August 12, 2013
A Christian couple is facing a state complaint, business cancellations, and vulgar, harassing, and threatening e-mail messages after refusing to rent out a business facility for a gay “wedding.”
Dick and Betty Odgaard said they could not in good conscience allow a homosexual couple to use their business, the Görtz Haus Gallery, to conduct the ceremony itself.
“To us, [marriage] is a sacrament,” Betty Odgaard said, that exists only “between a man and woman.”
She told Billy Hallowell of The Blaze their rejection was “totally a faith-based issue,” adding the couple would be happy to serve the homosexuals “in any other way,” besides being the site on which they traded vows.
The couple quickly filed a legal complaint before the Iowa Human Rights Commission, saying that state law forbids any public venue from denying the use of its premises on the basis of sexual orientation.
As the story of their denial broke, frightening messages began filling up the Odgaard’s inbox, the couple says.
“F–k you, f–k your God, f–k your religion,” said one message from an angry gay rights activist. The same writer enlarged upon his thoughts, adding, “You are mean, rude, selfish, mother f—er racist sons of b—hes from hell.”