"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Hit 'Em Where It Hurts

A couple of stories this morning that are sure to warm your cockles -- both, as it happens, from one of those bastions of "Christian" privilege, Kentucky.

First, remember Kim Davis? She's the county clerk who decided that the issuance of marriage licenses should be dependent on her definition of marriage, according to her Bible. Of course, she got sued, and, although she didn't actually lose -- the state changed the law to get her off the hook -- there are still bills to pay:

In a victory for same-sex couples denied marriage licenses by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, a federal judge Friday awarded $222,695 in fees to their attorneys. . . .

U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered the state to pay the fees, rather than Davis or Rowan County.

He said Davis was protected because she was acting in her official capacity when she stopped issuing marriage licenses in 2015 on religious grounds after the Supreme Court held gay marriage is a fundamental right. He said the state rather than the county was liable because the state is primarily responsible for regulating marriage.

In a 50-page ruling, Bunning said he was awarding the fees under a federal law that allows them to be granted to the prevailing party in civil rights cases. He overruled a magistrate judge who had denied the money because he said the plaintiffs hadn’t really prevailed.

They prevailed enough to get their marriage licenses.

And, not all that far away, those good "Christians" at Ark Encounter got caught out in a dodge to avoid paying taxes. The story so far:

The Creationists behind Ark Encounter initially said they were building a for-profit attraction in order to get a lot of perks, including a tourism-related tax rebate from the state of Kentucky worth more than $18 million over ten years. But after the city of Williamstown said they would add a 50-cent surcharge to all tickets to pay for a safety fee, Ken Ham‘s team sold Ark Encounter to their own non-profit, Crosswater Canyon, because religious ministries are exempt from that kind of tax.

It's called "shooting yourself in the foot."

Earlier today, the Freedom From Religion Foundation announced that they had sent a letter to the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet notifying them that, because of the sale and new non-profit status, Ark Encounter is violating the terms of the tax rebate deal.

Guess what? They didn’t need to do that. Because three days ago, a lawyer for the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet sent a letter to the lawyer for Ark Encounter saying the exact same thing.

It has come to our attention that your client, Ark Encounter, LLC, is in breach of its Tourism Development Agreement… with the Commonwealth. On July 10, 2017, the Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet… became aware of a quit claim deed transferring the Ark Project land, with all the privileges and appurtenances to the same, from Ark Encounter, LLC, a for profit company, to Crosswater Canyon, Inc. a non-profit company.

And the icing on the cake is that the lawyer for the state quoted Ark Encounter's own website to point out that they knew what they were doing.

Both via Joe.My.God.

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