After two years of fighting it, a Mennonite couple from Grimes Iowa has settled a discrimination suit against them. The business, which was once a Lutheran church and now is an art gallery, had become a popular place for people to hold their wedding ceremony. Now they have stopped offering this service.
A Mennonite couple has paid a $5,000 settlement and has decided to discontinue hosting all weddings at their church-turned-art gallery after they became the subject of a discrimination complaint two years ago.
They further report:
According to reports, Lee Stafford and his partner Jared visited the The Gortz Haus Gallery in 2013 to obtain information about using the facility for their upcoming ceremony. However, when Dick Odgaard realized that the men were seeking to use the premises to host a homosexual “wedding,” he informed them that the venue does not host same-sex ceremonies.
Because the Odgaard’s are Christian, they felt it would be a violation of their consciences to allow the ceremony in their facilities. And even though they sought to be as accommodating as their faith would allow, they still received threatening and offensive reactions.
Betty also told reporters that she advised the men that she and her husband would be willing to provide other services, such as offering flowers or cake, but that Stafford and his partner could not exchange vows on the premises.
And this explains the situation. It is never enough that you accommodate. It is never enough that you do not condemn the sodomites. You have to agree. The business owner has to concede that what is happening is acceptable and that they support the actions.
Remember, the Odgaards never said they were going to oppose the ceremony publicly. They were not out seeking a fight. They simply wanted the right that all business people use to have in our country. They wanted the right to refuse service to anyone at their discretion. This right is sacrificed to the supposed right of these two men to marry each other.
Betty explained their stance on the ceremony:
“I do not hate these people and they have the right to do what they want to do under the law and in humanity.”
The Odgaards were not seeking to deny the law passed in Iowa in 2009, nor were they seeking to publicize their stand. Rather, these business owners wanted the right to live according to their beliefs. For this, they paid $5000.00 in a settlement. Though they did nothing wrong, they might have to close their doors.
Christiannews.net further reported:
“Of course, it’s kind of a crushing blow because that’s a major part of our business and weddings are so absolutely gorgeous in that place.”
Odgaard says she is concerned for the future of her business without the wedding income, but had stated in 2013 that she would “sooner shut down the gallery than violate [her] beliefs.”
May God grant that they be richly rewarded for their stand against what they believe to be wrong. And if you are in Grimes, Iowa; stop by the Gortz Haus Gallery and buy something. And let the Odgaards know you support them.