Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Church Sued By Manager of Its Event Space Over LGBTQ Access

A suit seeking $2.375 million in damages against a Portland, Oregon Catholic church was filed in an Oregon state court two weeks ago by a company which alleges that its business relationship with the church was wrongfully terminated.  The complaint (full text) in Holiday Investors, Inc. v. Holy Rosary Church of  Portland, Oregon, Inc., (Cir. Ct., filed 5/22/2018), alleges that plaintiff contracted to operate the Ambridge Event Center, a social hall owned by the church.  Under a morals clause in its contract with the church, plaintiff was not permitted to rent out the event center to persons or organizations affiliated with the LGBTQ community.  When plaintiff, pursuant to this requirement, refused to rent space to an African-American LGBTQ support group for its annual party, it suffered extensive negative publicity.  In an attempt to rehabilitate its reputation, plaintiff, among other things, hired an openly gay man as its events coordinator.  This resulted in the church terminating its contract with plaintiff. Plaintiff sued alleging breach of contract and violation of state anti-discrimination laws.  The Oregonian reports on the lawsuit and sets out further background.  [Thanks to Dusty Hoesly for the lead.]