Illinois Baptist 04 18 2016 E Edition Page 3

IBSA.org 3 April 18, 2016 THE TICKER facebook.com/illinoisBaptist twitter.com/illinoisBaptist pinterest.com/illinoisBaptist vimeo.com/IBSA www.IBSA.org www.ib2news.org Follow the latest Illinois Baptist news NEWS Paxton The owners of an Illinois inn have one year to provide their facilities to a same- sex couple to celebrate their civil union, an Illinois Human Rights Commission judge said March 22. The ruling also includes an $80,000 fine for Jim and Beth Walder, who own the Timber Creek Bed and Break- fast near Paxton. In 2011 Todd Wathen contacted the Walders about holding a civil union ceremo- ny at the B&B. Walder used Scripture to explain why the inn wouldnt host a same-sex ceremony. Judge Michael Robinson said Walders statements and scriptural citations were evidence of discrimination, according to a report by World magazine, calling it direct evidence of Walders discriminatory animos- ity towards their sexual orientation. Walder responded to the judges decision in an e-mailed statement, printed online by the Ford County Record in Paxton. In our opinion, neither the state of Illinois nor the U.S. Supreme Court has the authority to tamper with the definition of marriage.We may be out of step with an increasingly anti- Christian culture, but we are in compliance with Gods design, and that is what ultimate- ly matters. To be absolutely clear, we cannot host a same-sex wedding even though fines and penalties have been imposed by the Illinois Human Rights Commission. Our policy will not be changing....When the heavy hand of fovernment tries to force us as Christians to embrace sinful behavior, we have a moral ob- ligation to resist and stand for Biblical truth. - From Baptist Press Wins and losses for religious liberty Three states acted on religious liberty bills with results that both cheered and dismayed: Mississippi The Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, signed by Gov. Phil Bryant April 5, forbids the state to discriminate against anyone who declines to provide wedding servicesphotography, lowers, and such-based on religious grounds. The law also upholds gender-specific restrooms and locker rooms if the definitions are based on religious grounds. Christian leaders are pleased; homosexual and transgender activists are not. Georgia After corporations including Apple, Coca-Cola, and the NFL called for Nathan Deal to veto his states religious liberty bill, the Georgia governor did so on March 28, disappointing many Christian leaders. Deal, a Baptist, suggested the First Amendment and the Declaration of Independence are suf- icient to protect religious liberty. Russell Moore, president of the SBCs Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, tweeted that Deals sell-out to big business pressure on religious freedom [is] one more example of what serving Mammon does to the common good. North Carolina State lawmakers are standing up for anatomically correct restrooms with the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act passed March 23. It prohibits discrimination against people based on their gender, but the bill defines gender as that on the person's birth certificate. The legislature passed the bill to preempt local laws, such as a new Charlotte ordinance that would have barred discrimination in public ac- commodations based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. The new state law already is facing a federal court challenge: Transgender activists filed a suit March 28 alleging the act violates the 14th Amendment and Title IX of the federal Education Amendments of 1972. - From Baptist Press reports Get breaking news in The Briefing online, posted every Tuesday at www.ib2news.org. Defibrillators to honor DR worker Galatia An Illinois Disaster Relief volunteer died of a heart attack March 29 while aid- ing flood victims in Leesville, Louisi- ana. Don Fulkerson, 77, was a member of First Baptist Church of Galatia. He was serving with a team from his church, his fif- teenth callout in four years of service. We appreciate so much Dons and Margies service, along with so many other devoted Disaster Relief volunteers, said IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams, and we are confident that Don's life and sacrifice will bring eternal rewards, both to him and to the lives he touched. A funeral was held Saturday, April 2, at the church. The service was a genuine cel- ebration of a life spent in service of Christ, said IBSAs DR coordinator, Rex Alex- ander. Many testimonies were shared of his service in the local church as well Di- saster Relief ministry. The family felt over- whelmed by the support and encourage- ment of family and friends, the Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief leadership, and North American Mission Board leadership. The Louisiana Baptist Con- vention assisted with return of Fulkersons body to Illinois. And Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards reached out to Fulkersons widow, Margie. He called while she was at the beauty shop so he left her a message on the answering machine, which now she can play over to the kids and grandkids, explained Debbie Porter, a fellow DR volunteer. In honor of Fulkerson, DR volunteers are raising funds to purchase AED defibrilla- tor machines for the Illinois DR trailers at a cost of $965 each. To contribute, contact Cathy Dudley from Williamson Association at (618) 889-0750. DON FULKERSON culture Judge rules against Illinois B&B Demands Christian innkeepers host same-sex ceremony TimberCreekBB.com

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