Illinois Bed and Breakfast Answers Gay Discrimination Claims

TimberCreek Bed & Breakfast
TimberCreek Bed & Breakfast

A central Illinois bed and breakfast is fighting for the right not to host “civil unions” at its facilities. TimberCreek Bed and Breakfast has responded to complaints filed against it with the state’s Human Rights Commission.

Here’s the back story: Mark and Todd Wathen filed the complaints after TimberCreek Bed and Breakfast told them that it does not host “civil union” ceremonies, but only weddings, on its premises.

“No business owner may be forced to violate his sincerely held religious beliefs merely because someone demands it,” says Steve Amjad, one of more than 2,100 attorneys in the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) alliance. “Constitutional and state laws guarantee religious freedom for every American, including business owners. These complaints ignore those fundamental freedoms and are further examples of the threat the homosexual legal agenda poses to every American’s basic rights.”

The answers filed with the commission in response to the complaints assert that “TimberCreek did not engage in sexual-orientation discrimination under the Illinois Human Rights Act” and that applying specific portions of the act to this situation would actually violate the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, federal law, and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“TimberCreek does not host civil union ceremonies for same-sex or opposite-sex couples, so the discrimination charge is baseless,” says ADF Senior Counsel Bryan Beauman. “TimberCreek has done nothing wrong, and their right to freely exercise their faith should not be threatened.”

The complaints are listed as Mark Wathen v. TimberCreek Bed and Breakfast and Todd Wathen v. TimberCreek Bed and Breakfast.

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