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Iowa couple turned away from wedding facility because they are gay

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
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GRIMES, Iowa — A same-sex couple in Iowa says they were turned away from a wedding venue facility after the owners found out they are gay.

Betty Odgaard, owner of Gortz Haus, a gallery and bistro in Grimes, Iowa, that hosts weddings, said she and her husband operate the business based on their religious principles and refuse to allow weddings for same-sex couples.

“That decision is based on our religious beliefs. We want to honor that. We want people to know that is our stand that comes from our faith, our convictions. I think we should just stand by that no matter what,” said Odgaard.

But Lee Stafford says he and his fiance Jared were discriminated against, and that they plan to file a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Committion.

Watch a report from KCCI-TV:

Iowa is one of 13 states where same-sex marriage is legal, resulting from a state Supreme Court ruling in 2009.

Since 2007, Iowa’s public accommodations law has outlawed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

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