Mechanic refusing to serve gay people because ‘homosexuality is wrong’
A Michigan business owner is refusing to serve gay customers – as he believes homosexuality is a sin.
Brian Klawiter, who owns a Dieseltec garage in Grandville, Michigan made the statements on his Facebook page on Tuesday morning (14 April), saying he will give ‘discounts’ to customers who bring guns into his store but will not hesitate to refuse service to gay people.
He wrote: “I would not hesitate to refuse service to an openly gay person or persons.
“Homosexuality is wrong, period. If you want to argue this fact with me, then I will put your vehicle together with all bolts and no nuts and you can see how that works.”
Mr Klawiter said he plans to run his business in a manner that reflects his Christian values, as he feels he would be a hypocrite to do otherwise. He started the post by saying conservative rights are “squashed” every day.
He added: “Enough is enough. Our rights as conservative Americans are being squashed more and more everyday.
“Apparently if you are white (or close to it), you have a job, go to church, and own a gun… That translates into racists, privileged, bigot, conspiracy theorist.”
Hundreds of people commented on the post, with a large number of people disagreeing with Klawiter’s views and many saying they would not use Diseltec again in the future.
According to MLive, one user wrote: “THAT is NOT what Christ is about. And its not your place to pass ANY judgements. We are ‘straight’ but you’ll still never have to worry about business from us.”
Another added: “Jesus forgives and loves no matter what. If you’re going to pick out one listed sin in the bible, why not pick out all of the other ones? Isn’t it a little hypocritical to protest against homosexuality when you’re not protesting against divorce?”
The Facebook page has since been removed – but despite the backlash, Mr Klawiter stands by his comments.
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He told Fox: “I made my bed, I need to sleep in it. I operate my life on Christian values.
“Until there’s any laws passed otherwise, I am still free to serve who I want to serve and run my business in the way that I see fit.”
Discrimination based on sexual orientation is not a crime in Michigan, and although several municipalities have local ordinances on the matter, Grandville does not.
Last year, Republicans in the Michigan House of Representatives passed a bill permitting religious people to discriminate on the grounds of sexuality.
The bill allows organisations, including businesses and churches, to refuse service to anyone on religious grounds. Nineteen other states have similar laws, and many others have proposals making their way through the legislature.
The owners of a pizza shop in Indiana – another state that has passed a ‘religious freedom’ law permitting discrimination – last month raised over a million dollars after claiming they wouldn’t cater a same-sex wedding.