“An event center manager sued a Catholic Church in Portland, Oregon, for $2.4 million, claiming that after suffering harm to its reputation because it abided by the church’s anti-gay policy, the Holy Rosary Church terminated its contract because it hired a gay manager.
“Holladay Investors dba The Ambridge Event Center sued the Holy Rosary Church of Portland… in Multnomah County Court, for breach of contract, breach of faith, discrimination and violations of Oregon civil rights and business laws.
“Ambridge sued as a former employee and tenant of the Holy Rosary Church, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and a member of the Dominican Order. Holladay/Ambridge, a for-profit enterprise, has managed and rented out the event center since 2008, under a series of contracts.
“The ‘Morals Clause’ of the 2012 contract prohibits Ambridge from renting the center ‘to organizations and groups of people with whom the Church wished not to affiliate,’ according to the complaint.
“It continues: ‘The Church was explicit in prohibiting Ambridge from renting out the Event Center to members of or groups affiliated with the LGBTQ community.’”
Ambridge says it abided by these terms, and when a group ‘associated with the LGBTQ community’ asked to rent the center in 2015, it informed the group that it was not allowed to do that.
“‘As a result, there was a significant amount of negative press the organization generated against Ambridge and the church due to the discriminatory policy in the contract and in their rental of the Event Center,’ the complaint states.
“It continues: ‘Ambridge’s image suffered from this revelation. Even businesses and government entities that had previously scheduled events with Ambridge, who were not affiliated with the LGBTQ community but had equity-driven internal policies, refused to work with Ambridge after reading or hearing about the discriminatory policy involved in its employment relationship with the church.’
“Ambridge says, it spent months ‘attempting to restore its image with its clientele and its relationship with the LGBTQ community, going so far as to hire an events coordinator, Mr. Gary Sorrels, who is openly gay…’
“On Dec. 4, 2015, the church fired Ambridge and Sorrels, issuing a notice to vacate. It did this ‘as retaliation for hiring Mr. Sorrels, and because Ambridge had chosen to associate itself with the LGBT community,’ the complaint states.
“Ambridge repeatedly sought to meet and confer with the church, but the church refused — in violation of the contract, Ambridge says.
“This cost Ambridge ‘$1,875,000 in lost income, $69,000 in improperly assessed property taxes that Ambridge was forced to pay under duress, $250,000 in improvements made to the Event Center and adjoining Church property, plus interest,’ the complaint states, plus $250,000 in improvements Ambridge made to church property.
“Ambridge seeks $2.375 million in damages for breach of contract, breach of faith, violation of Oregon laws on sexual discrimination and rental discrimination, and reserves the right to seek punitive damages.
The central issue – whether LGBT community members can force members of faith organizations to endorse their lifestyle – now is before the U.S. Supreme Court, with a decision expected in the coming weeks. That case involves Jack Philips, a Colorado baker who declined to make a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. The case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Even though the Supreme Court upheld the right of Christian business owners to express their beliefs, LGBT activists have sued them anyway in an effort to force them to support their lifestyle. However, lower courts have put state law above religious conviction. LGBT activists are legally trying to surround the house of Christians and churches.
“But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter.” Genesis 19:4.