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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Chris Christie: We shouldn’t let Christian businesses opt out of gay ceremonies

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

NEW YORK CITY, September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that all businesses – including those owned and operated by Christians – must serve homosexual "weddings" if asked.

In a televised interview with Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday," Christie said that while churches should be free as far as their "religious activity" is concerned, all other entities should not be allowed to freely determine their participation in homosexual "weddings."

When Wallace asked the presidential hopeful if businesses had the religious freedom to decide whether or not to participate in gay "weddings," Christie replied, "Religious institutions should be able to decide how they conduct their religious activity.  The rest of the folks in the United States need to follow the law."

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Christie qualified that the freedom he believes churches have is within "religious activity." The Republican contender said nothing about Christians in the public square speaking or teaching about their morals and beliefs or living out their faith in the business world.

Christie has been trying, unsuccessfully, to build support among "law and order" voters.  In a television ad directed against Hillary Clinton, he called himself a "Law Enforcer."  Since the last debate, however, Christie has dropped in popularity among Republican voters surveyed.

Following Donald Trump's example, Christie came on strong, fast, and direct with Wallace in the interview. But regarding the religious freedom of Christian-owned businesses, he said, "I'm someone in this country who believes in law and order. I'm a former prosecutor. ... We need to enforce the law in this country in every respect – not just the laws we like, but all the laws."

During the "Presidential Soapbox" at the Iowa State Fair last week, Christie said much the same thing. "We have a system of laws in this country, and those laws need to be followed," he said, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision constitutionalizing same-sex "marriage." 

"Businesses ... should have to be able to do business under the laws of our country," Christie expounded. "When I take an oath of office as governor, my oath of office is to enforce the laws of the state of New Jersey. Not the laws I like or the laws that I agree with, but all the laws."

Christie characterized Christians who seek to live their faith in the business world as discriminatory. "Businesses should not be allowed to discriminate, no."

In the past, Christie has also said that Christian clerks must violate their faith and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He also signed a bill making it illegal for counselors and therapists to help gender-confused minors come out of the gay lifestyle.

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