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Costco Fires Catholic Who Denied Knights of Columbus Hall for Lesbian “Marriage”

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PORT COQUITLAM, BC, November 30, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A member of the Knights of Columbus who is in charge of renting the fraternity’s hall for weddings and other events alleges he was fired from his day job at Costco for his involvement in denying two lesbians the facility for their same-sex “wedding.” The human rights case in which the lesbian couple successfully sued the Knights of Columbus over the denial of the hall made international headlines. (see coverage: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/nov/05113006.html )

LESBIAN WAS A CO-WORKER WITH KNIGHT OF COLUMBUS

David Hauser told LifeSiteNews.com in an exclusive interview that Tracey Smith, one of the lesbians involved in the human rights complaint against the Knights, was also a co-worker of his at Costco. Hauser related thatÂmany of the management at the Port Coquitlam warehouse were openly homosexual. He related that for months before Smith and her same-sex partner approached his wife for the hall rental,Âsome of his co-workersÂhad been asking him about his involvement with the hall, and knew that he was in charge of bookings.

“In retrospect, they picked a time when they knew I would be at work to call my wife Sandra, who shows the hall when I am unavailable,” Hauser said. He is convinced the entire fiasco was orchestrated before the event. However, in the human rights complaint against the Knights the lesbian couple claimed they did not realize the hall was affiliated with the Catholic Church.

Tracey’s partner, Deborah Chymyshyn, claimed to the Vancouver Sun in November that, “If they would have let us know up front who they were, we probably would have never even gone there.”

Terry Kidwell, State Deputy of the B.C. Knights of Columbus, told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview Dec.12 that Chymyshyn “said that ‘she just happened to be driving around and saw the sign’” for the rental of the hall. “Well, that’s a dead end street,” Kidwell said. He indicated “you don’t just happen to drive around” and find that hall and that one would have to deliberately drive to that location and stop to see the small 8 1/2 X 11 sign on the door.

“You can’t see it from the street,” Kidwell stated, adding “You would have had to get out of your car and go right up to the hall to see the sign. There is not a great big sign saying, ‘hall for rent.’”

A big question therefore is how the two women would actually have known that the hall was for rent.Â
Â
  Kidwell says these questions were probably not brought up in the human rights trial against the Knights because the focus of the defence was that, “because of our core religious beliefs we were entitled to not rent the hall to them.”

Hauser said he and his wife were not initially aware of the couple’s intention to wed each other, because the two had vaguely referred to a “wedding” without saying it was their own that they were planning. Hauser did not suspect anything when he read the names on the rental agreement, because he only knew Tracey at work by her first name.

Hauser alleges, “They [Smith and Chymyshyn] knew exactly what they were doing.” The three-acre parcel where the Knight’s hall is situated is also the location of Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church and Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic School. “There’s a huge cross on that Church,” Hauser said. “There’s a huge picture of the Pope in the hall . . . there’s no way they didn’t know we were connected to the Church.” (see coverage: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/dec/05120901.html )

FIRED BY HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVIST MANAGER

Hauser was fired from Costco November 3, 2004 - one year and two days after Smith and her same-sex partner Deborah Chymyshyn rented the hall.

Hauser’s very openly gay boss, Mike Checko,Âwho Hauser claims was a friend of Smith’s, fired Hauser. Hauser contends that his firing was completely without cause. He said his letter of release cited “violence in the workplace,” allegedly committed in early August 2004. Hauser related that he and his wife were on vacation for two weeks during the early to mid-weeks of August. Another homosexual co-worker alleged in writing that Hauser had said he wanted to meet a fellow worker outside after work for a brawl.

“The workplace was absolute trouble for me - the manager of the 225 employee Costco warehouse constantly badgered me about it [the hall issue].” Hauser said the homosexuals in management at the store “constantly tried to lure him into arguments.”

Hauser’s claims to unfair treatment are supported by other former supervisors at Costco. One letter, from co-worker Jared Gilles who was also Hauser’s former supervisor, dated August 4, 2004, said, “In my view, Dave was sunk before all this ever happened. Our management isn’t open and objective towards him,” Gilles explained. “They get hourly [employees] to write hearsay letters of certain instances - whether it’s true or not and whether they are witnesses or not. Dave’s guilty because he’s blacklisted. People can just write letters about people they don’t like and if management doesn’t like you, you’re in trouble. No one will support Dave’s views, whether he’s done something or not.”

“He told me to watch out because this guy was after you from the day you walked in,” Hauser added.

Events at Costco following Hauser’s firing suggest that there was some problem with the supervisor who fired Hauser. Checko was demoted two weeks after Hauser’s firing, “from a $120,000 per year position, to a checkout clerk,” Hauser said.

On November 23, 2004, Human Resources Canada, after initially refusing Hauser’s claim for employment insurance payments, responded to Hauser’s appeal of the refusal. After HRC asked for clarification from Costco, a letter was returned that stated a different reason for Hauser’s dismissal than the one given on his dismissal letter.

