On Wednesday, members of Family Foundation were refused service at the Metzger Bar and Butchery, simply for being a Conservative, Christian advocacy group.
The restaurant in Richmond, Virginia took to Facebook in an attempt to defend themselves, stating that the group’s beliefs allegedly made LGBTQ and female staffers feel threatened. The staffers feel that Family Foundation “seeks to deprive women and LGBTQ+ persons of their basic rights in Virginia.”
“Metzger Bar and Butcher has always prided itself on being an inclusive environment for people to dine in. In eight years of service we have rarely refused service to anyone who wished to dine with us. Recently we refused service to a group that had booked an event with us, after the owners of Metzger found out it was a group of donors to a political organization that seeks to deprive women and LGBTQ+ persons of their basic rights in Virginia,” the business posted to Facebook.
They added, “We have always refused serve to anyone for making our staff uncomfortable or unsafe and this was the driving force behind our decision. Many of our staff are women and/or members of the LGBTQ+ community. All of our staff are people with rights who deserve dignity and a safe work environment.”
“We respect our staff’s established rights as humans and strive to create a work environment where they can do their jobs with dignity, comfort, and safety,” Metzger Bar and Butchery added.
A Virginia-based conservative Christian advocacy group was turned away from a local restaurant just an hour before their reservation last week.
A representative of the Family Foundation said he was frustrated after the group was turned away from Metzger Bar and Butchery last Wednesday. The group claims the refusal had to do with their religious beliefs.
According to Todd Gathje, Director of Government Relations for the Family Foundation, one of the owners of Metzger called a representative of the Family Foundation about an hour before the reservation time, saying that the group would not be dining in the restaurant.
“We’ve had events at restaurants all over the city and never encountered a situation like this,” Gathje said. “It’s no secret that we are very much engaged in the public policy debate on a number of controversial issues. But we never expected that we would be denied service at a restaurant based on our religious values or political beliefs.”
For businesses like restaurants, federal and state laws do not allow discrimination based on protected classes such as race, religion, sex and more, as defined by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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