Friday, August 24, 2018

Lesbians Sue Christian Retirement Facility

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The assault against bakers, florists and wedding venues isn't enough.

A Christian retirement care facility is being sued after it turned away a lesbian couple in accordance with its biblically-based housing policy.

This case will have national implications.

Be informed.

The Friendship Village in St. Louis is a Christian non-denominational, nonprofit senior housing community.

When 72-year-old Mary Walsh and 68-year-old Bev Nash applied to Friendship Village, they were rejected because they are a lesbian couple.

Although they said they are "married", the refusal was based on the fact that Friendship Village's "cohabitation policy" limits those who can live together in the same unit to spouses, parents, children, and siblings.

Although Walsh and Nash are legally "married", Friendship Village's policy defines marriage as "the union of one man and one woman, as marriage is understood in the Bible."

So the lesbians sued.

They first filed a federal housing discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

However, they became concerned over the fact that, unlike the Obama administration, the Trump administration is taking religious freedom for biblical Christians seriously.

The lesbian couple have now filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to claim Friendship Village engaged in sex discrimination.

The Christian Post says, "Although neither federal or Missouri law ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, lawyers for the couple argue that if either Walsh or Nance was a man, their application wouldn't have been rejected. (If both of them were men, their applications would have still been rejected under the cohabitation policy)."

The lawsuit not only asks the court to force Friendship Village to change its cohabitation policy but is asking for a permanent injunction that would allow the couple to move into the Village.

The women say they have friends living there, and they should not be denied the right to live there as well, nor should they be prevented from accessing the housing and care they need.

Both the ACLU and the National Center for Lesbian Rights have taken the case in support of the two women.

Do the lesbians have a case against the Christians?

While some LGBTQ activists argue that this is a "clear-cut case of discrimination," conservative Christian religious freedom advocates believe that the retirement facility should be allowed to operate in accordance with its religious convictions.

Ryan T. Anderson, author of "Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom" and a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, says,
"While the Supreme Court redefined marriage for government purposes, private citizens and the groups they form---including religious organizations---should remain free to live out the truth about marriage, that it unites man and woman, husband and wife."

Heritage Foundation has issued a statement on this case which says in part, "The government should not penalize people for living in accordance with the truth."

Family Research Council says this case has far-reaching implications.
"We not only have issues involving for-profit businesses but we are getting into lawsuits and claims against nonprofits...There are many more faith based non profits set up to further faith based initiatives and advance faith tenants. It is much more dangerous when you get into claiming that these nonprofits have no freedom to operate as nonprofits. That is the implication of a suit like this one if it were to be successful."

The folks bringing this suit will, without doubt, make reference to the case involving Colorado baker Jack Phillips. And they will try to use the narrow ruling by the Court "against" the Friendship Village people.

Friendship will probably not be able to make the same case that Phillips made regarding "celebrating" a so-called "wedding."

A Christian owned Michigan funeral home that fired a biologically male transgender worker for wearing female clothing lost its case.

James Diel III, the vice-president of Friendship Village Services' board of directors, said in a statement that the board is taking the matter "very seriously" and is "prayerfully and thoughtfully reviewing this issue."


This reaffirms the need for further legislation that protects religious freedom.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Ut.) again this year introduced the "First Amendment Defense Act." The bill was first introduced in 2015 following the Supreme Court's ruling making same-sex "marriage" legal nationwide.

Although it was reintroduced this past March, it hasn't been taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

They need to get on this.

We also need similar bills to be passed at the state level to protect against individual state discrimination policies.

Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who won his case before the Supreme Court in June, is now facing new charges by the state of Colorado for the same so-called "discrimination."

And finally.

America was birthed from the desire for religious freedom. The Founders knew it would cost something.

If you haven't read the Declaration of Independence lately, take a moment and read it. The signers conclude with this statement:
"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

Freedom is costly, but priceless.

So is Christian discipleship.

Jesus said "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me" (Luke 9:23).

I pray the board of this facility will lay it all on the line for their biblical beliefs, take up whatever "cross" may come, and stand against the coming assault against God's Truth.

Be Prayerful. Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Faithful.