An Iowa Mennonite couple was fined and forced out of business after refusing to host a gay wedding at their gallery and flower shop.
Betty and Richard Odgaard, owners of Görtz Haus Gallery in Grimes, Iowa. (Photo: Odgaards)
The Christian couple opened their business in 2012.
The Christian Post reported:
The Christian owners of a gift shop and bistro in Iowa, who were earlier charged with discrimination and had to pay for a settlement after refusing to hold a same-sex wedding at the venue, say they are now having to close down their business completely.
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 gay couple promptly filed a discrimination complaint through the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Although the Odgaards refused to admit they discriminated against the same-sex couple, they agreed for a $5,000 settlement.
“Our faith hasn’t changed,” Betty earlier said after the settlement. “Of course, it’s kind of a crushing blow because that’s a major part of our business and weddings are so absolutely gorgeous in that place.”
The settlement couldn’t deal with the aftermath.
“We can’t pretend it’s going to get better. There wasn’t enough business,” The Daily Signal quoted Betty, 63, as saying on Friday.
The Mennonite couple started their bistro, flower shop, art gallery and wedding venue after buying a 77-year-old stone church in 2012.
Republican Ted Cruz told The Des Moines Register that liberal fascism took away the family’s livelihood.