Via The Washington Post: A restaurant in Richmond last week canceled a reservation for a private event being held by a conservative Christian organization, citing the group’s opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion rights. “We have always refused service to anyone for making our staff uncomfortable or unsafe and this was the driving force behind our decision,” read an Instagram post from Metzger Bar and Butchery, a German-influenced restaurant in the Union Hill neighborhood whose kitchen is helmed by co-owner Brittanny Anderson, a veteran of TV cooking shows including “Top Chef” and “Chopped.”
The group in question the Family Foundation of Virginia Family describes itself as “socially conservative and Christian fundamentalist lobbying organization headquartered in the US city of Richmond, Virginia. It was focused originally on opposition to sex education. It has expanded to opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, nondiscrimination policies, Family Foundation of Virginia is a Family Policy Council, meaning it is affiliated with Focus on the Family.
According to WRIC, Todd Gathje, Director of Government Relations for the Family Foundation had this to say — “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.” *snort*
Gathe and the Family Foundation have recently tried to revitalize a stalled effort in 2021 to remove an unenforceable provision of the Virginia Constitution — invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 — that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, saying that removing it would open the door to “polygamous, incestuous, kinship or even child marriages.”