The situation with the Indiana pizza restaurant that made waves for its owners’ refusal to cater a gay wedding dwarfs in comparison to the latest statements made by Brian Atwitter, owner of Dieseltec automotive repair shop in Grandville, Mich.
Atwitter is currently facing heat for his comments on his company’s Facebook page stating that he refused to serve homosexual people for religious reasons.
“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,” Atwitter wrote.
He says that he knew he probably should have more carefully considered the consequences of his post before doing it, but that he still stands behind it.
“I hope I get some hate mail, some pats on the back, and then we get back to fixing some trucks,” Atwitter said.
So far he has gotten both hate mail and admiration. As of Apr. 16, the post had 1,582 likes and 124 shares. The comment section had mixed reactions with some people posting in support of Atwitter and others speaking out against his decision.
Atwitter called out his critics in his next post, saying “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.”
Whether or not Atwitter’s business will weather the storm remains to be seen, but what happens to him will certainly influence future cases. Atwitter cites free speech protection, but openly refusing service to a group of people seems to violate the rights of others.
In the court of public opinion, Atwitter will likely be condemned. However, the jury is still out on whether Atwitter’s actions are legally protected.