Christian Businesses Targeted Over Refusal to Serve Gay Weddings

By:  Dave Bohon
Christian Businesses Targeted Over Refusal to Serve Gay Weddings

An increasing number of Christian business owners who serve couples getting married are being targeted for their decisions, on moral grounds, not to do business with homosexual couples.

A bistro and art gallery in Iowa is the latest target of a discrimination charge from angry homosexuals after the owners of the business refused to accommodate a pair of gay men who wanted to use the facility for their “wedding” ceremony.

Dick and Betty Odgaard are owners of the popular Görtz Haus, an art gallery and bistro located in a stately old former Lutheran church in Grimes, Iowa. In early August the homosexual men approached the Odgaards about holding their marriage ceremony at the Görtz Haus after the hotel the couple had originally scheduled for the event went out of business.

However, the Odgaards, who are Mennonite Christians, politely declined, explaining to the men that their religious convictions would not allow them to hold the homosexual ritual in their facility. “To us, marriage is a sacrament that exists only between a man and a woman,” said Betty Odgaard. She emphasized to Des Moines' KCCI Channel 8 news that their decision did not come from “an angry place,” but was based “on our religious beliefs. We want to honor that. We want people to know that is our stand that comes from our faith, our convictions. I think we should just stand by that no matter what.”

According to the, the homosexual men, identified as Lee and Jared, have reportedly filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, which deals with possible violations of the state's anti-discrimination measure. A homosexual activist group calling itself One Iowa believes that the Odgaards are guilty of discriminating against the homosexual men. The group noted that the Iowa Civil Rights Act stipulated that it is “unfair or discriminatory” for a business to deny services to a potential customer based on sexual orientation.

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