CNA Staff, Jul 23, 2020 / 11:00 am America/Denver (CNA).
An Evangelical Christian minister who runs a wedding business in Cleveland has filed a lawsuit challenging a county ordinance she says would require her to officiate same-sex weddings.
Kristi Stokes, the owner of Covenant Weddings, filed the lawsuit on Wednesday against a Cuyahoga County anti-discrimination law; she is represented by the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
ADF senior counsel Kate Anderson said Stokes was challenging the law because she otherwise “faces an impossible choice: disobey the law, defy her own faith, or ditch her business,”
“My religious beliefs influence every aspect of my life, and I can’t simply put my religious identity into separate personal and professional boxes,” Stokes said. “If you’re looking for someone to officiate your wedding, and you’re hoping to incorporate a cannabis theme or write prayers to celebrate an open marriage, I’m not your girl.”
Stokes, an Evangelical Christian, previously served as a missionary in Zimbabwe and South Africa and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in chaplaincy.