Skip to comments.Churches May Be Forced to Rent Their Facilities to Gay Couples
Posted on 04/25/2012 10:37:05 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The city of Hutchinson, Kan., is mulling over a proposed law that would force some churches in the community, regardless of their religious convictions, to rent their church halls to gay couples for events.
The proposal came about after the Kansas Equality Coalition encouraged the Hutchinson City Council to add gender identity and sexual orientation to the city's human relations code. The law would make it illegal for churches that rent their facilities to the public to prevent anyone from renting their facility based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
"If a church has a parish hall that they rent out to the general public, they could not discriminate against a gay couple who want to rent the building for a party," states an eight-page document from the city's Human Relations Commission that explains the law. Churches can choose to be exempt from the law, but only if they stop renting to the public and rent only to their members.
According to the document, local employers would also be required to allow employees to dress according to their gender identity. The law will even allow transgenders to use restrooms, shower facilities, and locker rooms based on their gender identity instead of their birth sex.
The Kansas Family Policy Council (KFPC), an organization dedicated to defending Christian values, explains on their Awaken Kansas project website why they believe this "Bathroom Bill" is dangerous, saying, "The truth is that women and children who live in areas of the country where these ordinances and laws exist can never be certain that they will not encounter men in restrooms, locker rooms, or changing rooms at department stores."
Because of that uncertainty, Robert Noland, executive director of KFPC, told The Christian Post on Tuesday that he is specifically concerned with the possibility that sexual predators might use the new law to take advantage of women and children.
"The people supporting this measure don't like this argument, however we do believe it opens up the door for predatory practices...we have to face the fact that that's a risk that could happen," he said.
Noland recognizes that there are a number of churches and denominations that would have no problem with allowing gay couples to have parties and events in their facilities, but other churches don't believe they should "accommodate or encourage" biblically immoral behavior.
"We've had several churches that say, 'Even if this passes, we will not comply if we're approached to use our facilities in this manner,'" he said.
On Apr. 17, the KFPC delivered a petition against the ordinance with over 880 signatures to the City Commission in Hutchinson. Similar ordinances are being considered in the Kansas cities of Salina, Wichita and Pittsburg, and one has already been established in Lawrence.
Meryl Dye, a spokesperson for the Hutchinson Human Relations Commission, told Fox News that these laws are similar to those that protect people from discrimination based on race.
"They would not be able to discriminate against gay and lesbian or transgender individuals," said Dye. "That type of protection parallels to what you find in race discrimination. If a church provides lodging or rents a facility they could not discriminate based on race. It's along that kind of thinking."
But Jonathan Saenz, director of legislative affairs for the Liberty Institute, says race is different because it is an "immutable characteristic." He also says the proposed law is at odds with the religious freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment.
"There are major constitutional violations and concerns here," said Saenz. "Obviously when the government tries to force a private religious institution to do anything, the government's going to find themselves in...hot water."
Another problem is that some of the definitions for terms used in the law are too vague, he says. One such example is the phrase "gender identity."
"What it really means is: when someone rolls out of bed one day they can decide whether they want to be a man, a woman or something in between," said Saenz
Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, also believes the law is unconstitutional. He told CP in an emailed statement that Hutchinson appears to want to "force churches back into their own four walls."
"It is the church that decides what is acceptable for itself under its religious doctrine and it is not the government's role to force a church to violate that doctrine," he said. "This ordinance should never pass because it is unconstitutional. But if it does and Hutchinson attempts to force churches to violate their religious beliefs, ADF will not hesitate to use the legal process to protect the constitutional rights of churches."
The only way to prevent space rental issues is to limit rentals to members only. I don’t know if there are tax laws that are impacted by that. I also know that rental income can be significant for some congregations.
The phrase, “is nothing sacred” comes to mind.
Will they be forcing the mosques to rent their facilities to homosexuals?
Didn’t think so.
so much for separation of church and state
more like submission of the church to the (secular) state
“According to the document, local employers would also be required to allow employees to dress according to their gender identity. The law will even allow transgenders to use restrooms, shower facilities, and locker rooms based on their gender identity instead of their birth sex.”
No. Just because some delusional individual wants to pretend to be something that he is not is no justification for anyone else to be required to have to “play along” with the charade.
Under the same oppressive government logic, religion MUST be allowed back into public schools, public spaces. After all it is all about FAIR. Right?
This is wonderful news to my ears, all these years the leftist churches have supported the socialist agenda and even supported parts of the homosexual agenda.
I would love to see the looks on these good little socialist church leaders when the drag queens come to rent their church to be married in........and the flock never comes back or gives them money ever again.
Even if a church charged a fee to use its facilities, it always have restrictions on how that facility is used due to its being a church.
You would not, for example, see a strip bachelor party getting approved. It isn’t the characteristics of the participants that matter; it’s the event itself and any accompanying behavior.
So, we could never permit a gay marriage in our church. For one thing, it is against our beliefs. Additionally, it’s directly opposed to the voted upon standards of the entire denomination.
So, the government has no leg to stand on.
Moreover, in our case, we don’t “rent” or charge a “fee”. If asked if they can donate, we tell them that others have.
