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Michigan Auto Shop Owner Vows to 'Stand Firm' As Outcry Continues Over Anti-gay Facebook Post

Klawiter

As you can probably guess Brian Klawiter, the owner of Dieseltec in Grandville, Michigan who sparked a firestorm earlier this week for a Facebook post stating he "would not hesitate to refuse service to an openly gay person or persons," isn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed/auto shop. 

Klawiter who according to MLive "looked frazzled" at his shop Thursday morning and "seemed surprised his Facebook comments had received so much attention," has claimed he himself has become the victim in this controversy he created.

There's also this (since edited) follow-up Facebook post that probably didn't help cool things down either:

Listen up folks, If you have an opposing view to mine that IS OK, what is NOT OK is threats to kill me, my family, and friends; threats to burn down my shop and my home. I will stand firm on my views and will not back down, (There also seems to be a TON of confusion about one of my comments, the bolt and nut thing was a reference to physiology, bolt penis and nut vagina. I DID NOT threaten to purposely put a vehicle together wrong to harm someone.) I also am not asking for anyone to do the gofundme postings. We are a successful business and are blessed to be able to feed our families. If there is any money raised it will be redistributed to people with greater needs than ours.

Dieseltec

Cummins, a Fortune 500 company that manufactures engines and other auto parts, has already asked Klawiter to stop using its logo on Dieseltec ads.

No official word yet from Power Stroke Diesel or Duramax Diesel, the two other companies pictured in the above image. Can't imagine they want to be affiliated with such bigotry though, especially with the flood of one-star Yelp reviews coming in... 


Michigan Car Repair Shop Owner 'Would Not Hesitate to Refuse Service to an Openly Gay Person' - VIDEO

Klawiter

Brian Klawiter has apparently had "enough" of liberals, gays, union workers, and anyone who isn't a gun-toting, red-blooded, conservative American.

Klawiter, owner of the diesel repair shop Dieseltec in Grandville, Michigan, posted the following rant on Facebook earlier this week that is quickly on its way to becoming infamous:

Enough is enough.

Our rights as conservative Americans are being squashed more and more everyday. Apparently if you are white (or close to it), you have a job, go to church, and own a gun... That translates into racists, privileged, bigot, conspiracy theorist. Too many of us say nothing. Well, freedom of speech isn't just for Liberals, THEY are the ones that need to learn to "co-exist", THEY are the ones who need to WORK to be "equal"

Therefore, in the spirit of freedom (whats left of it) and MY right to operate MY business as I see fit:

Guns ARE allowed at DIESELTEC, so much so in fact that we will offer a discount if you bring in your gun. ("On duty" cops are excluded because thats not their gun, thats my gun bought with my money, off duty absolutely!)

I am a Christian. My company will be run in a way that reflects that. Dishonesty, thievery, immoral behavior, etc. will not be welcomed at MY place of business. (I would not hesitate to refuse service to an openly gay person or persons. Homosexuality is wrong, period. If you want to argue this fact with me then I will put your vehicle together with all bolts and no nuts and you can see how that works.)

We, as a team, work hard for whats ours. We are not protected by unions or contracts. We absolutely MUST provide our customers with a service level that would make them come back or tell their friends about us. We don't have a "right", and we are not "entitled" to our pay. We must EARN it.

I am not racists, you are for assuming I am, however, I am really quick to judge... if it acts like a duck, and quacks like a duck...

It IS a free country and I support your right to your opinion, that being said, if you don't like what I have to say I reserve that same right to tell you to go cry to your momma (cause your daddy would probably smack ya', better yet, yes, go tell your dad.)

Speaking with West Michigan's Fox 17, Klawiter elaborated on why he decided to post the pro-discrimination message:

"I made my bed I need to sleep in it. I did choose homosexuality as an example when I spoke about immoral behavior, but that's definitely become the hot button issue...I operate my life on Christian values and for me to not take that into my business I think would be hypocritical."

Klawiter added that "until there's any laws passed otherwise," he will continue to pick and choose who he does business with. Dieseltec's Facebook page can be found here

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Michigan Car Repair Shop Owner 'Would Not Hesitate to Refuse Service to an Openly Gay Person' - VIDEO" »


Gay Marriage News Watch: MI, KY, OH, TN - VIDEO

Baume

Matt Baume with American Foundation for Equal Rights reports on the four briefs filed with the Supreme Court by the four states who will be defending state bans on same-sex marriage - Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. 

The briefs, as Baume explains, are filled with "weird claims and arguments that just don't make sense."

Dive in, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Marriage News Watch: MI, KY, OH, TN - VIDEO" »


Michigan Debate Reflects New Post-Indiana Landscape On Religious Freedom, Gay Rights

Michigan's Republican governor says he will veto a proposed Religious Freedom Restoration Act unless it is accompanied by a bill creating statewide LGBT protections. 

Snyder.RickBut LGBT advocates say that's not enough. They want Gov. Rick Snyder (right) to press harder for LGBT protections and veto the RFRA no matter what. 

The debate in Michigan reflects the new landscape surrounding religious freedom laws in the wake of backlash over similar measures in Indiana and Arkansas.

MLive.com reports on Snyder's veto threat:

Dave Murray, a spokesman for Snyder, said Snyder plans to veto any standalone legislation similar to the controversial law passed in Indiana this month. He would consider a RFRA bill if there was also an expansion of the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections for gay people.

"Gov. Snyder has said he supports religious freedom but strongly opposes discrimination of any kind," Murray said. "He believes he should support constitutional protections and strike a balance."

