1. Steve says

    Before anyone gets going, please remember the usual applicable issue is whether the state of Iowa or the city has anti discriminatory laws in place not the marriage question. A commercial venue is usually guided by that set of regulations. In California, for example, we had in place laws to prevent discrimination Long long before we had marriage rights. To claim she doesn’t want to because of her religion could be smoke screen if Iowa has the same laws she has no case and she could have been violating the law for years not just now. Can anyone answer if Iowa has protections in place? Then I would also like to remind her about render unto Caesar. In other word her Christ told her to follow the laws of the country.

  2. anon says

    @Steve…. Yes, Iowa has non-discrimination laws for public accomodation that cover sexual orientation.

  3. bobbyjoe says

    Oh, dear, you poor woman, how upsetting that you’re worried about being “ostracized.” You poor thing, I wonder what that must feel like? Perhaps you should ask the two men you JUST GOT THROUGH OSTRACIZING, you evil twisted ugly awful hypocritical bigot.

  4. says

    They’ve had the non-discrimination law since 2007.
    She’s broken that law.
    She should be sued and they should go elsewhere.

  5. says

    I guarantee this lady doesn’t quiz her other potential clients to see if their morals and beliefs line up with hers. How people can’t see this type of thing as textbook discrimination is beyond me.

    Since when do customers’ morals and religious beliefs have to line up with the people selling them goods and services? It’s so bizarre.

  6. says

    @Steve: According to the HRC, IA is among the states banning discrimination in public accommodations based on sexual orientation. So, it appears to be another case of the religious believing that a non-discrimination law that has been in place for years somehow doesn’t apply to them because their beliefs are special. Would she feel the same way if her daughter was turned away from a marriage venue because she’s a Mennonite? Unlikely. They never realize that the same law would protect them.

    And, of course, religious zealots don’t understand that they’re free to believe whatever they want; they’re just not free to inflict those beliefs on the public and insert them into a public business in violation of established state law.

  7. northalabama says

    for me, the argument goes back to this – have they refused divorced clients wanting to re-marry, or refused clients who have had pre-marital sex wanting to marry? have they married any other “sinners”?

    sounds like they are cherry pickin’ which sins they personally find offensive to refuse, so it has nothing to do with religion, and they are guilty of discrimination. this old argument is easy to bust.

  8. Hawthorne says

    If the other commenters are correct on Iowa’s non-discrimination law, then she has clearly broken the law. Still, I’m torn as to what is best to do in response. There is power and a message in pursuing a law suit, and there is also power and a message in simply taking one’s business elsewhere.

  9. spg says

    I wonder if she has this fear reaction to African American Muslims, or Hindu Indians, or perhaps she is an equal opportunity bigot? If I was a community small business leader, I would want my community to support my lively hood. I guess if you built barriers high enough you can pretend to live in your own special world….

  10. LiamB says

    I’d have a lot more respect for these people who refuse GLBT services based on their “religious beliefs” if said people ever actually refused services to others who were also against those “beliefs.” When you continue to provide services to non-Christians, divorcees, fornicators, alcoholics and everyone else, but magically find God when dealing with gays, somehow your excuse comes off a bit hypocritical.

  11. 1♥ says

    RE:”Can I have my beliefs without being ostracized for that? I think I have my right too, and to stand firm my convictions and beliefs,” said Odgaard.

    So she must also stand by the KKK in their beliefs. Or religious groups that believe women should have no rights.

  12. db says

    No one has the right “not to be ostracized” for their beliefs. She can believe whatever she wants whether it be white supremacist or anti-gay–but once she’s made that clear she can’t avoid the consequences of that and ostracization could be one of those.

  13. Gigi says

    Of course the usual suspects are crying that the owners have the right to refuse service to gay people because of their “deeply held religious beliefs.” Not according to the law they don’t.

    161—10.2 (216) Discrimination prohibited. No person shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion or disability by any public accommodation by:

    10.2(2) Subjecting any individual to segregation or separate treatment in any matter related to that individual’s receipt of any disposition, service, financial aid, or benefit provided to other members of the general public.

  14. Matt27 says

    Yes, she is entitled to her views and we are entitled to react to them, we all have our responsibility to our opinions. So Betty, get use to it!

  15. woody says

    news reporters have to start doing a better job. this reporter should have said that discrimination in public accommodation is illegal, not that the gay spouse is going to pursue “what he calls discrimination.”
    reporters need to start stating relevant facts in their stories, not just reporting what adversaries say. this is irresponsible.

  16. YsoSerious says

    It’s odd, I’ve known other Mennonites and they’ve been accepting and celebratory of LGBT folks. I think she’s just a dweeb (and she’ll be a poorer dweeb eventually because these folks always lose money on the deal). Idiocy is not a function of religion, but it cannot prevent idiocy if you already are an idiot.

