An interesting legal wrinkle in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho has drawn the national microscope after Donald and Evelyn Knapp—two ordained ministers who run a wedding chapel called the Hitching Post—moved for a temporary restraining order to be brought against an antidiscrimination ordinance.
Essentially, Idaho has banned discrimination against same-sex couples. That ordinance makes an exception for religious institutions like churches, but the Hitching Post is a for-profit business—which means the Knapps could be committing a misdemeanor by refusing to marry same-sex couples. “If you turn away a gay couple, refuse to provide services for them, then in theory you violated our code and you’re looking at a potential misdemeanor citation,” Warren Wilson with the Coeur d’Alene City Attorney’s Office said.
The Knapps are saying such a law is unconstitutional—and most law experts seem to agree with them. Eugene Volokh, who teaches free speech law, religious freedom law and church-state relations law at UCLA, writes in The Washington Post that "Whatever interests there may be in equal access to jobs, to education, or even in most public accommodations, I don’t see how there would be a “compelling” government interest in preventing discrimination in the provision of ceremonies, especially ceremonies conducted by ministers in chapels" ... Discuss