Church Evicted from Restaurant Because they Preach Against the Gay

Posted: August 1, 2013 in homosexuality, religion
Tags: , , , ,

In a link to a Washington Times article, WND posts, “Church Evicted for Blasting Homosexuality.” Seems fairly straight-forward: Church rents space in restaurant for $25k/yr (though the article also says $150/Sunday which is $7.8k/yr), preaches anti-gay stuff that people in the community didn’t like, and restaurant said they can’t come back.

The restaurant is a private business. Renting space. It can do what it wants. This is news?

Only on WND. The vast majority of commenters are quoting Bible verses and anti-gay stuff. I’d love to see if they said the same thing if it was an Imam holding services in a restaurant and got evicted.

  1. The trouble with this is, what do you think of the letting agency which refuses to let homes to gay people? If there is anti-gay prejudice locally, so that an out couple have significant difficulty finding somewhere to live, should something be done?

    One is chucked out for their objectionable sexual practices, the other for their objectionable religious views. (I find the church objectionable, not the couple, myself, but not everyone agrees). Do you distinguish these cases, or would you allow the letting agency refuse gay residents?

    • Stuart Robbins says:

      Legally, under equal housing law, you can’t discriminate based on religion or on sexuality. So legally it’s a non-issue for housing. And though I’m pretty sure that’s not what you were asking, I think it’s an important distinction.

      In this situation, the analogy would be a private restaurant kicking out, say, an LGBT club. Say, a PFLAG group or something. I wouldn’t like it, but I would think that private restaurant has the right to kick them out so long as they don’t have a long-term lease or clauses that let them break it. And from what I understand, that’s the case here, where it was a month-to-month or maybe week-to-week thing, the church group said stuff the restaurant disagreed with, and said they couldn’t come back.

      To return to housing, I might not like very loud and outspoken religious people living next to me, but I respect their right to based under equal housing laws because that’s recognized as a basic human need. Similarly, I may not like living next to a very loud and outspoken homosexual couple living next to me. The phrase “get a room” as opposed to making everything incredibly public is common for a reason, but I would say the same thing to a straight couple. In fact, I have, twice, in the last month … in the apartment above me, the guy and gal enjoy having loud sex with the window open, and I’ve shouted up at them that if they are going to have sex to please close the window. After the last occasion, I made a noise complaint with the complex. I’m getting far afield here, so let me know if I didn’t answer your question.

      • Our equalities law is more extensive. Providers of goods and services must not discriminate, including the restaurant, and religious belief and sexual orientation are both protected from discrimination. In Great Britain, the church would have an arguable case. You were right to challenge my analogy- I think less about comments than about my own posts- but the church has to go somewhere.

        I have been treated to quickly alternating shouting matches and soprano grunting through my wall, too. Fortunately, the couple have now moved away.

      • Stuart Robbins says:

        I don’t know the law exactly here with respect to businesses sub-letting or renting out space. I know businesses can’t discriminate on the actual goods/services they sell (like the florist can’t say no to providing flowers to a same-sex couple), but this is a restaurant on a month-to-month or week-to-week case letting these guys use their space for $150/day. I don’t think there’s any law here that says they can’t stop that for any reason they want because it’s not an actual function of their normal business. I think it would fall into the Public Accommodations law or some such thing.

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