BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Christian advocacy group is arguing that a federal judge should not dismiss their lawsuit against a northern Idaho city, challenging that the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance violates the wedding chapel owners’ religious rights.
Attorneys on both sides of the issue presented their arguments in U.S. District Court on Monday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush is expected to issue a decision in the next few weeks.
The Alliance Defending Freedom contends that the Coeur d’Alene ordinance compels Hitching Post owners Don and Lynn Knapp to perform same-sex marriages.
Attorney Matt Sharp says the case needs to be heard in court to clarify the exemption process.
Coeur d’Alene spokesman Keith Erickson countered that the lawsuit is unnecessary because the chapel is exempt from the city’s ordinance because it is registered as a religious organization.