“[Costco’s] statement contradicts the letter of dismissal,” stated L. Bell, an insurance benefit officer with HRC, in a letter in Hauser’s possession. “In the letter of November 3, 2004, the employer states that the employee was dismissed because of an incident that occurred in August. The incident involved allegations of threats made by the claimant to a co-worker. The employer has not provided detail of the alleged incident.”

“Given the lack of clarification from the employer, we’ll conclude that the claimant was dismissed due to a series of minor incidents. Some of the incidents may have been genuine violations of company policy, but there is also a sense that there was some friction between the claimant and the employer. Fault is sometimes difficult to define, but it is often mutual. Clearly the employer was not happy with the claimant, and although the violations of company policy may or may not have been genuine, there is an indication that they were looking for reasons to terminate his employment. It is not even clear what the final incident was that ultimately led to the claimant’s dismissal and therefore we cannot conclusively prove there was misconduct involved in the final incident. Under the circumstances, we have no choice but to allow the claim.”

Hauser further explained that he “was fighting a 90-day demotion for allegedly driving a fork-lift at a guy’s head,” in June-August of 2004. “I should have been arrested for something like that,” Hauser said. “I got three fellows to write statements who had seen the whole thing. I then went to the regional manager, Patrick Noon - Mike Checko’s boss.”

The suspension was over-ruled by Costco’s regional office.

“The day I walked in [Checko] wanted me out,” Hauser emphasized. “It went on and on - he treated me terribly. When Hauser went into workÂthe day afterÂthe two women were told that they could not have the hall, Hauser says Checko ordered him to re-book the hall for them, stating, “Get those people back in there now!” In the end, claims Hauser, “heÂfired me for kicking them out [of the K of C hall].”

CAN’T FIND OTHER WORK WITH DISMISSAL ON RECORD - MAY LOSE HOME

Hauser said he had hoped his 14 years at Costco would lead to life-long employment. “The company is doing very well,” he said. Because of the circumstances of his firing, Hauser has been unable to find other work. “It’s hard to get a job when your reference letter says you were fired for violence in the workplace,” he said. He has focused on home painting, something he did part-time to support his stay-at-home wife and three young children before. His business is called “Passion for Painting.”

Hauser, who initially re-financed his mortgage after the job loss, faces the prospect of losing his home if nothing changes in the next few months. “It’s pretty degrading and humiliating for Sandra and I . . . and all for that cause.”

Michael A. Wagner, the lawyer representing Mike Checko, had his office call to say Checko was unable for comment.

Several calls put into Costco for comment were not returned. Calls placed to Costco’s lawyers were also not returned.

To express concerns to Costco:

General Customer Service: 800-463-3783

E-mail address: [email protected]

Costco Canada Corporate Office
  Mailing address: 415 West Hunt Club Road Ottawa, ON K2E 1C5
http://www.costco.ca/en-CA/CustomerService/EmailUs.aspx?secure=1

SeeÂmost recent LifeSitenews.com stories on thisÂissue

Photos of Port Coquitlam, B.C. Knights of Columbus Hall Dispute Lesbians’ Claims
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/dec/05121302.html
  Justice in British Columbia Knights Case also Decided Against Christians Kempling, Brockie
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/dec/05120801.html
  British Columbia Lesbians Determined to Extract More From Knights of Columbus
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/dec/05120201.htmlÂ

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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

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Video: Belgian police put a violent end to a legal pro-life rally in Brussels

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen
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BRUSSELS, March 31, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Belgian police used force against pro-lifers holding a legal, peaceful picket Tuesday in the center of Brussels, near the European Parliament buildings.  The pro-life rally, led by activists from Poland, was surrounded by an angry mob of abortion supporters, but when the police intervened they forcibly removed the pro-life signs, and even a Polish flag, saying they were provoking aggression.

The pro-life rally, which displayed graphic abortion signs, was legally registered, and organized by Fundacja Pro, a very active pro-life group from Poland, along with Michał Marusik, a Polish Member of European Parliament, and the Instigos Institute.

Kaja Godek, one of Poland’s leading pro-life activists, described the scene at the Luxembourg Square in Brussels for LifeSiteNews:

When we display graphic abortion pictures on the streets of Poland, the reaction we get is mostly sympathetic. In Brussels, we met with aggression and a hysterical reaction. Some furious people surrounded us screaming that we were sick and that the photographs of abortion victims were a lie.

Jacek Januszewski, one of the youth participants, told LifeSiteNews, “They screamed vulgarities and obscene insults, specifically directed at the ladies in our group. They threw firecrackers, physically pushed us, and tried to steal our banners.”

Describing the actions of the police, Januszewski said, “They formed a circle around our group, but were facing us, as if we were the source of aggression, not the mob around us.” He continued, “Even after one of the policemen got hit on the back with something thrown at us by the mob, they still acted as if it was us who caused the danger. We were just standing there in shock."

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“At one point a man dressed in civilian clothes approached us all red in the face, pushed us and tried to take our banners by force,” said Januszewski. “When we resisted, he produced a police ID. We asked him what he was doing and what law allowed him to disrupt a legal demonstration like that. He screamed back at us: ‘I am the law in Brussels.’”

