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Toledo’s Oldest Gay Nightclub Bought By Anti-LGBT Church

The Greater Toledo House of Prayer calls LGBT people immoral and against the group’s values.

A “Christian” church with anti-LGBT views has bought Toledo, Ohio’s 30-year-old Bretz gay nightclub in Toldedo, OH and plans to renovate the building to use as their new place of worship.

The Greater Toledo House of Prayer purchased the nightclub’s building on January 3 for $148,000. The small Christian denomination denies it forced the club’s closure, saying in a statement that the congregation simply outgrew its current space and snapped up the gay club to hold its services.

“Public statements have been made suggesting that GTHOP was itself involved in the closing of the nightclub, however this is not accurate,” the group’s board of directors said in a statement. “GTHOP is a prayer and worship ministry, where individuals and worship teams commit to maintaining a climate of worship and prayer in the Toledo community.”

The Greater Toledo House of Prayer statements of belief on its website show it views LGBTQ people as immoral, stating that it considers homosexuality, bisexuality, and having a gender identity different than the birth sex chromosomal level are against the group’s values.

“Persons who choose to become members of the Corporation, are agreeing to support… basic biblical values derived from Scriptural and historical Christianity. These values oppose and prohibit living in, practicing, condoning, or supporting sex outside of marriage, adultery, homosexuality, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, gender identity different than the birth sex chromosomal level, pornography, or other sexual immorality.”

The statement includes more details on their opposition to LGBT people, referring to their “rejection of the image of God.”

The Toledo Blade also reports, the House of Prayer has ties to several extremist  anti-abortion organizations — a director and a member of the House of Prayer are also directors of Agora Toledo, which unsuccessfully attempted to raze a closed abortion clinic and replace it with a “memorial garden to the unborn.”

Nick Komives, at large city council member in Toledo, says he learned of the transaction to the Greater Toledo House of Prayer on Tuesday.

“A number of people reached out to me because they felt insulted or upset that the church would choose that location to make their purchase and move into on Adams Street. There are a number of other options that they feel were available and they didn’t pursue. I think everybody is more curious about what their intent is with the space, and I think that is a reasonable question to ask.”

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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