    The saddest part is, TRUE Conservatives see this entire sort thing as a stupid smokescreen. You can believe anything you want, but TAKE THE CUSTOMER’S MONEY.

  17. Jellybean says

    I, also, thought that Mennonites were gay-friendly. And, had no problems with same-sex marriage.

  18. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    I’d love to tell her about the Mennonite bf I had some 15 years ago. I still think about him. HIs family were Mennonite missionaries from Kansas. DAMN he was hot.

  19. The Milkman says

    The only way these bigots will learn is to hit them in the pocketbook, unfortunately. Sue her. Take over the business. Run it ethically to show that non-discrimination isn’t just the law, it’s good business.

  20. Bart says

    Sue and sue again. Bankrupt the establishment with massive claims for emotional distress. She is entitled to believe what she wants. But she is not entitled to break the law without consequence and … in the best case scenario … jail time and a permanent record.

  21. matt says

    If she denied a hetero-mixed race couple, would she still feel ostracized? what these people don’t get is that discrimination is still discrimination regardless. She wouldn’t deny a black couple would she? cause she knows the backlash but she gets upset cause theres a backlash over a gay couple. amazing.

  22. jackJake says

    I think the question is, are gays and lesbians being singled out by a cherry picking “christian”.. If she’s just a staunch Christian and runs her venue accordingly, then I assume she’s also not allowing Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, jewish wedding receptions etc.. Otherwise this is just another anti gay bigot just doing it to be an ass..

  23. Steve says

    thanks for the information about Iowan law. If she is a legitimate business owner, she has a license and that license requires her to follow the laws, no exemption for religious beliefs. I would sue her for discrimination with any penalties paid to LGBT protection groups in Iowa. This case could get her license pulled also. It has nothing to do with minorities pushing their agendas; it has everything to do with commercial law. My gut feeling is as others have posted it’s all about gays, not about other minorities. My late mother-in-law (now I can legally say that, was a European Mennonite before she converted to Catholicism for her husband, treated me and called me her “other” son.
    Better than just suing her make her wear a big “D” on all her clothing for “Discriminator” (a la Hester Prynne).
    BTW Mennonite religious groups are split, some welcoming and some not, it would be interesting to find out if she is in a “Welcoming Congregation” or not. can tell you more.

  24. SFRowGuy says

    @Kev C: I was going to say, is Mennonite a religion or a cult? It’s not very wide spread, in any case.

  25. says

    ‘Can’t I have my beliefs?’
    This is the battlecry trope of the clueless. No one is denying you your beliefs. What society’s anti-discrimination laws are telling you is that your beliefs cannot be used at your selective whim to harm the greater good of that society.

    In civil society the emphasis is on civil. As in civil rights. She and others of her ilk ignore the fact that anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT civil rights, also protect her civil rights as well. But of course that reality rarely enters the mind of a heteronormative white privileged bigot. Zero empathy. No ability to see the world from anyone’s else’s perspective. Let her one time live in a situation where she is the victim of discrimination, oppression, bigotry or misogyny and she’ll be the first one screaming for legal protections.

  26. Steve says

    @SFROWGUY – Mennonites are a relatively small Christian sect, they are from whom the Amish descend spiritually. They are also quite variable in their actual belief systems. Congregations can be quite forward thinking or quite backward, but some tend to pacifism and social justice including LGBTQ so it really would be interesting to find out about her congregation’s beliefs.

  27. BabyCakes says

    Another opportunity for religious people to feign fake persecution.

    On the other hand, I’d never have my wedding at such a place. To me, it’s immoral to give them my money.

  28. Kev C says

    Maybe the good Mennonites should stand up and denounce the hateful ones. But I don’t see that happening. The point is, her beliefs are not christian.

  29. Adam says

    She can have her religious beliefs. If she also operates a business to serve the public, she operates it according to the business laws of that state. What’s so difficult to understand here?

  30. Hagatha says

    It’s her property and her labor. If folks want to call her names and try to get customers to go elsewhere that is their right. Using the government to punish her is wrong. She is entitles to freedom of association.

    Do you people honestly think that a man with an Auschwitz tattoo should have to work for a man with a swastika tattoo?

  31. Nelson says

    This was news to me so I looked it up. The only Mennonite community I have had contact with is here in Columbus OH , and they are LGBT-affirming. Many Mennonite communities are. And then there are others, obviously like this one, or at least this woman. If her wedding venue is simply a secular location that she runs separate from the church, she does not have a leg to stand on legally in Iowa.

  32. Jerry6 says

    Some of the comments are really dumb. Now every one knows she is a stupid religious bigot and will never get any business from you or your friends. FINE! Now go out and find someone that will do business with you and let us know with a followup comment; so all of us in your area will know where to hold our next party.