He added, "Ensuring freedom of religion is a basic founding principle of our country but so is equality."

A proposal to expand the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act died in committee last year after Democrats said they wouldn't support it because it didn't include transgender protections. Meanwhile, the author of the RFRA bill, GOP Rep. Mike Shirkey, says he will continue to push it despite veto threat. From the Associated Press

ShirkeySen. Mike Shirkey (right), a Clarklake Republican and sponsor of the religious objections bill, said Snyder's veto threat shows that he is "not too willing to have a conversation about it." The religious liberty bill and the anti-gay discrimination bill are "apples and oranges," Shirkey said, arguing that the business community's backlash over Indiana's law is "hypocritical" because 19 other states have similar laws.

"Some of these very large corporations make millions and millions of dollars selling and marketing their products in countries who have horrible civil rights environments," he said.

Shirkey said his legislation would prohibit laws and ordinances that infringe on people's "strongly held" religious beliefs and "has nothing to do with private actions" such as a business refusing to serve a customer.

Equality Michigan says Shirkey's RFRA bill is dangerous even if it is accompanied by LGBT protections. From the AP:

Equality Michigan, an LGBT advocacy group, said it "appreciates" that Snyder supports updating the 1976 civil rights law.

"However, Michigan will not benefit from a so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and packaging these bills together could still harm Michigan families and bring the type of justified uproar to Michigan that Governor Snyder is trying to avoid," executive director Emily Dievendorf said in a statement. "We call on the Governor to press harder for passage of an amendment to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and that he veto any Religious Freedom Restoration Act, regardless of what it is packaged with."

Progress Michigan added

"If the Governor is serious about his commitment against discrimination, he should demand that Attorney General Bill Schuette retract his suit in defense of Michigan's discriminatory marriage ban," Scott said, "and call on the Legislature to immediately pass an updated version of the Elliott-Larson Civil Rights Act to protect the entire LGBT community."

In addition to the RFRA, Michigan lawmakers have introduced proposals to allow adoption agencies and hospitals to deny services based on sincerely held religious beliefs. 

In related news, Nevada's own "religious freedom" bill has been declared dead


Michigan Civil Rights Commission Endorses Model Local LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 1.29.36 PMThe Michigan Civil Rights Commission endorsed a model local non-discrimination ordinance that covers sexual orientation and gender identity at a meeting held at the Holocaust Memorial Center on Monday reports the Daily Reporter. The ordinance states that no one should be denied "civil rights or be discriminated against," on the basis of gender expression, identity and sexual orientation. The model also bars bias based on education, age, disability, race, sex, religion, weight, national origin, marriage or family status. Commission Chairman Arthur Horwitz stated that the ordinance is designed to provide a more cohesive anti-discrimination view for over 30 Michigan municipalities.

Said Horwitz:

"The concept of developing a model non-discrimination ordinance grew from the fact that more than 30 Michigan municipalities have non-discrimination ordinances that vary significantly in their structure, wording and scope... developed model language that municipalities could access if, in their own discretion, they decided they wanted a starting point for their own discussions and deliberations."

In a January appearance before the commission, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder expressed hope that the GOP-controlled Michigan legislature would continue discussing a bill to add protections for gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people to the state civil rights law. However, House Speaker Kevin Cotter, a Midland Republican and American Family Association of Michigan leader, believes the measure is unnecessary saying that gay and gender identity laws are a "solution in search of a nonexistent problem," and that they "have a history of themselves being discriminatory" in forcing people to choose between their morals or religious beliefs.


Dropped Planet Fitness Member Sues Company For Being Too Transgender-Friendly: VIDEO

Yvette cormier

Yvette Cormier, who had her Planet Fitness membership revoked after making waves about trans woman Carlotta Sklodowska using the women’s locker room, has sued the fitness chain for more than $25,000, reports MLive.com.

LogoAfter complaining to local staff in Michigan and escalating her concerns with corporate offices, Planet Fitness enacted its “Judgement Free Zone” policy and cancelled Cormier’s membership on March 4th.

A press release detailing the lawsuit reads in part:

"Ms. Cormier was wrongfully denied the benefits of her contract with Planet Fitness and wrongfully denied the use of the public accommodations at Defendant's gym because she objected to Defendant's unknown policy.

"Mrs. Cormier has filed this lawsuit to protect Michigan women and children and to hold Planet Fitness accountable for its irresponsible policy and actions. This case further illustrates the potential harm caused by adding the proposed new categories of sexual orientation/gender identity to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.”

Elliott-Larsen prohibits discrimination based on race, age, sex, religion and more, but does not offer protections based on sexual orientation.

Cormier’s complaint lists the alleged damages she suffered as "loss of use of gym facilities," "fear about using the gym facilities," "embarrassment and humiliation," "severe emotional distress" and "damage to reputation."

It claims Cormier's rights were violated in seven counts including breach of contract, an exemplary damages claim, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and three counts of sexual harassment under Elliott-Larsen.

According to the summons and complaint, she suffered "aggravation, annoyance, discomfort, disgrace, feelings of oppression, humiliation, inconvenience, indignation, insult, mental anxiety, mental suffering, mortification, outrage, scorn, shame, sorrow, vexation, and worry."

Planet Fitness has declined to comment on the case.

Watch a report on the lawsuit and a CNN interview with Cormier, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Dropped Planet Fitness Member Sues Company For Being Too Transgender-Friendly: VIDEO" »


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