WEDDING LAWSUIT: Venue Refuses Gay Couple

A same sex couple is filing a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission against a wedding venue.

According to the couple everything was going fine with the business Gortz Haus, until the owners realized the wedding would be a same-sex ceremony.

Owner Betty Odgaard says, “I’m not anti them as human beings at all. I would love to become friends with them. You know they looked like a very sweet couple.”

Happily married for 20 years, Odgaard says the couple deserves that too. But when they wanted to bring her business into their wedding, she says she had to say no.

”You can`t change what you believe. You can`t undo it,” Odgaard says.

Since turning the couple down, Odgaard says this legal matter has gotten personal. She says she’s received numerous hateful messages and phone calls from people. “It’s shocking. I have very thin skin and so it’s been very hard,” Odgaard says.

After hearing about the couple`s experience wedding planner Scott Stevens decided to help out. He says it`s risky for a business to cut out customers, but that`s the company`s call.

“A company wants to say that they don`t want to work with somebody I think that`s their right,” Stevens says.

Lee Stafford and his partner say they hold no ill will towards the Odgard’s and do not condone any of the hateful remarks others have sent to the business owners.

However, Stafford says they were discriminated against and that’s not right.



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