HIM with all our heart.”

“A growing trend of silencing can be seen where business owners of faith or with conscientious objections are being forced to compromise their individual conscience rights or face harassment, persecution, penalties levied upon them by the state, and the possibility of losing their business for declining to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies,” Oregon Family Council wrote in a news release announcing the initiative.

Current non-discrimination laws prohibit businesses from refusing service based on “race, color, religion, sex [or] sexual orientation.” But many business owners have no issue with serving homosexuals in general, unless it involves participation in a same-sex ceremony.

The text of the amendment proposed this week would ensure that any business owner in Oregon may not be “penalized by the state or a political subdivision of this state for declining to solemnize, celebrate, participate in, facilitate, or support any same-sex marriage ceremony or its arrangements, same-sex civil union ceremony or its arrangements, or same-sex domestic partnership ceremony or its arrangements.”

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It notes that “there are groups pushing the view that religion is purely a private matter and that religious voices or opinions should be silenced.” But “[r]eligion is more than just private worship. It involves public expression on moral and social issues. Religious freedom, our first freedom, needs protection as this Initiative intends to do.”

Oregon Family Council spokesperson Teresa Harke told reporters this week that business owners should have the right to operate in accordance with their faith.

“Would you expect a Jewish bakery to serve a neo-Nazi who wanted a cake with a swastika on it?” she asked The Oregonian.

Harke also outlined in the organization’s news release that Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian once said, “The goal is never to shut down a business [for their beliefs]. The goal is to rehabilitate.”

“It is very troubling that Oregon elected officials believe people of faith or with conscientious objections need to be ‘rehabilitated,’” she stated.

The initiative would need to collect at least 87,213 signatures to qualify for the November 2014 ballot. It must, however, pass other hurdles before the signatures can be collected.

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  • Carmelina

    Stand on the truth .we have a big God that will depend us.

  • neiman

    The woman business owner said she does not ask about lifestyle or question if one sins, we all do, she even said she has no problem serving gays; but, being confronted with an obvious sin of gay marriage, as that is what she was being asked to do, attend and photograph at a gay marriage, and thus having to decide is she was willing to participate and she felt it was wrong.

    The Lesbian couple had other options of other wedding photographers, so they were not denied equal services. I believe that they simply wanted money and publicity for the gay cause, which is based on anti-Christian thuggery.

  • Webb

    This protection should have been written into the “queer marriage” laws of all states that allow this fiction. But the liberal;s would rather force believers to participate in this sick charade or be penalized.

  • Mary Waterton

    About 80% of Americans call themselves ‘Christian’, so “homosexual marriage” would not be happening unless that’s what American ‘Christians’ wanted.

    In the Old Testament the Jewish Synagogues gave themselves over to Baal worship because they didn’t want to be “Baalophobic bigots”. Today American Christian Churches are giving themselves over to homosexuality because they don’t want to be “homophobic bigots”.

    Satan is still fooling people with the same old bag of tricks. There is nothing new under the sun.

  • niecy

    The lesbian couple want publicity that’s what this is about,stay strong, it is wrong. REMEMBER NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR GOD!!!One day every knee will bow ,and every wrong will be righted.Please refrain from making deragatory remarks about homosexuals, by this,I mean the term queer it makes you sound like you don’t know the LORD as christians we know GOD loves everyone. Instead PRAY PRAY PRAY that we all turn from our sinful ways,LOVE ONE ANOTHER, isn’t that what JESUS SAID? Don’t condone wrong whether it’s your point of view or not. HATE IS ALSO WRONG!

    • Arnie

      Amen. Nothing is too hard for God. I agree we need to pray. However we are called to Hate evil and the works of abominations what ever they are. In Revelations letters to the seven churches Jesus mentions:

      “Yet this you have, you hate the works of the Nicola’itans, which I also hate.”

      Jesus hated a doctrine and the subsequent behaviour of the Nicolaitans. God hates evil and behaviour that is classified as wicked, but grants mercy to those who repent. He does not blindly close his eyes to that which he calls wickedness.

      If you say that God does not hates, you have thrown out verses of the bible. Here are two:

      Psalm 97
      [10] The LORD loves those who hate evil; he preserves the lives of his saints;he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

      [3] I will not set before my eyes anything that is base.I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cleave to me.

  • Arnie

    Praise God. The measure will probably pass but we should pray— however, the ungodly globalist-minded court system will then attempt to overturn the initiative for the good of “common cause”. we must pray for the oregonian judges. God have mercy on those who are sealed in the blood of Jesus!

  • Bob Beeman

    Rehabilitate like the Communists did in Russia and China?