Trditional Marriage News

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

By Dustin Siggins March 13, 2015 ( –


Lawmakers in Texas, Kentucky, and Minnesota have introduced bills that would require public schools to protect students from local transgender bathroom laws.

The "Kentucky Student Privacy Act," introduced by State Senator C.B. Embry Jr., RMorgantown, requires all people to use bathrooms designated for the biological sex of their birth. Additionally, students who "encounter a person of the opposite biological sex in a bathroom or locker room" can sue schools for $2,500 "if staff have allowed it or failed to prohibit it," reports The Courier­Journal.

The bill, which has passed the state Senate, is similar to one that has homosexual activists in Texas crying foul. Texas HB 2801, introduced by state Rep. Gilbert Pena, R­Pasadena, requires "only persons of the same biological sex may be present at the same time in any bathroom, locker room, or shower facility in a building owned by the district."

While schools have some flexibility regarding facilities for transgender students, the Texas bill ­­ one of three introduced this session, according to the LGBT activist blog TowleRoad ­­ would also allow students to sue for $2,000 plus associated legal costs if transgender students are found in the wrong facilities. TowleRoad called this the equivalent of "the bill...[placing] a on the heads of transgender students."

Like Texas, Minnesota has seen several bills introduced to protect students from transgender advocates. One bill was ntroduced once in the Senate and twice in the House as a response to the Minnesota State High School League's decision on transgender students in December to allow transgender boys to use the same hotel, locker room, and shower facilities as girls. That proposal would require boys to use facilities appropriate to their physical biology. Minnesota state law already allows women to play on boys' teams ­­ including transgender females who believe they are actually males.

Monday, March 16, 2015
March 13, 2015|4:37 pm| The Christian Post| 

Over 100,000 Americans have expressed their support for a U.S. Navy chaplain who's facing a possible career-ending discipline after he voiced his Christian beliefs on homosexuality and premarital sex during a counseling session with sailors.

In early 2014, a small group of sailors asked for a private counseling session with Navy Chaplain Wes Modder, and asked about the spiritual nature of certain types of personal conduct.

Modder, who has served over 15 years as a Navy chaplain after serving four years in the Marines, answered according to his Pentecostal faith. However, the group of sailors did not agree with Modder's Christian views and later complained.

The commander of Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, Capt. Jon Fahs, sent a Feb. 17 memo to Navy Personnel Command suggesting three different courses of action that the Navy should take against Modder as a result of communicating his Christian belief on homosexuality.

First, Fahs asked that Modder be relieved of his duties and be assigned elsewhere. Secondly, Fahs suggested that Modder be removed from the Navy promotion list, meaning that he would likely never be promoted to the next rank. Thirdly, Fahs recommended that Modder be sent to the board of inquiry, for a "separation proceeding" that could result in Modder being discharged from the Navy.

The social conservative activist organization Family Research Councilstarted a petition in support of Modder and his right to voice his Christian beliefs. As of Friday afternoon, over 55,280 people have signed the petition indicating that they believe Modder was within his rights to explain to the sailors his Christian view on homosexuality.

The American Family Association has also started a movement of support for Modder and set up a webpage making it easy for people to write to their Congress member to voice their outrage with the Navy commander's suggested actions. On Thursday, AFA announced that over 50,000 emails have been sent to all 535 members of Congress.

"I think that it is appropriate for the American public to be outraged over this," Liberty Institute senior counsel Mike Berry, who is legally representing Modder, told The Christian Post.

"This is an outrage. As far as Chaplain Modder goes, he is very encouraged to know that this many people share our outrage," Berry continued. "In fact, it sends a message to him that he has relayed to me, that the American public has his back."

The Liberty Institute has also started a petition in support of Modder.

"Knowing what I know about Chaplain Modder, reading his service records and seeing the awards that he has received, the decorations that he has received, the accolades, the letters of recommendations, to see these allegations and accusations that are now before him that the Navy is trying to use against him, I can't comprehend how this is happening to this American hero," Modder explained in a Liberty Institute video.

Modder has been accused of telling a woman that she was "shaming herself in the eyes of God" for having premarital sex, telling a student that homosexuality was wrong, and that "the penis was meant for the vagina and not for the anus." Also, he allegedly told a woman about the immorality of her being pregnant out of wedlock.

Prominent figures, such as former Arkansas governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and leading evangelist Franklin Graham, have also voice their disapproval of the disciplinary action that the Navy could impose on Modder.

