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

Categories: GLBT, Law
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.

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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.

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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