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Covenant Weddings v. Cuyahoga County

Court: Trial Court

Status: Active

Last Updated: 7/23/2020


Kristi Stokes is a wedding officiant and creative writer who opened her business, Covenant Weddings LLC, in August of 2019. She operates Covenant Weddings as a means of pursuing her spiritual calling to share her faith, celebrate marriage, and glorify God. To do that, Kristi both officiates weddings and writes custom homilies, vows, and prayers for wedding ceremonies. Kristi’s religious beliefs about marriage are central to her role as a wedding officiant and writer. Kristi always incorporates scriptural references in the homilies, vows, and prayers she writes and delivers. And for her officiant duties, she performs and celebrates each marriage as a sacred union before God. So it is essential that all weddings she performs are consistent with her religious beliefs. But Cuyahoga County, Ohio, recently passed a law that requires Kristi to offer and perform same-sex weddings, even though she believes marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Because of this, Kristi has to operate her business in constant fear of being investigated, prosecuted, and fined thousands of dollars. Kristi has challenged the law to ensure she can continue to operate her business in accord with her faith and core values.

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Kate Anderson

Senior Counsel

Kate Anderson serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a key member of the Center for Conscience Initiatives.

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