Ohio Minister Forced to Officiate Gay Wedding Ceremony or Receive $5000 Fine

(Chrsitianheadlines) An Ohio Christian business owner and ordained minister filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against Cuyahoga County over a law that requires her to officiate same-sex weddings in violation of her religious beliefs.

Kristi Stokes, the plaintiff in the case, is an ordained minister and the owner of Covenant Weddings, from which she officiates weddings and composes wedding homilies, vows and prayers for such ceremonies.

At issue is a Cuyahoga County law that prohibits discrimination in places of public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. The law presumably applies to Covenant Weddings because it defines a “place of public accommodation” as any “place for the sale of merchandise to the public, or any other place of public accommodation or amusement where the accommodation advantages, facilities, or privileges thereof are available to the public.”

Stokes, an evangelical Christian, could be fined up to $5,000 per violation for not officiating at a same-sex wedding. Covenant Weddings is a for-profit business.

The law also prohibits her from explaining her religious views on her business website.

Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Stokes.

“Because Kristi offers wedding services that celebrate marriage between one biological man and one biological woman, the County says she must also provide the same services for weddings that contradict her beliefs…

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Editor’s Note. This article was written by Michael Foust and published at Christian Headlines. Title changed by Pulpit & Pen



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