One News Now reports:
A court in Hawaii has refused to exempt churches from being forced to allow their property to be used for civil union ceremonies.
Protection for clergy, but not for churches
The Emmanuel Temple and the Lighthouse Outreach Center Assembly of God requested a restraining order to block a law that permits same-sex couples to enter civil unions. It exempts clergy from performing the ceremonies, which are the equivalent of marriage, but there is no provision to protect church property. They argued that they would face civil penalties and fines if they refused to rent their property for same-sex civil unions, but U.S. District Judge Michael Seabright denied the request.
Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel Action expounded on this clash between government and freedom of religion.
"It's unfortunate that this judge has refused to grant injunctive relief here to protect freedom of religious expression," Barber laments, "and this will indeed create a chilling effect on the free exercise of religion in the state of Hawaii -- and it sets a very bad example for the rest of the country."