The city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, said a for-profit wedding chapel owned by two ministers doesn't have to perform same-sex marriages.
The city of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, says the Hitching Post, a for-profit wedding chapel owned by two ministers, doesn't have to perform same-sex marriages.
The city has been embroiled in controversy ever since the owners of the Hitching Post sued the city. They say a city anti-discrimination law threatened to force them to marry same-sex couples now that gay marriage is legal in Idaho.
The story lit up conservative and gay-rights blogs. Wedding chapel owners Donald and Evelyn Knapp said they feared jail time or fines if they declined marriage services to a same-sex couple.
Initially, the city said its anti-discrimination law did apply to the Hitching Post, since it is a commercial business. Earlier this week, Coeur d'Alene city attorney Mike Gridley sent a letter to the Knapps’ attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom saying the Hitching Post would have to become a not-for-profit to be exempt.
But Gridley said after further review, he determined the ordinance doesn’t specify non-profit or for-profit.
“After we've looked at this some more, we have come to the conclusion they would be exempt from our ordinance because they are a religious corporation,” Gridley explained.