FIRST-PERSON: Homosexual tactic closes wedding hall

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP) -- A tactic employed by homosexual activists in Israel has resulted in a hotel near Jerusalem shutting down its outdoor wedding site. The same tactic is on the rise in the United States as activists seek to force societal acceptance of homosexual marriage.

Moshav Yad Hashmona, "the world's only kibbutz -- a communal settlement or farm -- for Messianic Jews" closed its wedding hall rather than allow homosexual couples to utilize it for same-sex weddings, Baptist Press recently reported.

A homosexual couple filed a lawsuit against Yad Hashmona in 2009 charging the kibbutz' refusal to host their wedding was discriminatory. The suit was based on a law passed in 2000 that banned businesses or services in Israel from discriminating based on sex, religion, color, race or sexual orientation, Baptist Press reported.

A judge ruled in 2012 that Yad Hashmona had discriminated against the homosexual couple. It ordered the kibbutz to pay the pair 60,000 shekels ($17,000) and 30,000 shekels ($8,700) in legal fees, according to Baptist Press. The 2012 ruling was upheld in June of this year.

From the time of the 2012 ruling, homosexual activists have inundated Yad Hashmona with requests to hold same-sex weddings at the kibbutz facility. The organization "refuses to host the wedding ceremonies because in so doing would violate its religious principles and religious freedom," Baptist Press reported.

"We feel God has given us this piece of land in Israel, and it's a center for believers," Ayelet Ronen told Morning Star News according to Baptist Press. Ronen, general secretary of Yad Hashmona, continued, "To bring gays to get married here, it's crossing the line. We cannot do that. Our conscience would not allow it."

In order to shield itself from legal sanctions, Yad Hashmona has shuttered its wedding hall and does not permit any marriages to take place in the facility. Ronen "said the requests came from people trying to 'punish' the kibbutz for refusing to host ceremonies or from those seeking a quick payoff in damages if the kibbutz refused," Baptist Press reported.

The tactic of homosexual activists is to destroy anyone who refuses to accept their lifestyle as equal to heterosexuality. They use legal or economic means in an effort to coerce everyone –- even religious groups -- to acquiesce to their aberrant lifestyle.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines aberrant as "diverging from the normal type." A recent Centers for Disease Control study revealed that less than 2 percent of Americans identify as homosexual. Since heterosexuality is the overwhelming norm in the U.S., homosexuality is by definition aberrant.

The effort to force the acceptance of homosexuality, practiced by less than 2 percent of the population, is well underway in the United States.

In 2007, a lesbian couple approached the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA) in the New Jersey seaside community of Ocean Grove about renting the Christian group's beachfront boardwalk pavilion for their civil union ceremony.

OGCMA was founded in 1869 as a ministry to provide opportunities for spiritual birth, growth and renewal in a Christian seaside setting. The group has a loose affiliation with the United Methodist Church.

OGCMA denied the couple's request, saying homosexual unions went against the group's beliefs. The couple sued and in January 2012 a New Jersey state administrative law judge ruled the Christian group had no grounds for denying the couple's request and had discriminated against them.

The judge said the OGCMA pavilion had been previously open to the public for a variety of community events, thus it had been established as a venue of public accommodation. The only denial, other than for scheduling conflicts, had been to the lesbian couple.

"When you open your doors to the public, you can't treat same-sex couples differently," said Jeanne LoCicero, American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey deputy legal director, according to a report on the ACLU-NJ website.

Rather than celebrate homosexual relationships as equal to heterosexual marriage, Ocean Grove, like Yad Hashmona, stopped allowing any weddings to take place at its ocean-side facility.

Christian business owners have also felt the ire of homosexual activists. Bakers, photographers and florists all have been sued by homosexual couples who sought their services for homosexual weddings. When each refused, they were slapped with a law suit.

I know of no business owner who has prevailed against a discrimination suit filed by homosexual activists.

If you look at the record of the businesses sued, none discriminated against homosexuals per se. They didn't have signs that said, "No homosexuals allowed." Neither did they quiz customers concerning their sexual proclivities.

As far as I can tell each business owner was willing to sell cakes and flowers or take photographs of anyone and everyone. They only balked at providing their services for a homosexual wedding, a ceremony designed to celebrate homosexual relationships as equal to heterosexual marriage.

Each sued business owner, like the kibbutz in Israel, is deeply religious and does not believe that homosexual marriage is legitimate. Hence, they simply did not want to participate in a celebration of something they believe to be wrong. However, like the kibbutz, each lost its case.

Each successful lawsuit emboldens homosexual activists in their effort to coerce acceptance of their lifestyle. It is amazing how less than 2 percent of the population can force its will on an entire nation.

The success homosexual activists have had in coercing their will on a kibbutz in Israel will surely encourage their march of forced acquiescence of their lifestyle. To those who refuse to submit, they will simply seek to destroy -- legally or economically.


Kelly Boggs is a weekly columnist for Baptist Press, director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention's office of public affairs, and editor of the Baptist Message (www.baptistmessage.com), newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).