June 20, 2015

Gay Bullies Close Down Another Christian Business

 It’s becoming a repeated sorry tale – one after another, Christians who run businesses in America are being forced to close down, pay fines, and are even threatened with jail time because homosexual activists are targeting them for refusing to service “same-sex” wedding ceremonies.
Local and state governments are choosing to deny Christians their 1st Amendment rights in favor of “civil rights” for those who engage in homosexual behavior.

The Daily Signal reports the latest incident of this hateful intolerance by the left:
Charged with discriminating against a gay couple, the owners of another Christian family-run business are being forced to shut their doors.
“We can’t pretend it’s going to get better,” Betty Odgaard told The Daily Signal in an exclusive interview. “There wasn’t enough business.”
Betty and her husband, Richard, are the owners of Görtz Haus Gallery in Grimes, Iowa. In 2002, they purchased the 77-year-old stone church and transformed it into a bistro, flower shop, art gallery and wedding venue.
On August 3, 2013, a gay couple from Des Moines asked to rent Görtz Haus for their wedding.
Because of their Mennonite faith, the Odgaards told the couple they could not host their wedding.
Within 24 hours, the couple filed a discrimination complaint through the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.
“We knew that the business was going to be in trouble almost immediately,” Richard, 69, said. “We had to get rid of the wedding business to avoid another complaint and possibly a higher penalty.”
The Odgaards never admitted to any discrimination, but agreed to a $5,000 settlement.
They also returned two non-refundable deposits for couples who, after hearing media reports, didn’t want to use their space for their weddings anymore.
And, just like other places, this Christian business was never given their “day in court” to defend themselves as the Constitution demands.  The Daily Signal has the details:
The Odgaards don’t blame the gay community for shutting them down, but rather, the state of Iowa.
“I think if people in Iowa would have had a chance to vote on this, it would have never have been this way. People in Iowa are pretty conservative,” Betty said.
“With the discrimination laws and the legality of same-sex marriage in this state, now you have to prove that you didn’t discriminate,” added Richard.
The Odgaards also feel they never got their day in court, and had the case turned out differently, they might not have been driven out of business.
“This was all administrative judgement,” Richard said. “The [gay couple] had a platform to file their case and we didn’t get our day in court with a jury of our peers.”
Like the other lawsuits involving charges of discrimination, complaints are filed—and judged—in the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.
“We knew what the outcome was going to be, the judge knew what the outcome was going to be, but we had to go through it,” Richard said.
Originally, the gay couple asked for $10,000, but lawyers for the Odgaards at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty were able to negotiate a settlement for half that amount.
“Now the precedent has been set,” Richard said. “The administrative process has demonstrated what it will do if this happens, so it’s a matter of setting somebody up and collecting money. It’s that simple. It’s all they have to do.”

Once again, this is horrible!  This couple was denied their rights simply because the system is stacked against average citizens in defiance of the Constitution.  They were denied the right of a jury trial – guaranteed in the 7th Amendment.
This is the strategy of the homosexual rights’ advocates – manipulate the legal system to stack the deck in their favor before any trial or judgment is even considered.  It is very Stalinesque.
This decision has led the to the closing of the Odgaards’ business as The Daily Signal tells it:
After leaving the wedding business, Görtz Haus went on life support.
If they continued to offer wedding-related services, the Odgaards knew they could be subject to another discrimination complaint.
“We didn’t have a choice,” Betty, 63 said. “We would be targets.”
Around town, Görtz Haus became known as the business that refuses to serve gays.
If a group of ladies went to lunch and one disagreed with their opinion not to host same-sex weddings, the entire group boycotted the bistro, the Odgaards explained.
“They didn’t come in because the people who are against us are more vocal than the people who are in our court,” Richard said.
Yesterday, the Odgaards spent the day calling vendors and sharing the news that by the end of August, they’ll be closed completely.
Welcome to Obama’s America – destroy businesses to make a tiny minority(2% of the population) of radicals happy.
But, there may be a silver lining to this story as The Daily Signal explains:
The couple has decided to take their story and use it to advocate for Christian teachings by creating God’s Original Design Ministry.
With the ministry, they hope to promote the importance of religious liberty, “regardless of what your religion is,” Richard said.
They received their nonprofit status earlier than expected, which they took as a sign from God.

As for the future of Görtz Haus, the Odgaards hope that it will return to its original function: a church.
“That would be the most wonderful option,” Betty said.
Who knows.  Maybe their story will wake up more people in this nation to stand up for what they believe.  Those who hold to Christian and traditional values here far, far outnumber the tiny group of radicals that is manipulating government, the courts, and popular opinion right now.
At some point, the truth must come out.  It is the job of all people who love freedom to spread the word.  Please share this story with all you know and do your part to be a 21st century Paul Revere!

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