"Today's military planners seem to think there should be nothing but atheists in foxholes, and that includes chaplains," Huckabee, a Southern Baptist pastor, told Fox News' Todd Starnes.

In a Facebook post, Graham, CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said that Navy chaplains shouldn't have to fear losing their jobs when they express their religious beliefs.

"It's a sad day in America when military chaplains have to choose between being true to their faith and keeping their jobs," Graham wrote. "But this is what's happening at every level under the Obama administration."

This is not the first time that the Navy has cracked down on chaplains for expressing their religious beliefs. In December, another Navy chaplain was condemned for telling a suicide prevention class how his Christian faith helped him battle depression.

"It's an outrageous report — one that has become all too familiar in the Obama military, where Christians are being forced underground. Of course, the Defense Department insisted that stories like Modder's would never happen in a post-DADT world," FRC President Tony Perkins wrote in his Thursday Washington Update. "Unfortunately, we have an administration that has little regard for the law, therefore we need to force them to abide by it."

As the pattern of sexual liberty trumping religious liberty in the military and public sector continues, Berry told CP that he thinks the pattern is only getting worse and more severe.

"The overarching theme or pattern is getting worse, but I think this is certainly the worst case that we have seen yet; because really, what is at the heart of this issue is that we have a Christian chaplain who wants to engage in his chaplain duties in accordance with his Christian beliefs," Berry explained.

"Since we have been keeping track at Liberty Institute, every year we compile a survey of religious hostility in America, and one aspect of that survey focuses on the military. Every year, we observe more and more instances like this occurring and they seem to get worse in frequency and severity every single year. This is really not just according to me, or Liberty Institute, but by most people's accounts this is the worst case we have seen yet."

Thursday, March 12, 2015
March 12, 2015|8:04 am| The Christian Post| 

A conservative student group at The George Washington University faces punishment, including the loss of its funding, for refusing to engage in LGBT sensitivity training on campus. The students are now being condemned and attacked on campus by those who claim they're committing an "act of violence" for standing up for their members' individual rights and Judeo-Christian values.

The Young America's Foundation chapter at the Washington, D.C.-based academic institute has refused to participate in LGBT sensitivity training recently made as a requirement.

Amanda Robbins, vice president of GW YAF, told The Christian Post that their objection to the training "stems not only from many of our members' Judeo-Christian values, but also from our organization's commitment to defending the individual rights of every student on campus."

"We firmly believe that there should be no such preconditions for any student organization to be able to operate freely on campus," said Robbins.

"GW YAF welcomes any individual to attend our meetings and our events on campus; our organization has always behaved in a respectful manner."

The issue derives from a few bills that GW Student Association, the university's student government, passed requiring the training.

"The student association does not need to dictate this to us or to other students," Robbins told CP regarding the sensitivity training.

"In fact, the national YAF organization has existed for over 50 years, and in this time, it has consistently treated with respect individuals of all orientations."

Last month, the GW Student Association passed a bill that would create sensitivity training for student leaders regarding LGBT issues, according to Victoria Sheridan of the GW Hatchet.

"Trainings, which would be led by staff at the Multicultural Student Services and LGBT Resource centers, would teach professors about gender identities and using proper gender pronouns," reported Sheridan.

"Student organization presidents and treasurers would also be required to undergo similar trainings."

GW YAF's stance has been criticized by multiple student groups, including the university's LGBT group, Allied in Pride.

"The Young America's Foundation is a political organization, not a religious one, so they cannot seek a religious exemption," argued members of Allied in Pride on their Facebook page.

"And their refusal to use preferred gender pronouns should be considered an act of violence and a violation of the non-discrimination clause required in all GW student organizations' constitutions."

Alex Pollock, chairman of the GW College Republicans, explained to the campus publication GW Hatchet that the training "should be mandatory from a sensitivity perspective."

"Regardless of your views on LGBT people, LGBT people exist. … The intent is not to belittle political or religious organizations," said Pollock. "The purpose of this bill is to make student organization leaders aware that we have a diverse student body and make people feel included."

Regarding the possible result of the controversy, Robbins of GW YAF told CP about the best and worst case scenarios.

"In the best-case scenario, the university recognizes the constitutionally-protected free speech rights of every student on campus and refuses to support the student association's legislation and juvenile attempts to silence us on campus," said Robbins.

