|Government to Christian Farmers: Host Gay ‘Wedding” or Pay Fine
The devastating loss of religious freedom and free speech caused by pro-homosexual “non-discrimination” laws, similar to ordinances passed in San Antonio and recently in Houston, continues to mount across the country. The latest example shows that even your own home is not immune from attacks from homosexual advocates. The New York Division of Human Rights has fined Cynthia and Robert Gifford $13,000 for standing by their belief that marriage is the union of a man and woman which required them to decline renting out their family farm for a gay ‘wedding’ celebration. The family farm, which is rented out for events and weddings, is also their home. According to the Human Rights Division, special rights for homosexuals trump the religious liberty and private property rights of a family business.
Ryan T. Anderson and Leslie Ford with the Heritage Foundation note the loss of freedom these attacks represent:
“Should the government be able to coerce a family farm into hosting a same-sex wedding? In a free society, the answer is no. Family farms should be free to operate in accordance with the beliefs and values of their owners. Government shouldn’t be able to fine citizens for acting in the market according to their own—rather than the government’s—values…”
Under ‘gay-rights’ laws spreading across the country, Christian bakers, photographers and small businesses of all types are increasingly finding themselves harassed, fined, or even shut down for simply operating according to their beliefs. If government has the power to coerce you into hosting a same-sex ‘marriage’ in your own home, the erosion of our First Amendment rights has truly reached unprecedented levels.
|Houston Voters Prevail, LGBT Ordinance On Hold Pending Trial
Late last week, under intense pressure, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the City of Houston officially agreed in court to stop enforcing the recently passed LGBT ordinance until a full trial takes place in January. The court will decide whether Houston voters have the right to repeal the recently passed ordinance that grants special rights for homosexuals. An initial injunction stopping the ordinance had been in place prior to the court hearing last Friday.
In early August, the Houston Mayor and City Attorney announced that the NoUnequal Rights referendum petition had failed because they were throwing out over 30,000 referendum petition signatures of Houston voters seeking to repeal the ordinance. This was done in spite of City Secretary Anna Russell’s own report indicating that 17,846 validated signatures were found, after only looking through the first 19,177 petition signatures (out of the approximately 55,000 submitted), which would meet the requirement to place the ordinance on the ballot for a vote of the people. Read more.
Join Us at Defending the American Dream Summit
Texas Values will have a booth at AFP’s Defending the American Dream Summit in Dallas on Labor Day weekend. The summit will join together thousands of grassroots conservatives from around the country and will feature Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Rick Perry, Dr. Ben Carson, Gov. Mike Pence and many other state and national leaders. The summit is August 29-30 at the Omni Hotel Dallas. Get your ticket here. We also need volunteers to help work our booth. If you are interested, please contact us at email@example.com.
Catholic Diocese Celebrates Our Religious Freedom & Pro-life Legal Work
The Catholic Diocese of Austin recently sent a letter to its Central Texas supporters highlighting the contribution of Texas Values president, Jonathan Saenz. Earlier this summer we reported to you an incredibly important religious freedom and pro-life court victory that Mr. Saenz was a part of, on behalf of charitable nonprofit pro-life pregnancy care centers in the Austin area. In conclusion, Bishop Vasquez said “[I] pray that this victory motivates us to renew our commitment to protect religious liberty, and thank you for your dedication to build a culture of life and a civilization of compassion.” Read more.
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