A mechanic who said he would never serve gay customers has been revealed to be operating without a business license.
Michigan mechanic Brian Klawiter’s made the controversial comments on his company’s Facebook page last week, when 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.”
He has since faced huge backlash due to the upset caused within the LGBT community, with online calls to boycott his Dieseltec garage in Grandville, Michigan.
However, it has since emerged that Mr Klawiter does not have a license to operate the garage – and refuses to do so, unsurprisingly, on strange grounds.
Local news site MLive reports that Mr Klawiter believes owning a business license would violate his constitutional rights, because it allows inspectors to enter the property without a warrant.
He told the council previously: “This is a blatant and intentioned violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.
“I dispute your lawful ability to do what you claim. I will not sign the application. I cannot and will not give up my civil rights, especially when requested by a government entity for which the Constitution was designed to limit the power of.”
During an increasingly damaging week for Mr Klawiter and his business, he also lost the support of a number of suppliers – including the manufacturer of engine parts integral to Dieseltec’s business.
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Engine manufacturer Cummins has publicly asked to have its brand and logo removed from Dieseltec’s website and marketing.
In a separate Facebook post, Klawiter said that he is also receiving death threats.
He wrote: “Listen up folks, If you have an opposing view to mine that IS OK, what is NOT OK is threats to kill me, my family, and friends; threats to burn down my shop and my home. I will stand firm on my views and will not back down.”
“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.
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.