Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Wedding Chapel That Objects To Performing Same-Sex Ceremonies Lacks Standing For Most of Its Challenges

In 2014, two Christian ministers and their wedding chapel known as the Hitching Post brought suit in an Idaho federal district court to enjoin the city of Coeur d'Alene from enforcing its LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance against them, and for damages. In Knapp v. City of Coeur d'Alene, (D ID, March 25, 2016), the court held that because the city conceded within a week of the filing of the lawsuit that the religious chapel is exempt from the anti-discrimination law, plaintiffs lack standing to seek an injunction.  At most the chapel can sue for lost business on the one day after same-sex marriages became legal that it was closed out of fear it would be required to perform same-sex marriages.  The court did not reach the merits of whether plaintiffs' free speech, free exercise, equal protection and due process rights were in fact infringed on that day. (See prior related posting.)

UPDATE: The suit was eventually settled by the city paying plaintiffs $1000. (CDA Press, May 3, 2016).