Friday, February 25, 2011

UPDATED: Avoid The Beall Mansion and The TimberCreek Inn, They Don't Like The Gays

So, they legalized civil unions in Illinois and it took, what, all of a couple of minutes for the trouble to start. See, you might be able to get civilly unioned, or unionized, but that doesn't mean people aren't going to discriminate against you.

Todd Wathen, and his partner--whose name is not being released as he is not publicly out yet--have been together for eight years when Illinois made civil unions legal for gay couples. And they wanted a civil union, and a party to celebrate it, as is their right. so, they began researching and calling B-and-B's, and other venues, to see about having their ceremony at those places. 
Beall Mansion

Well, two such B-and-B's--the Beall Mansion in Alton and the TimberCreek B&B in Paxton--refused to rent them space because they don't rent party space or cater events for gay couples. The owner of the Beall Mansion said, "At this point we will just be doing traditional weddings” and not civil unions.
TimberCreek B-and-B

In an e-mail reply to Wathen, Jim Walder of the TimberCreek Bed & Breakfast said: “We will never host same-sex civil unions. We will never host same-sex weddings even if they become legal in Illinois. We believe homosexuality is wrong and unnatural based on what the Bible says about it. If that is discrimination, I guess we unfortunately discriminate. The Bible does not state opinions, but facts. It contains the highest laws pertinent to man. It trumps Illinois law, United States law, and global law should there ever be any.”

He was probably eating shellfish while writing this nonsense, and wearing his mixed fabric outfit and planning on where to get his next tattoo while doing so, but didn't seem to notice the hypocrisy.

But then Walder took it a step further and began sending emails to Todd Wathen and his partner that included links to Bible passages, saying, “Hi Todd, 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. It’s not to late to change your behavior.”

And, Jim Walder of the TimberCreek Bed and Breakfast, it's not too late for you to change your behavior.

Todd Walthen was pissed. “If they’d just sent the e-mail back and said, ‘Hey, I’m uncomfortable with this,’ or ‘I wouldn’t be the best (place) for this, but I wish you luck’,” the couple wouldn’t have minded being turned down. But, "they don’t have a right to talk to us like that.”

Todd Walthen and his partner hired a lawyer. They filed complaints with the Illinois Attorney General’s office and the Department of Human Rights alleging violations of the Illinois Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by businesses open to the public.

Public business.

You don't like The Gays, or The Blacks or The Jews or The Muslims, turn your business into a private, members only business and surround yourself with bigots like yourself. But when you open a business to make a living serving The Public, the serve The Public.

And if you choose to discriminate against anyone, for any reason, well, then, I'll be happy to write about it, and other bloggers will write about it, and news sources will pick it up, and then, soon, there'll be a Facebook page and a Twitter conversation, and the Beall Mansion of  Alton and the TimberCreek B&B in Paxton will start losing money because most people don't like to frequent businesses that discriminate.

Just sayin'.

I just got a message from Todd Wathen via Facebook and thought I'd share it, and a picture of Todd and his partner Mark, that they've allowed me to share:

We just wanted to thank you about your article on your blog....very well said.......but the reason my partner Mark didn't come out at the time was because of his work.....he was planing on doing so after our civil union, because of putting me on his insurance.....but he told his work yesterday.....and it was great....they are supporting us least something is going right.....but here is a picture now of both of us.....if you would like to use it......Todd Wathen
Todd and Mark
Then go HERE and sign a petition urging Illinois authorities to investigate businesses that discriminate against the LGBT community.


Biki said...

I'm happy that coming out at work went well for Mark. But man! What a horrible business owners those two were. If you dont want to rent to someone, dont rent, but to send them bibical passages? How stupid and horrid!

SteveA said...

Im glad they took further action - Bible freaks are short sighted, ignorant of Jesus's message and just plain dumb!

Anonymous said...

I first learned about this via the television new in St. Louis, and I sent both The Beall Mansion and TimberCreek my personal feedback on how stupid & hypocritical they are acting. It enraged me to hear of this and they needed to know that tons of Gays are capable of being moral people with productive lives. Just as many Black people will tell you from their first hand experience racism is still strong in America, and IL adopting civil union laws is far from turning around discrimination against Lesbians, Gays and Transgenders. Best. V.

Anonymous said...

I am Hispanic and I too have faced discrimination based on my Nationality but I didn't make a federal case out of it, I simply avoid those places.

I understand how you feel but you must understand that not everybody is going to welcome you/me with open arms.

The US is so huge and vast that there is something for everybody.

You, just like the rest of us will always avoid that which we find offensive. Do not confuse avoidance based on offense with discrimination.

