Michigan wedding venue in hot water for refusing to host LGBT event

A wedding venue in Michigan has been issued with a civil infraction after it was deemed to have violated one of Grand Rapids’ human rights ordinances after venue’s owners refused to accommodate an LGBT event, saying that this would go against their religious beliefs.

The city of Grand Rapids said that their investigation showed that “Broadway Avenue LLC adopted, enforced, or employed a policy or requirement, or published, posted, broadcasted, or distributed an advertisement, sign notice, or solicitation which discriminates, or suggested, supported, or affirmed discrimination, in the provision of public accommodations,” as per the final report.

The citation was issued to Broadway Avenue LLC on 30 September, and they reportedly have 10 days to respond.

Broadway Avenue LLC is run by a couple Nick and Hannah Natale. The couple said that their venue is a reflection of “the values and beliefs we hold from our faith in Jesus Christ.”

“As a result, we would like our business to remain true to our Christian faith and this includes marriage,” the couple said.

The Hatales were asked in a comment on the Facebook page if they had concerns about how their beliefs would affect their business. They responded by saying “The two people that are getting married at our venue must be a man and a woman.”

Their comments attracted a lot of criticism.

“That was a lot of words for ‘we’re homophobic,'” one user said.

petition was started to demand that the city of Grand Rapids enforce the human rights ordinance and cite Broadway Avenue. The petition has garnered over 13,000 signatures this far.

“We hope to affirm that the City of Grand Rapids will remain an inclusive business environment where we do not have to tolerate discriminatory policies, nor do business with discriminatory people in our community,” the petition says.

The attorney for Broadway Avenue, David Kallman, said that the move is a violation of his clients’ religious freedoms, which are protected under the First Amendment. Kallman said that Broadway Avenue would be willing to fight this in court, according to MLive.

“We’re going to vigorously oppose this,” Kallman said on Wednesday. “They’re totally unspecific here of what it is they’re claiming my client did, but the bottom line is we’re going to oppose any claim we committed any wrong here. Obviously, based on their First Amendment rights, that trumps any ordinance (claiming) discrimination here.”




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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