The owner of an Illinois-based bed and breakfast has sparked the ire of the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community after he pledged not to host wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.
Jim Walder, owner of the TimberCreek Bed & Breakfast near Paxton, Ill., told the Post-Gazette that he will not permit LGBT couples to tie the knot at his venue even though same-sex marriage will be legally recognized in the state come June.
"As long as I own TimberCreek, there will never be a gay marriage at this wedding venue," Walder, who identifies as Christian, is quoted as saying.
This isn't the first time Walder has spoken out against same-sex marriage. In 2011, Todd and Mark Wathen reportedly filed a civil rights complaint against Walder's business after he refused to host a ceremony for their civil union. As Joe. My. God. pointed out, the resolution of that complaint is still pending.
Walder reportedly sent an unsolicited email of Bible passages to the Wathens before they filed the 2011 complaint, according to The Advocate.
"I know you may not want to hear this, but I thought I would send along a couple of verses in Romans 1 detailing how the Creator of the Universe looks at the gay lifestyle," Walder's email reportedly read. "It’s not too late to change your behavior.”
The TimberCreek news comes just days after state labor investigators ruled that the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, Ore. had violated the rights of a lesbian couple when refusing to prep a cake for the pair's forthcoming wedding earlier this year, The Oregonian reports.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, Sweet Cakes by Melissa's owners, responded to the ruling on the company's official Facebook page.
"Even though there are days that are hard and times of struggle we still feel that the Lord is in this," they wrote. "It is His fight and our situation is in His hands."