"The worst-case scenario is that the university supports this mandatory training and removes our funding and ability to organize on campus for refusing to participate."

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Gene Schaerr / Ryan T. Anderson / The Daily Signal| 



Next month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about the constitutional status of state laws defining marriage as the exclusive union of husband and wife.

The overarching question before the Supreme Court is not whether an exclusively male–female marriage policy is the best, but only whether it is allowed by the U.S. Constitution. The question is not whether government-recognized same-sex marriage is good or bad policy, but only whether it is required by the U.S. Constitution.

Those suing to overturn male-female marriage laws thus have to prove that the man–woman marriage policy that has existed in the United States throughout our entire history is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.

The only way someone could succeed in such an argument is to adopt a view of marriage that sees it as an essentially genderless institution based only on the emotional needs of adults and then declare that the U.S. Constitution requires that the states (re)define marriage in such a way. Equal protection alone is not enough. To strike down marriage laws, the Court would need to say that the vision of marriage that our law has long applied equally is just wrong: that the Constitution requires a different vision entirely.

The U.S. Constitution, however, is silent on what marriage is and what policy goals the states should design it to serve, and there are good policy arguments on both sides. Judges should not insert their own policy preferences about marriage and declare them to be required by the U.S. Constitution.

On Tuesday, The Heritage Foundation published our new Legal Memorandum: “Memo to Supreme Court: State Marriage Laws Are Constitutional.” In it we explain that there simply is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires all 50 states to redefine marriage.

We explain why advocates for the judicial redefinition of marriage cannot reasonably appeal to the authority of Windsor, to the text or original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, to the fundamental rights protected by the Due Process Clause, or to Loving v. Virginia. So, too, one cannot properly appeal to the Equal Protection Clause or to animus or Lawrence. Nor can one say that gays and lesbians are politically powerless, so one cannot claim they are a suspect class. Nor can one say that male–female marriage laws lack a rational basis or that they do not serve a compelling state interest in a narrowly tailored way.

Part of the design of federalism is that experimentation can take place in the states: As the Sixth Circuit noted when it upheld several states’ marriage laws, “federalism…permits laboratories of experimentation—accent on the plural—allowing one State to innovate one way, another State another, and a third State to assess the trial and error over time.” Judges should not cut this process short.

At the end of the day, this is a debate about whether citizens or judges will decide an important and sensitive policy issue—in this case, the very nature of civil marriage. Read more about it in our new legal memo.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Caitlin Thomas / March 09, 2015 | The Daily Signal|


Does the Constitution require the government to recognize same-sex marriages?

With the Supreme Court set to hear arguments this term on cases about same-sex marriage, it’s a pressing question. In February, Ryan T. Anderson, the William E. Simon fellow at The Heritage Foundation, spoke to students and faculty at The Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio about the upcoming Supreme Court decision on whether state marriage laws defining marriage as the union of husband and wife are constitutional.

In examining the marriage cases before the Supreme Court this year, Anderson explained that the question was simple, “It’s not whether government recognized same-sex marriage is a good or a bad idea, it’s whether it’s required by the Constitution.”

The only way someone could argue [that the U.S. Constitution requires the redefinition of marriage] is to adopt a view of marriage that sees marriage as an essentially genderless institution, and then somehow claim that the Constitution requires all of the states to embrace that definition.

The Constitution is in fact silent on what the definition of marriage is, Anderson noted. It is therefore the right of citizens and their elected representatives to make marriage policies democratically, not federal judges:


Beyond the legal question in the upcoming case, it’s also vital to understand the nature of marriage and why government takes an interest in it in the first place.  Anderson explained that marriage plays a unique role in society as an institution which enables children to receive the advantages of being raised by both their mother and their father:


Forty years of social science has instructed us about the function of marriage in our society—as well as the social costs of redefining it. It’s now fundamental to rebuild a culture of marriage, Anderson stressed:

Everything that you could care about, if you care about social justice and you care about limited government, if you care about the poor and you care about freedom, is better served by a healthy, intact marriage culture than by big-government programs that try to pick up the pieces.

You can watch the full lecture here, and read Anderson’s research about marriage and the effects of redefining it here ( 

Monday, March 9, 2015
March 6, 2015|4:40 pm| The Christian Post|

A printing company based in Ireland has refused to print out invitations for a gay couple's wedding.

