A conservative Christian organization was denied service at a restaurant because of its stance on marriage.
Metzger Bar and Butchery canceled a Nov. 30 event scheduled by the Family Foundation 90 minutes before it was set to take place, citing concerns about the organization’s beliefs.
“Metzger Bar and Butchery has always prided itself on being an inclusive environment for people to dine in,” the restaurant said in a post shared on social media. “In eight years of service we have very rarely refused service to anyone who wished to dine with us.”
The German-inspired restaurant said it employs several women “and/or members of the LGBTQ+ community.”
“We have always refused service to anyone for making our staff uncomfortable or unsafe and this was the driving force behind our decision,” said the restaurant, per Fox News. “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.”
The Family Foundation is a Virginia nonprofit that says it advocates “for policies based on Biblical principles that enable families to flourish at the state and local level.”
Among the core principals listed on its website, the organization states marriage is “a lifelong union between one man and one woman” and that gender is “beautifully expressed as either male or female according to God’s immutable design, is an important biological and social reality that must be respected by all.”
In a Dec.1 post about the experience, President Victoria Cobb said her organization had planned the private event weeks in advance with 15 to 20 expected attendees. The nonprofit had reserved a private room in the restaurant for the event.
Cobb said the restaurants’s owner called the organization’s Vice President of Operations to cancel the event just before it was scheduled to begin, saying an employee had looked up the Family Foundation and that the wait staff would not serve them.
Virginia Business reports the staff members specifically took issues with the Family Foundation’s opposition to same-sex marriage and past support of conversion therapy for gay people.
“Welcome to the 21st century, where people who likely consider themselves ‘progressives’ attempt to recreate an environment from the 1950s and early 60s, when people were denied food service due to their race,” wrote Cobb. “At The Family Foundation, we believe individuals in private business should not have to violate their convictions, which for some Christians means not celebrating what God has declared sin (Roman 1:32). However, most, if not all, faiths not only allow for the provision of services, like food, to those with whom they disagree, but they also encourage it.”
Business review website Yelp subsequently disabled comments on Metzger’s profile after it received a number of negative reviews.
“This business recently received increased public attention, which often means people come to this page to post their views on the news,” Yelp’s notice read. “While we don’t take a stand one way or the other when it comes to this incident, we’ve temporarily disabled the posting of content to this page as we work to investigate whether the content you see here reflects actual consumer experiences rather than the recent events.”