A business located in Oregan has filed a complaint against a church for prohibiting the hosting of an LGBTQ event on its own property. The church was not trying to stop the event from happening, but it didn't want the event to happen in its own building.
According to the company, the fallout of that decision by the church harmed the company, which is part of the reason why they are deciding to sue.
According to the Christian Post, in 2015, the Ambridge Event Center, which rented space owned by Holy Rosary Church, was compelled to reject an LGBTQ group's request to have an event on their property. The church argued that it had a "moral clause" that prevented the event from being held on its property.
The lawsuit is seeking $2.3 million dollars in damages, which for a local church is quite a bit of money.
In the lawsuit that was filed last week, Ambridge claims that the church violated rules against them hosting the LGBTQ event. They were trying to rent out space to PFLAG Portland Black Chapter, an African-American pro-gay support group, but were denied by the church. Ambridge then issued an apology to the group, claiming that it was not them, but rather the church, that was preventing the event from continuing.
Many are claiming that the case is an example of unjust discrimination against a minority group.
Others, however, especially those who are sympathetic to religious liberty and property rights, are taking a different view. Rod Dreher, the senior editor at the American Conservative — one of the premiere outlets for traditional conservative commentary on culture and news — has spoken out about this incident.
Dreher, who authored the important book "The Benedict Option," published a column on the website claiming that challenges like this will continue to exist against America's churches.
"If an LGBT activist group targets a private business for working with a church it considers to be anti-LGBT, and its campaign results in that business going under, will the business owners take the church to court seeking damages? It would seem to me to be a frivolous lawsuit, but then again, in this climate, who knows?" wrote Dreher.
"The fact that Holy Rosary Church has to defend itself in this ridiculous lawsuit is a burden on a charitable organization that no doubt operates on a very tight margin."
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