Beulah Print and Design, a business located in Drogheda, garnered headlines earlier this week for declining to print out the invitations for a same-sex couple.

Siobhan M. O'Leary, spokesperson for Beulah, told The Christian Post in an interview Friday that their refusal was a matter of religious conscience.

"We decided not to print Jonathan and John's wedding invitation … because their decision does not align with our convictions," O'Leary said in a statement that was shared with CP.

"We have never hidden our faith from our customers and represent the Gospel at every opportunity. We are not against homosexuals, however, we do not support same sex marriage, which printing wedding invitations would do," the statement continues.

"We believe the love of God is extended to all people and that He has called us all to walk in the light of His word, for He is the way, the truth and the life."

O'Leary also told CP that workers at Beulah "have often printed jobs for homosexuals" and that feedback for their position has been "mostly from those who support us."

"We are not opposed to doing business with homosexuals, but we cannot endorse through print same-sex marriage or any other known practice that conflicts with our convictions," O'Leary said.

Recently Jonathon Brennan, a former customer of Beulah, had requested that the Christian company print out invitations for his gay marriage ceremony.

A 29-year-old salon owner in Drogheda, Brennan told the Irish Independent that he was "infuriated and shocked" by the rejection.

"We've been together eight years and we've never come across an instance like this. We are hurt and we are very angry," continued Brennan, who also said that originally Beulah had agreed to do the invitations.

According to the BBC, this is not the first time that Beulah has declined to service a given function due to its incompatibility with their biblical Christian beliefs.

"Mr O'Leary said that 10 years ago, they declined a similar request to print invitations for a gay ceremony abroad," reported the BBC. " ... they have also refused request to print materials that promote binge drinking, Halloween, 'borderline pornography' and what he described as 'the dark arts.'"

As gay marriage receives legal recognition in a growing number of places, controversies have arisen regarding various businesses declining to service gay weddings.

In the United States, photographers, florists and wedding cake bakers are among those who've found themselves in legal trouble as gay couples have sued them for denial of service.

When asked by CP about whether or not Beulah expected legal trouble for their refusal to print the invitations, Siobhan O'Leary responded that "God is our defense."

"We didn't expect what has happened since Wednesday, so we don't know what is ahead. However, we do know that God is our defense," said Siobhan.

Friday, March 6, 2015
March 2, 2015|8:42 am| The Christian Post| 

A Christian nursery worker in London, who was allegedly sacked for telling a colleague that God doesn't condone same-sex mariage, has challenged her former employer's decision.

Sarah Mbuyi, who says she was fired from her job at Newpark Childcare in Shepherd's Bush, after she told a lesbian co-worker that "God does not condone homosexuality" in January last year, has launched an unfair dismissal claim, according to Metro.

Mbuyi, 30, will argue at Watford Employment Tribunal that European Union law allows her to converse with adult colleagues subject only to the normal principles of engagement in speech.

She says her lesbian colleague came to her and said she was not happy that the Church refused to allow her to marry her female partner. "When I said, 'No, God does not condone the practice of homosexuality, but does love you and says you should come to Him as you are,' she became emotional and went off to report me to my manager," Mbuyi was quoted as saying.

Nursery directors dismissed Mbuyi, who also allegedly gave her colleague a Bible after she had an accident, for gross misconduct and told her she had breached the equality policy of the nursery.

"Sharing biblical truths out of genuine love for colleagues is being outlawed in the workplace by an oppressive 'cultural correctness.' There is a culture of fear which shuts down freedom of speech and the expression of faith," Andrea Minichello Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, was quoted as saying.

British Prime Minister David Cameron urged Christians last week to be "more evangelical" about their faith and "get out there and make a difference to people's lives."

But Cameron's words are "failing to play out," said the Christian Legal Centre, which is funding Mbuyi's case, according to The Telegraph.

"It's indicative of the sad state we're in that we're using EU Law in Sarah's case because she was prevented from living out her faith in a country which once led the world in freedom and justice," Williams added, according to Mirror.

Schools in Britain, including those run by Christian groups, were recently asked to comply with a new government policy promoting "British values" by inviting Imams and leaders from other religions to take assemblies.

Thursday, March 5, 2015
March 4, 2015|4:15 pm| The Christian Post| 

The city council of Charlotte, N.C., the hometown of world-renowned Evangelist Billy Graham, narrowly voted on Monday to reject a proposed expansion to the town's non-discrimination law that would have made it legal for transgender persons to use bathrooms and other public facilities designated for the opposite sex.

