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Religious Liberty in peril

Gortz HausBy The Iowa Statesman

 

Yet another Christian business owner’s livelihood is at stake in central Iowa. The owners of Gortz Haus were previously facing civil rights complaints for their refusal to allow gay marriages at their businesss.

Now, it’s gone a step farther. Today, they announced they would no longer allow any weddings to take place at their facility in Grimes.

Now, a number of religious liberty advocates are speaking out. The Family Leader issued this statement:

“It is a sad day in America when businesses suffer due to not performing a function that violates their religious conscience. This further illustrates the left’s direct assault on all of those who disagree with their extreme agenda. This is why The FAMiLY LEADER will be actively searching for candidates in 2016 who embrace the highest standard, which is the ‘Law of Nature and of Nature’s God.’ And who will fully defend and advocate for our First Amendment Rights of religious liberty. Truly, a sad day in Iowa. As we have stated frequently – for those who desire to stay out of this debate, you will be made to care!”

The complaints leveled against Gortz Haus were made at the state level through the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Interestingly, the Iowa Constitution is written to be very protective of religious liberty.

Article I, Section 4, while written in the context of judicial proceedings, definitely shines a light on the Iowa Framers’ intent:

“No religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office, or public trust, and no person shall be deprived of any of his rights, privileges, or capacities, or disqualified from the performance of any of his public or private duties, or rendered incompetent to give evidence in any court of law or equity, in consequence of his opinions on the subject of religion; and any party to any judicial proceeding shall have the right to use as a witness, or take the testimony of, any other person not qualified on account of interest, who may be cognizant of any fact material to the case; and parties to suits may be witnesses, as provided by law.”