Minnesota Family Council decries settlement forcing Little Falls business to host gay wedding

Categories: GLBT, Law
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Cole Frey and Adam Block
Cole Frey and his fiance, Adam Block, wanted to have their wedding at LeBlanc's Rice Creek Hunting and Recreation in Little Falls. But when the business owner found out the wedding involved two dudes, they told the couple to look elsewhere.

Frey and Block informed officials in the state's Department of Human Rights about the situation. One of them contacted the Little Falls business pretending to want to schedule their own gay wedding there and received pretty much the same treatment Frey and Block did.

See also:
Mpls attorney Josh Newville leading fight for marriage equality in South Dakota

That treatment violates the state's Human Rights Act, which as of 1993 barred businesses from discriminating against people based on sexual orientation.

As a result, the state and LeBlanc's Rice Creek Hunting and Recreation have entered into a settlement "that requires the venue to pay the costs associated with the couple's wedding ceremony and reception," a release from the Department of Human Rights (MDHR) says.

"In addition, the venue's owners apologized to the couple and agreed to comply with the Minnesota Human Rights Act in their future business dealings," it continues.

In the release, Kevin Lindsey, the state's commissioner of human rights, says, "This is the first public accommodation case for the Department related to same-sex marriage, and it serves as a reminder that businesses may not deny services based on a person's sexual orientation just as they can't deny services on the basis of race or gender."

Even Paul Rogosheske, the lawyer representing LeBlanc's Rice Creek Hunting and Recreation, seems to acknowledge his client erred.

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ricecreekhunting.com
LeBlanc's Rice Creek Hunting and Recreation

"We made a mistake and we corrected it as quickly as possible," Rogosheske says in the MDHR statement. "We did everything we could to remedy it. We wish them the best."

But the Minnesota Family Council, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit whose mission is "to strengthen the families of Minnesota by advancing biblical principles in the public arena," characterized the settlement as "unconstitutional."

(For more, click to page two.)


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31 comments
Shayne O'Neil
Shayne O'Neil

I won't be an asshole and sue someone who doesn't want to do business with me.

Breckyn Avery
Breckyn Avery

Then I hope the same happens to you at your wedding.

Mga Coupe
Mga Coupe

Pay attention to what you applaud next time it could be pedophiles, covered buy the same law. Or the fourth Baptist church renting your club.

Nicole Errante
Nicole Errante

I realize they now don't have to pay for it, but why would the couple want to give business to someone who clearly doesn't support human rights?

Teri West
Teri West

No one cares what you do or do not have problems with Jamie. For the last time, and I do mean last time, it is the LAW. PERIOD. MOOT POINT. STOP ARGUING. GO AWAY.

Jamie Grimm
Jamie Grimm

If a private business wants to refuse to serve me because my name starts with the letter "J". I have no problem with that. If some inbred redneck wants to open a place called the Ku Klux Kafe and only serve other inbred rednecks, he should be able to do so. It's called freedom.

Renee Larson
Renee Larson

I don't think they should be denied the right to marry based on sexual orientation... But I do think they are way too young too get married. 18 years old? This isn't 1940

Lily Ann
Lily Ann

Teri West I get indigestion from devolution. I hear ya.

Jon Eisenberg
Jon Eisenberg

^Yeah, like if you want to claim something is unconstitutional you fight it in court just like everyone else does (such as all the same sex couples who couldn't get married and are winning court battles all over the country). Welcome to the real world. They settled. Move on.

Teri West
Teri West

Your idiotic, narrow-minded opinions do not matter since it is AGAINST THE LAW to discriminate. Geez. You guys make my eye twitch.

Arkadi
Arkadi

I like to imagine the MFC using finger-quotes every time they use the word "marriage".

Teri West
Teri West

Really Jamie? Should a private business be able to not serve you because your name starts with "J"? Thank goodness you aren't in charge of our laws.

Shayne O'Neil
Shayne O'Neil

I hope they leave some extra special nasty "goodies" for the wedding party.

Shayne O'Neil
Shayne O'Neil

Of course it was forced, either settle or spend more in court.

Jamie Grimm
Jamie Grimm

A private business should be allowed to refuse service to anyone they want for whatever reason. Why in the hell would these two guys want to hold their wedding at a place owned by bigots? If I were them, I would spend my money at a place run by cool people.

Teri West
Teri West

Actually Jamie, they do not. Read the article.

Jamie Grimm
Jamie Grimm

No privately owned business should be forced to do business with anyone they don't want to. If a business owner wants to be an ignorant bigot, they have a right to run their business like that.

Todd C. Scott
Todd C. Scott

Umm.. "Settlement" means that the Little Falls business agreed to the outcome. It wasn't forced upon them.

footnotegirl
footnotegirl

The legalization of same sex marriage in Minnesota by no means caused this 'issue'. That law didn't really change anything pertaining to what happened here. The law that the site broke was the much earlier Civil Rights law. For instance, if they had refused to host a same sex commitment party five years ago, they still would have been breaking the law. What they did was the same as refusing an interracial couple or a buddhist couple or any other couple simply for not being the same as them. I'm glad this adorable couple won!

Seed
Seed

Next thing you know, they'll have to accommodate people wearing clothing made of mixed fabrics.

barbertj23
barbertj23 topcommenter

It still blows my mind that there are people out there who think being offended is imposing on their religious freedom.

Do you refuse service, jobs, income or housing to people based on their religion, race or sexual orientation? You're illegally discriminating against someone.

Are you offended that there are people out there who are different then you? Go outside and meet some new people for ****s sake, it's not illegal to disagree with someone. But it does make you a scumbag for trying to act like it is.

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

Color me confused. Are we not "All God's Children?"

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

What is wrong with you that you hate gay people so much you won't take their money? 

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

Still a choice.

_Joe_
_Joe_

or you know.... the law that has been on the books since 1993

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