After hearing four hours of public input from supporters and opponents of the proposal Monday evening, the council voted, 6-5, after an hour of discussion, to throw out the entire ordinance bill.

The proposal would not just have given transgenders the right to use the opposite gender's restrooms but would have also made it illegal for Charlotte business owners to decline service in order to uphold their Christian beliefs that same-sex marriages is wrong.

"The Charlotte City Council made the right decision ... A big thank you to the council members who stood against this proposition," Franklin Graham, Billy Graham's son and President of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse humanitarian organization, told theCharlotte Observer.

Rev. Mark Creech, director of the North Carolina Christian Action League, told The Christian Post that although he and many other Christians in Charlotte are happy that the council decided to strike down the bill, he admits that he did not expect the council to full-out reject the entire proposal.

"We were delighted to see that the measure failed," Creech said. "Many of us were really surprised that it went that way. We anticipated that the ordinance would likely succeed or an amended ordinance would succeed that excluded the bathroom provision but the entire ordinance failed."

According to The Charlotte Observer, over 40,000 emails were sent to the city council from supporters and opponents on the issue, while 120 people had registered to speak on the issue at the Monday council meeting. Before a vote on the ordinance occurred, the council voted, 9-2, to remove the transgender bathroom requirement from the legislation.

Creech was thoroughly pleased with the amount of churches and clergy that voiced their opposition to the bill and made it clear that such an ordinance would put women and children in danger.

"I was glad to see so many churches and pastors who were engaged in the process and came and spoke against the ordinance," Creech explained. "I haven't seen that kind of participation on the part of the church on some of these issues since the marriage amendment was voted on in North Carolina almost three years ago. That was delightful to see."

Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the statewide social conservative organization North Carolina Values Coalition, praised the council's decision as a victory for protected religious liberties in Charlotte, as many Christian florists and bakers in other areas of the U.S. have faced stiff legal consequences for their faithful refusal to service same-sex weddings.

"We applaud the community leaders and citizens of Charlotte for speaking out against a dangerous ordinance that would have compromised the safety of the city's public restrooms and the religious liberty of Charlotte's business owners," Fitzgerald said in a press statement. "The Charlotte City Council made the right decision in voting against unnecessary proposed changes to the city's nondiscrimination policy. We will continue to fight these proposals across the state wherever they might pop up."

City councilman Kenny Smith, who voted against the proposal, said the partisan proposal was largely shaped by the Washington D.C.-based LGBT organization Human Rights Campaign and a local group called the Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee.

"I think if it's passed, it would be a clear message to the city that the city council has voted to impose the progressive left's view of morality on the majority of our citizens," Smith said, according to The Christian Examiner.

Although the council struck down the ordinance, Creech does not believe the non-discrimination ordinance battle has concluded in Charlotte or North Carolina.

"I would caution that I am concerned that the issue may not be over. A vote that close, 6-5, may mean that somehow or another that the council will come back together to try it again." Creech said. "One of the things that I said to our supporters on a Facebook post was that we rejoice in that decision by the council that religious liberties are still protected and we are thankful that women and young girls are out of harms way."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
March 3, 2015|4:37 pm| The Christian Post| 

Two Supreme Court justices who officiated gay weddings don't need to recuse themselves from an upcoming case where they'll be ruling on the legality of state level gay marriage bans, despite demands from social conservative groups that they "disqualify" themselves, according to legal experts.

In April, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in an appeal from the Sixth Circuit regarding the constitutionality of state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage.

Calls have been made by some conservative groups for Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse themselves from the case because they've officiated gay weddings.

Kermit Roosevelt, a law professor at the University of PennsylvaniaLaw School, told The Christian Post that neither justice needs to recuse themselves.

"I think it is easy, pretty easy, to predict how Justices Kagan and Ginsburg will vote. But that doesn't mean they should disqualify themselves," Roosevelt said.

"It's also pretty easy to predict how Justice Scalia will vote. There's a widespread misperception that it's somehow improper for justices to have opinions about legal issues — whether there's a national right to same-sex marriage, whether there's a right to abortion, whether Congress can require people to buy health insurance — before they hear cases about those issues."

Roosevelt continued: "We select justices because they are legal experts; of course they will have opinions on those issues. We can ask them to keep an open mind, but we can't ask them to have an empty head, and we wouldn't want them to, either."

