A religious couple who own and operate a wedding venue in Iowa have become the most recent targets of First Amendment-bashing gay activists.
The state’s Civil Rights Commission is investigating a complaint filed by a homosexual couple turned away by the venue’s Mennonite owners, who would be violating their own beliefs by hosting a same-sex ceremony.
Betty Odgaard, who initially denied the reservation, said she has no animosity toward the gay couple.
“I would love to become friends with them,” she said, though she cannot set aside deeply held religious convictions.
For their part, the gay couple seems to have no personal vendetta against the Odgaards. One of the men, Lee Stafford, said he has defended the venue’s owners against hateful comments made by others. Still, he and his partner went forward with their complaint.
A statewide homosexual advocacy group jumped on the bandwagon by issuing its own statement condemning the free exercise of religion.
After comparing the Odgaard’s principled but courteous stance with the reprehensible Jim Crow laws enacted by the Democrats of yesteryear, One Iowa’s Executive Director Donna Red Wing’s comments pay lip service to the Odgaards’ “deeply held religious beliefs and convictions.”
Still, she contends, they should be compelled by force of law to violate those tenets.
The free market works if given an opportunity. When business owners are allowed to make their own decisions, they are held accountable by the public. The Odgaards’ policy could prove to be either detrimental, beneficial, or neutral to their business in general; but, it should be their choice to make.
In recent decades, these freedoms have been replaced by an activist government forcing the hands of entrepreneurs, often against their own personal or professional best interest.