Missouri Family E-News

May 5, 2015

Federal Court Delays Action in Missouri Marriage Showdown 

A federal court has delayed action on a legal challenge to the Missouri Marriage Amendment which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

A three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has placed on hold a case known as Lawson v. Kelly.  In that case, a group of homosexual "couples" demanded that the Jackson County Recorder of Deeds issue them "marriage" licenses.

U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith had ruled in favor of the couples in a tyrannical decision that ignored U.S. Supreme Court precedent and previous rulings of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction on federal constitutional matters in Missouri.

Judge Smith extrapolated from the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment an invisible fundamental right for same-sex couples to "marry" each other.  He ruled that Missouri's Marriage Amendment violated the Equal Protection Clause.

The Marriage Amendment was adopted by Missouri voters in August of 2004.  71 percent of Missouri voters affirmed the historical truth that marriage is by its very nature the legal union of a man and a woman.

The three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit was poised to hear an appeal of Judge Smith's decision filed by the Missouri Attorney General's office.  The case had been consolidated with similar challenges to marriage laws in Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota filed by homosexual rights proponents.

The 8th Circuit panel was scheduled to hear oral arguments in the cases next Tuesday, May 12th.  They have now deferred further proceedings in the case until after the U.S. Supreme Court issues a definitive ruling on the subject of so-called same-sex "marriage."

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments last Tuesday in a case known as Obergefell v. Hodges.  That case involves an appeal of a ruling by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding traditional marriage amendments in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a momentous ruling in that case by the end of June.  Their decision could force all states to recognize homosexual unions as tantamount to marriage, or could leave the states with the power to define marriage on their own, as they have throughout American history.

We will have more to say on this subject in coming weeks. 


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Christians Support 
Oregon Couple  
Punished for Faith

Concerned Christians around the country are rallying around an Oregon couple who have operated a bakery who are being punished by the government for standing firm in their Christian convictions.  Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, Oregon, have been assessed a crushing punitive fine of $135,000 by a state administrative law judge.

The Kleins have been the harsh victims of a complaint filed with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.  The complaint was filed by a lesbian couple who had requested that the store bake a "wedding cake" for their same-sex ceremony in 2013.  The Kleins declined the request, saying that participation in such a ceremony conflicted with their religious beliefs.  They stated that they could not celebrate something that God has declared to be sinful.

The Christian couple were charged with violating the Oregon Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination based on "sexual orientation."   Oregon labor officials subsequently found the Kleins guilty of violating the state law, and Administrative Law Judge Alan McCullough affirmed that ruling.

Now Judge McCullough has imposed an exceedingly egregious fine of $135,000 against the Kleins for the "emotional, mental, and physical suffering" experienced by the lesbian couple.   They claimed that they had been "mentally raped" by the Kleins' action, and had experienced 88 different negative symptoms, including "high blood pressure, impaired digestion, weight gain, and an acute loss of confidence."

In actuality, Aaron and Melissa Klein have endured great emotional, mental, and physical suffering for daring to stand by their Christian convictions.   They were forced to shut down their retail business as a result of a community boycott against their business and all their supplier and vendors.  They were the nonstop target of a vicious hate campaign of picketing, verbal attacks, and personal threats from homosexual activists.  Now the abusive backbreaking fine imposed by the state may force them into personal bankruptcy.

Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, sharply criticized the judge's outrageous action.  "The State of Oregon has given new meaning to shotgun weddings.  You WILL be forced to participate in same-sex ceremonies and you WILL be forced to violate your religious beliefs."

"The Oregon Attorney General believes that the Kleins need to be 'rehabilitated' and 'reeducated' regarding their religious views on marriage," Perkins pointed out.  "Government re-education regimes like this are more reminiscent of fascism than democracy."

"This fine is not going to be coming out of our business assets--the business has already been shuttered," says Aaron Klein.  "They want to take our house.  They want to put us out on the street.  They won't be satisfied until we lose everything."

"It's been interesting to see the hostility toward us for simply abstaining from what we thought was wrong," Klein continues.  "Jesus said we shouldn't be surprised, though, when the world hates us, because it hated Him first.  The Lord can and will deliver us through this.  Even if the state throws the book at us, and we lose everything, we will be OK."

Supporters of the Kleins established a GoFundMe account to raise funds to help the couple pay the enormous fine imposed against them, and assist the personal finances of a family that includes five children. The crowdfunding campaign raised over $109,000 in less than eight hours.

However, homosexual rights activists succeeded in convincing GoFundMe managers to shut down the account.   Officials at GoFundMe issued a preposterous statement that the campaign on behalf of the Kleins violated a policy against support of "heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts."
Franklin Graham responded by setting up a fundraising effort for the Kleins on the Samaritan's Purse website.  "They have taken a stand for the Word of God, and they should not have to stand alone.  When our judges are punishing Christians for practicing what they believe, that's persecution, plain and simple.

You can contribute to the fund to support Aaron and Melissa Klein by using this link:
Samaritan's Purse

In a rare bit of good news on the Christian liberty front, a Kentucky judge has ruled that a Lexington business owner cannot be forced to print t-shirts with messages that violate his religious beliefs.

The case involves Blaine Adamson, the owner of Hands On Originals, a company that advertises itself as a "Christian outfitter."  The business prints t-shirts, caps, and other promotional items, with much of its business coming from churches and Christian ministries.

Adamson was approached in 2012 by organizers of the Lexington "Gay Pride" Festival.  They wanted Hands on Originals to print t-shirts promoting the community's annual celebration of homosexuality.  Adamson declined the order, saying he could not print a message that was offensive to God and in contradiction to His Word.

Adamson contacted a competitor in town who agreed to handle the order for the same price he would have charged, and who ended up providing the shirts for free.  Nonetheless, "gay rights" activists filed a complaint with the local human rights commission against Adamson, alleging "sexual orientation" discrimination.  Human rights officers found Adamson guilty of the charges, and the case was appealed to circuit court.

Now Fayette County Circuit Judge James Ishmael has reversed that ruling.  Judge Ishmael decided that Adamson had not refused to print the t-shirts based upon the 'sexual orientation' of the Gay Lesbian Services Organization or its members.  The judge ruled that it was clear beyond dispute that Adamson declined the job "because of the message advocating sexual activity outside of a marriage between a man and a woman."

"What makes America unique is our freedom to peacefully live out our beliefs," says Bryan Beauman, one of Adamson's attorneys.  "The Constitution protects our religious freedom.  You are not free if your beliefs are confined to your mind."

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