"It's wrong for judges to prejudge factual questions before hearing evidence, but they should have pre-existing opinions about legal issues."

Over the past couple months some social conservative groups havecalled upon Ginsburg and Kagan to disqualify themselves from the upcoming state marriage amendment case.

The National Organization for Marriage has launched a petition asserting their belief that recent comments made by Ginsburg reveal a bias on the issue that warrants her recusal.

"A justice of any level — let alone one of the nine sitting members of the nation's highest court — must unquestionably remain impartial in regards to any matter before the court. Justice Ginsburg recognized this fact and invoked it frequently in her own confirmation hearings in 1993," reads the NOM petition.

"In light of these recent and deeply disturbing actions foreshadowing her intended ruling, I am demanding that Justice Ginsburg follow the law and judicial ethics, and disqualify herself from hearing the case pending before the court relating to same-sex 'marriage.'"

The American Family Association and the Coalition of African-American Pastors have also called upon Kagan and Ginsburg to recuse themselves.

Kara Loewentheil, director of the Public Rights/Private Conscience Project at Columbia Law School, told CP that "it is fairly common for Supreme Court justices to recuse themselves."

"The justices recuse themselves most commonly when they have a financial stake in the litigation or issues closely associated with the litigation, when they have close relatives who are parties or lawyers involved in the case," Loewentheil explained.

"… Or when they were involved with earlier stages of the litigation or the development of the law in question as a private party or government employee before they were appointed to the bench. The justices may also recuse themselves for other reasons, but they are not required to disclose those reasons to the public."

Regarding the calls for Kagan and Ginsburg to recuse themselves, Loewentheil replied that there "is no reason for Kagan or Ginsburg to recuse themselves from the case regarding state-level gay marriage bans."

"The justices in question performed an act, at the request of a third-party, which was lawful in the state where and when it was performed," Loewentheil said.

"They have no financial interest or other inappropriate stake in the outcome in the case, and have no obligation to recuse themselves."

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
March 2, 2015|5:22 pm| The Christian Post| 

An Indiana bakery, 111 Cakery, that drew protests last year after the business' Christian owners declined a request from a gay man to make a cake for his same-sex wedding, has decided to close shop for good.

"We have decided not to renew our lease so we are now closed. We want to thank everyone for your patronage, support and friendship. It has been a true pleasure to serve you. Eph 2:8," notes a message on the bakery's website.

Randy McGath, 48, who co-own's the bakery, told USA Today that the business was still profitable but his wife, Trish, 45, who did most of the baking, wanted to spend more time with their four grandchildren.

He said that the bakery went out of business on Dec. 31 and it was "wearing her out."

The Christian Post reached out to the business on Monday for further comment but did not receive a response.
A firestorm of protests ensued last March after the McGaths' cited their faith for refusing the cake request for the same-sex wedding.

"As Christians, we have a sincere love for people. As artists, we must find the inspiration to create something special for our clients. When asked to do a cake for an occasion or with a theme (alcohol explicit in nature) that is in opposition to our faith, that inspiration is not found. We feel that it is important for a paying customer to know when this is the case. Why would you want a cake that is less than inspired for your special event. That is why this week we told a man that requested a cake for a same-sex ceremony that it was against our policy, but we would be happy to help him with anything else," the Christian bakers wrote in a statement about the incident on Facebook.

"It was not that we wanted to deny them a cake, it's just tough to create something that goes against your beliefs. Was this the right thing to say? Maybe not, but this phone call caused us to do a lot of soul searching because we want to be right with our God as well as respect others. We have not heard from this man but would welcome a chance to meet with him. We sincerely wish them the best," the statement continued.

The rejection by the couple snowballed into a controversial talking point in local and national media after that statement, which attracted much support from conservatives as well as detractors, particularly since the bakery was located in a neighborhood in Indianapolis that had been considered a hub of gay culture for decades, according to USA Today.

The couple who attend a Baptist church said they were aware of the neighborhood's gay culture when they opened the bakery in 2012, but "just didn't want to be party to a commitment ceremony" because such an event reflected "a commitment to sin."

"There was zero hate here," McGath, who is now selling recreational vehicles, told USA Today. "We were just trying to be right with our God. I was able to speak to many homosexuals in the community and to speak our opinion and have a civil conversation. I'm still in touch with some."