Saturday, June 20, 2015

Homosexuals Force Closure of Iowa Wedding Chapel

In August 2013, Lee Stafford and Jared Ellers filed a complaint against Betty and Richard Odgaard, owners of Görtz Haus Gallery gift shop and bistro in Grimes, Iowa, because the Odgaards said it would be against their Mennonite faith to rent their building for Stafford's and Ellers's same-sex "wedding."  The Odgaards paid the homosexuals $5,000 to settle the complaint and the Odgaards filed a lawsuit against the Iowa Civil Rights Commission over the state's anti-Christian laws, but the homosexualists' publicity hate campaign against the Odgaards has chased away virtually all customers.
“They didn’t come in because the people who are against us are more vocal than the people who are in our court.”
-- Richard Odgaard
For background, consider how homosexualists retaliate against those who resist the Gay Agenda: They threaten financial ruin of businesses, and they intimidate Christian lawmakers, and they sue Christians who won't celebrate "gay weddings," and they threaten to jail pastors who won't perform "gay weddings," and they torpedo fundraising aimed at helping the Christian victims, and they commit violence, even threatening death of Christians.

UPDATE 8/22/15: Persecuted Christians Testify at Iowa Rally Hosted by Sen. Ted Cruz

UPDATE 10/8/15: Lesbians Sue Calif. Christian School for Biblical Beliefs

UPDATE 7/28/15: Gay Agenda Destroys Everything it Contacts

-- From "Grimes' Gortz Haus to stop all weddings in wake of discrimination complaint" by Grant Rodgers, Des Moines Register 1/28/15

Betty Odgaard said after the complaint was publicized that the gallery's gift shop and bistro have always served gays and lesbians, but that hosting a same-sex wedding would be against the family's religious beliefs.

Odgaard said the Gortz Haus has typically hosted 15 to 20 weddings on a yearly basis. Additionally, the couple will stop catering and providing flowers to all weddings. The couple made the decision voluntarily because continuing to hold weddings could make them a target for future discrimination lawsuits, Odgaard said.

The Odgaards have dismissed a lawsuit they filed against the Iowa Civil Rights Commission that claimed their religious freedom was being violated, said Eric Baxter, an attorney with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty who represented the Odgaards. After refusing to host a wedding for Stafford and Ellers, the Odgaards became a target for "hateful and threatening emails," according to the lawsuit they filed. Betty Odgaard told the Register in October 2013 that people were boycotting the gallery.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gortz Haus owners watch fight over Ind. religion law" by Grant Rodgers, Des Moines Register 4/1/15

[The Odgaards religious liberties] were overruled, based on a 2007 change to Iowa law that made it illegal for a business that's open to the public to discriminate based on sexual orientation. . . .

A religious belief defense could have been helpful for the Odgaards, who've seen the lunch crowd at the Gortz Haus' bistro cut by half, which they attribute to the notoriety over their stance. . . .

The Odgaards' case was publicized internationally, and they say they got "venomous" mail and phone calls from people labeling them as bigots. The media firestorm erupted just before the Iowa State Fair, and Betty Odgaard remembers fearing that people would recognize the couple and lash out as they strolled the fairgrounds. She fell into a deep depression for eight months, she said.

The publicity sometimes left Dick Odgaard looking over his shoulder.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read of another Iowa Christian Who Won't Bake Cake for Lesbian 'Wedding'

From "Iowa couple fined for refusing gay wedding: 'We are still here'" by Charlie Butts, 6/3/15

In 2002, Betty and Richard Odgaard remodeled an old Lutheran church in Grimes, turning it into the Gortz Haus Gallery. Their troubles began in 2013, when the couple refused to host a homosexual wedding at the gallery.

"We got a lot of phone calls in the beginning," Mrs. Odgaard recalls, "and they said, Heard what you did. We'll never be back again because you're haters and bigots. So, yes, we saw a decrease in our business immediately."

But the couple is undeterred and now has a ministry called God's Original Design. Their plan is to use billboards to proclaim natural marriage as God's design.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Another Christian Family-Run Business Closing After Refusing to Host Gay Wedding" by Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor 6/20/15

Richard Odgaard and his wife, Betty, the owners of Görtz Haus Gallery in Grimes, Iowa, say they will close their business completely by the end of August, about two years after they told a gay couple from Des Moines their facility cannot be rented for the wedding.

The Odgaards see a 2009 decision of the Iowa Supreme Court as the beginning of their violation of religious freedom. "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 was quoted as saying.

The Christian couple also plans to use the building for its original function, by turning it back into a church. "That would be the most wonderful option," Betty said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Fearing Another Lawsuit, Christian Business Owners Stopped Hosting All Weddings. Now Their Business Is Dead." by Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal 6/19/15

The case was the first of its kind in Iowa, but it didn’t receive the same sort of media attention as the bakers in Oregon, the photographers in New Mexico or the farmers in New York.

The couple says that’s because pending litigation prevented them from being able to speak out, further isolating them from their community.

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.

“Now the precedent has been set,” Richard said. “The administrative process has demonstrated what it will do if this happens [again], so it’s a matter of setting somebody up and collecting money. It’s that simple. It’s all they have to do.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Gay Agenda Defeated by North Carolina Legislature

And read Kentucky Court Ruling Favors Christians over Gay Agenda

UPDATE 7/21/15 - Sen. Ted Cruz interviews the Odgaards (video):