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GOP lawmaker wants Idaho out of the marriage business to protest same-sex unions

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An Idaho Republican is considering legislation that would end state-sanctioned marriage to protest the court ruling that overturned a constitutional ban on same-sex unions.

State Sen. Steve Vick (R-Dalton Gardens) said he and other lawmakers are considering several options after officials in Coeur d’Alene told the owners of a for-profit wedding chapel that they must perform same-sex ceremonies or risk violating the city’s non-discrimination ordinance.

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A violation carries the risk of a possible misdemeanor citation, according to the city attorney. Similar laws have applied in other states to florists, bakeries, and photographers.

Donald and Evelyn Knapp, the owners of The Hitching Post, have filed a lawsuit asking for a temporary restraining order — arguing that the anti-discrimination ordinance would force them to violate their religious beliefs and Idaho’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“It’s very disappointing to me that they would require a Christian business owner to do something that violates their religious convictions,” Vick told World Net Daily.

The lawmaker said he expects the state legislature to address the issue, and he’s exploring two possible options.

“One is to try to re-establish the standing of those who have deeply held religious convictions,” Vick said. “Another potential avenue that I’m exploring is just eliminating marriage licenses in Idaho.”

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He’s discussed the elimination of state sanctioning of marriage with just a few people, Vick said, but so far the response has been very positive.

“I don’t have a bill drafted or anything, (but) I have discussed it at some of the town halls I’ve been at – (and) actually seems to be fairly well-received,” Vick said. “In my opinion, if we’re not allowed to determine the standards for a marriage license, then maybe we should just not issue them.”

He admits that for-profit wedding chapels such as The Hitching Post occupy a different legal terrain than churches, but he fears LGBT rights activists will target them next.

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“I believe the next step will be to say that churches themselves cannot discriminate,” he said. “They cannot discriminate, and the church will have to marry same-sex couples and not be allowed to say anything. Clearly they’re going after the freedom of the church’s speech through the hate-speech statutes.”


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WATCH: New Zealand prime minister unfazed as quake hits during an interview

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A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand's North Island early Monday but failed to crack Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's trademark composure as she conducted a live television interview.

The quake struck just off the coast before 8:00 am local time (2000 Sunday GMT) at a depth of about 52 kilometres (32 miles) near Levin, about 90 kilometres north of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said.

St John Ambulance and New Zealand Police both said there were no initial reports of injuries or damage. There was no tsunami warning.

But there was sustained shaking in Wellington, where Ardern was being interviewed on breakfast television from parliament's Beehive building, which is designed to absorb seismic forces by swaying slightly on its foundations.

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US farmers are starting to worry as crop prices dip during COVID-19 crisis: ‘It’s kind of glum’

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Dave Burrier steered his tractor through a field, following a GPS map as he tried to plant as much corn as possible amid the yellow and green rye covering the ground.

Striving to get a massive yield out of his crops in rural Maryland is how Burrier hopes to make it through yet another uncertain year, beset by market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and renewed trade tensions between the United States and China.

"We've had so much price erosion that we're basically at below the cost of production. We've got to figure out how to manage and turn a profit," Burrier told AFP.

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‘It’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months’: Trump makes excuses for golfing during coronavirus pandemic

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President Donald Trump was blasted on Sunday for playing golf during the coronavirus pandemic, a dramatic economic recession and after proclaiming churches "essential."

Instead of joining his voters sitting in the pews, Trump went for the links, which drew criticisms for the hypocrisy.

"Sleepy Joe’s representatives have just put out an ad saying that I went to play golf (exercise) today. They think I should stay in the White House at all times. What they didn’t say is that it’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months, that Biden was constantly vacationing, relaxing & making shady deals with other countries, & that Barack was always playing golf, doing much of his traveling in a fume spewing 747 to play golf in Hawaii - Once even teeing off immediately after announcing the gruesome death of a great young man by ISIS!" tweeted Trump.

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