Turns out discrimination is bad for business. The Görtz Haus in Des Moines, Iowa, gained notoriety after refusing to hold a gay wedding in their restaurant, but that bigotry has come back to haunt them- the restaurant has announced they will be closing in August due to a lack of business.
The gay couple filed suit with the Iowa Civil Rights commission, which was settled out of court by the restaurant owners, the Ogaards, to the tune of $5,000, and stopped holding weddings entirely. Richard Ogaard said that “We knew that the business was going to be in trouble almost immediately…we had to get rid of the wedding business to avoid another complaint and possibly a higher penalty.”
Apparently their need to judge others took precedence over the need to protect their livelihood, and now they are paying the price. Senator, presidential candidate, and Bible-thumping extremist Ted Cruz met with the couple to offer his condolences and supported their decision, unafraid to dive off the deep end into hyperbole and called them “martyrs” and the victims of “liberal fascism”- as opposed to natural consequences of consumer decisions and the forces of the free market that Cruz fetishizes almost as much as his self-granted right to discriminate against whomever he feels doesn’t fall in line with his archaic and twisted worldview.
It’s an encouraging sign to see that the forces of hatred and bigotry are being put in place by the other pillar of the right-wing ideology- the free market. Hopefully this will serve as a lesson for other states or businesses that are considering taking such a foolish stance against the rights of Americans to live their lives as they see fit, free from the judgement or discrimination of others.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.