There was the case with eharmony where they were sued by gay people for not being allowed to join and yet gay people have hundreds of not thousands of sites dedicated to their lifestyle and dating.

Being who I am, I am not going to join a gay dating site, just as I would not join a Jewish or Christian dating site because I am not gay, Jewish, Christian, etc., nor would I sue them to change to accomodate me.

You want to invade every aspect of our lives by force if necessary under the guise of discrimination. "Birds of a feather" and yet you refuse to let others do so.

No matter how hard you try, you will not change people's minds. Especially those who are extremely religious (which I am not). You will never convince them that your lifestyle is normal so why keep trying.

You would have us all walk in lockstep when in reality, it is great that our country has so much to offer for all of us. We all have choices.

I am not a religious super freak if that is what you choose to call them but I like everyone else have the right to choose who to associate with based on my personal ethics/morals/interests, etc. but you would take that choice away from me by forcing your way into every group out there under the guise of discrimination.

You are destroying what makes this country great. The diversity and the freedom to choose without persecution.

You would choose to persecute all who do not agree with your views via your lawsuits.

There is a place for you just as there is a place for all of us.

Anonymous said...

FYI, I am not a bigot.

I am just a person who lives in the US like you and I appreciate the smorgasbord that is the US.

I like having unencumbered choices.

I appreciate the diversity and the multitude of choices available to me.

I don't want to live in a country that walks in lockstep.

I don't want others views forced on me. I am an individual with my own views and I love it.

The US! Greatest country in the world.

I wouldn't even be discussing my views if others weren't trying to force theirs on me.

I respect your right to your views but I don't share them and that is okay.

I will not try to force my views on you and I would appreciate it greatly if you would do the same.

I will always choose not to speak of my lifestyle choices in comparison with yours. I don't feel the need to share.

I will simply move through life with ease by choosing to avoid the negative aspects.

Life is too short not to be happy and I choose to be happy by avoiding difficulties like these.

You may see yourselves as heroic for taking a stand but you are simply bullying those around you into agreeing with your views. You want to force them to do something that they find offensive. Sounds like bullying to me.

Anonymous said...

Why would you want to force someone to do something they don't want to.

Even if you win, would you really want to have your civil union in a place that doesn't want you.

Do you think they are all of a sudden going to slap smiles on their faces and bend over backwards to accomodate you?

Twisting someone's arm to get what you want benefits you how exactly??

I would imagine that on such a special occasion you would want to be surrounded by your loved ones and at a venue where those hosting your union actually support you and your union.

If these individuals don't believe deep down in their hearts that what you are doing is okay than why would you want to force them to do it.

It is a matter of your anger and hurt feelings and what they truly believe in their hearts. It is engrained in them.

How do your hurt feelings and anger trump what they feel and believe with all their hearts?

Where do your rights end and their rights begin?

Anonymous said...

I am also one of those people who will never see your lifestyle as normal regardless of how you try to present it.

Granted, I will never be rude or confrontational but I will always choose to avoid you as is my right. I am not discriminating, I simply find your lifestyle offensive just as you may find my straight lifestyle offensive and that is okay with me.

You and I will always live lives that are parallel and with any luck we will never cross paths but if we should than I imagine that we would treat eachother with respect.

This may anger you but I would hope it wouldn't, it just is what it is.

There are many who feel just like me even though we really don't make it known unless we have to.

If you are happy than that is great since we really bear no ill will toward you. We simply wish to continue to live our lives in a parallel manner with respect to yours.

You call us bigots, all the while failing to understand that our belief that what you're doing is not natural is as encoded in us as being gay is to you. We can no more change our beliefs than you can your sexual preferences.

Do not ask us to change and we will not ask you to change. Lives your lives and let us live ours. We can all live peacefully if we can respect eachothers views and beliefs.

That being said, I don't think the resort should have continued to send you emails with references to the bible.

Based on this, I would think you would have filed a harassment suit rather than discrimination.

Did you ever ask them to stop sending you these emails? If you didn't, then you should have.

This post was written in a very peaceful and calm manner. There is no anger here.

Anonymous said...

To the couple who are sueing:
I know you are mad, but I feel the same way as the owners, it would go against my religious beliefs to know that I was hosting something or that I was condoning something that I believe is sinful, to happen at my place. This is a matter of holding to our convictions, not discriminating. The Bible is real and very true, and if you fail to see that homosexuality is against the Bible, and therefore should be against all Christians' morals, then you are deceiving yourself. This is a black and white issue. Jim was going with his religious beliefs and trying to make you see this. That's what Jesus would do.