So, building use is determined first by schedule and then by event.
BTW, requiring a church to have “members” is a violation of free exercise. Some religions do not believe in “membership”.
This is an attack on Christianity.
I hate the way the GLBTQ community keep pushing for more.
At first they wanted Tolerance in the vein of “Not beating up people who are queer on the streets for how they behave in their private lives” Which is fine, Tolerance is fine and dandy just don’t “piss in my cornflakes” and I won’t piss in yours, whatever.
But now like little children with mommy and daddy issues they want out and out “Acceptance” to the point that the LARGE CLUMSY HAND of the GOVERNMENT is involved in FORCING it upon those who mildly dislike their lifestyle choices.
You cannot legislate Acceptance, it is a social meme and thus cannot be legislated or forced on an unwilling majority public. When it is legislated there is always a backlash by those being forced, those short sighted morons over at the GLBTQ side don’t see they are doing more long term damage to their “cause” because of this simple fact.
They have forgotten the difference between Tolerance and Acceptance and they crossed that line a LONG time ago. Acceptance is another form of Entitlement in the way the far left uses it.
They are like the small child who keeps screaming LOVE ME, LOVE ME, LOVE ME!!!!, in a shrill and off putting scream, which makes it impossible for anyone to ACTUALLY LOVE them because they are so damned annoying.
Also the fact that the organizations that were formed in order to stop the deadly beatings of homosexuals have more or less achieved their goal YEARS AGO, but the people in those organizations never declared victory and disbanded/scaled back, they became a self supporting meme that keeps searching for more and more things to justify themselves. Ironically this has the effect of sometimes ignoring the modern day beatings of Homosexuals who are not “on the same page” or worse yet using the modern day beatings as justification for pushing Acceptance instead of Tolerance.
The civil rights movement also suffers from this as well.
They are not entitled to the usage of a PRIVATE CHURCH if they want to use it to get gay-married. They should simply find a church that does support such a thing and stop the whining like a small spoiled child.
If a private club like Augusta National Golf Club can’t be forced to admit women, I don’t see how a church can be forced to do anything either.
I hope the people in this area get rid of the people who are doing this. What about the individual rights of the normal? Where in the Constitution does it say individuals must not only tolerate but accept with open arms the most vile and disgusting of behaviors?
Homosexuality isn't referred to as an abomination for nothing. It explains it all perfectly.
They never should have let the homos out of the insane asylums. They were put there for a good reason. That was one of the worst mistakes our government has ever made. The world will be paying for that mistake for at least another generation - until the filth of it all comes to light.
Yeah. It's an "In your face" to God Almighty.
I believe in natural law. Nature has a way of cleansing itself to insure the survival of the species.
I believe AIDs was natures attempt at getting rid of the homosexuals, but man kind stood in the way. I believe nature will try again, but will do a better job next time. Unfortunately, innocent people will probably suffer because of it, but keeping the human race pure is the ultimate goal of the cleansing.
This all homosexuality will come to an grizzly end, and I think it'll be sooner rather than later. You don't mess with natural laws. They always win. There's going to be another super bug, a faster and more devastating form of AIDs heading their way. In short, they're going to be eaten alive by their own infected bile (It's their own deathstyle choice, so there will be no need to mourn for them). So will it be.
Easy solution: only rent to those designated as ministers by the parish. Thus if someone desires to rent the facility, the parish will have a written vote to elect them as a minister of the parish prior to renting. (Maybe not officially renting, but making “an offering” in support of “their” parish. Other big advantages in that, too, as it avoids HUD rules.)
There is a subtle distinction in the law, determined in a recent Supreme Court case, that clergy do not come under EEOC rules, and that religions and churches may hire, fire and do business with them at will.
I’m sure some legal details would need to be ironed out first, but if done properly, it would return the right of ownership to the church, not bureaucrats. Which would be a huge victory.
Probably time to do a serious background investigation.
Augusta is members only and not public. It’s a private paid membership club.
A church would have to rent only to church members and not the general public. Even then, a gay “couple” might be church members...
These rules were inevitable once the can of worms got opened.
Polygamy will be legal next. Very hard to deny it once you’ve allowed anybody to “marry” anybody.
So what, now they want me to help them fight this battle while for 30 years that have sought to destroy what I value?
Did they really think they could support the devil and stay clean? Now, that what they have, their buildings, are in danger and their way to bring their slimy message of socialism and god are together.
It isn’t an attack on my church or my religion, God has no part in what most of these churches have been teaching the 20 years.
THey are now reaping the harvest they have sown.....
Oh and don’t forget that these Christians vote these socialists in to office.
Glory to God as I watch these christians, (not) reap the harvest they have sown.
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Exactly. It’s interesting how separation of church and state doesn’t apply when it comes to the state.
ok - say you rent the building out to them.
how do you then disinfect an entire building so it can be of use afterwards?
Another attack on religious liberty.
Dude,did you really call AIDS God’s curse? Most people with AIDS are Latinos or African Americans. What you said is very offensive,no one deserves to die. Feel free to be on my ignore list for that comment.
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