Values

Christian-owned bed and breakfast must host gay weddings, state panel finds

A decision forcing a Christian-owned bed and breakfast to pay a same-sex couple $30,000 for refusing to host their wedding ceremony will stand.

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A 3-member panel of the Illinois Human Rights Commission refused to hear an appeal in a decision compelling TimberCreek Bed & Breakfast to pay a fine for declining to host a gay wedding on their property, although they have hosted opposite-sex weddings in the past.

TimberCreek owner Jim Walder told The Christian Post that they took issue with the panel decision and were planning to appeal to the full state Human Rights Commission.

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"Citizens should only decide not to obey a law after much thought and only in extreme circumstances," said Walder. 

"In our opinion, forcing a small business with one employee to host gay marriage which violates the owners sincerely-held Biblical belief that marriage is between one man and one woman is an extreme circumstance, especially when marriage has been understood for thousands of years to be a union between one man and one woman."

In 2011, TimberCreek refused to host a same-sex wedding ceremony, with Walder stating at the time that he opposed on religious grounds to holding such ceremonies even if they became legal.

"We will never host same-sex civil unions. We will never host same-sex weddings even if they become legal in Illinois," said Walder in 2011.

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