Godek commented on the undercover officer too. “The man in civilian clothes kept pointing to one specific banner we were holding, showing the face of Adolf Hitler with a caption ‘Hitler legalized abortion on demand for Poles.’ [The undercover policeman] was all red in the face and kept saying he didn't like it and that it was upsetting everybody. We told him we were being attacked and needed protection. He said that we were the danger, we were provoking violence.”

Watch videos (exchanges between police and protesters are audible and in English):

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

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LifeSite Writers 2015
Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve

2 Days Left - Can you donate just $5 or more?

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
By Steve Jalsevac

This is an urgent reminder that we have just 2 days left to reach our annual Spring campaign goal of $175,000.
 
With a large boost from our readers yesterday, we are now within striking distance, with only another $75,000 to raise to make that goal!
 
Please consider supporting our mission to build a Culture of Life by making the most generous donation you can today.

Have you ever wondered who is behind LifeSite, and what our organization does with the money you donate?
 
Sometimes we find that readers of LifeSite, new readers in particular, understandably do not realize the size and scope of our mission: including not just how many millions of people read LifeSite (6 million people last month alone, for the record), but also the number of people and resources required to keep this unique international news service going every day.
 
It is quite an eye-opener when we list everything involved. Given the exponential growth of LifeSite over the past few years, it seems time to present an update. This should help you to understand why we must set our quarterly campaign goals at the very least at the levels that we do each time.

Every single member of the LifeSite team is passionately dedicated to our mission. Many have families with children and all depend on prayer (we have a staff prayer conference call every morning at 9:30 a.m.) to do this challenging work. They are also highly principled persons who see this work as being much more of personal mission than a “job”.

They care deeply about the issues that we write about and their impact on the world. At least several were on the “other side” in the past and experienced profound conversions to pro-life, pro-family beliefs.

In addition to the English language LifeSite, we also publish two other versions of LifeSite. There is the Spanish language Notifam and the Portuguese language Notifam.  These two services have been completely re-designed and their readership has dramatically increased in the past several months.

Almost all of our journalists are paid salaries or an hourly rate (part-timers). Nearly half are full-time, and the rest are part-time with widely varying total hours per month. A small number of the part-timers are able to offer their work to LifeSite as a no-charge gift to the pro-life and pro-family cause.

Almost all of the news reporters work from their homes. Our one office is located in Front Royal, Virginia in the Human Life International building. Much of the LifeSite, Canada administration work (payroll, bookkeeping, mail and donation receiving, etc.) is contracted to Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) in Toronto. We are very grateful for CLC’s assistance.

Since the introduction of our dramatically new website last year, we have also been able to add prominent paid bloggers to the LifeSite team. In addition to our own bloggers, other notable pro-life bloggers such as Jill Stanek and Ryan Bomberger permit us to re-publish and often give much wider exposure to posts from their blog sites.

Back in September 1997, it was just John-Henry Westen and myself, the two founding staff of Lifesite. Things have certainly changed since then.

CURRENT NEWS TEAM

North America

1.  John-Henry Westen – Co-founder, Editor-in-Chief, journalist 
2.  Steve Jalsevac – Co-founder, managing director, editor, journalist
3.  John Jalsevac – Website development, petitions, journalist
4.  Patrick Craine – Managing editor, journalist, Canadian bureau chief
5.  Ben Johnson – US bureau chief, journalist
6.  Dustin Siggins – Washington DC bureau reporter and media outreach
7.  Kirsten Anderson – Washington DC and region reporter
8.  Lisa Bourne – Journalist
9.  Pete Baklinski – Journalist
10. Ted Baklinski – Journalist
11. Lianne Lawrence – Toronto journalist and LSN Canada donor relations
12. Steve Weatherbe – Journalist
13. Drew Belsky – Journalist

International

14. Hilary White (Italy) – Rome and Europe reporter
15. Jeanne Smits (Paris, France) – European reporter
16. Andrew Smith – Australian reporter
17. Michelle Kaufman – New Zealand reporter
18. Matthew Hoffman – Latin American reporter
19. Gualberto Guilherme Araujo – Brazilian editor
20. Gualberto Garcia Jones – Latin America bureau chief
21. Sophia Vazquez Mellado – Spanish language reporter
22. Mei-Li Beane – Spanish Language reporter
23. Natalia Duehlom – Polish correspondent
24. Matthew McCusker – London correspondent

Bloggers

25. Anthony Esolen
26. Matt Fradd
27. Abby Johnson
28. Jonathon van Maren
29. Melanie Pritchard

SUPPORT TEAM

30. Jon Fidero – Development Director
31. Andy Parrish – Marketing, media, public relations
32. Clare Magaad – LSN U.S. Office Manager
33. Megan Mulherin – Database management, Donor relations coordinator
34. Linda Wilson – Donor relations
35. Tommy Farrel – Donor relations
36. Theresa Jalsevac – Daily news subscriber services, article publishing
37. Jacob Westen – Article publishing

EXTERNAL SERVICES

LifeSite employs the services of a wide variety of companies and individuals for website design and development, video production, graphic design, donation processing, mass emailing of the Daily News, web hosting, payroll, legal work, marketing of LifeSite and much more.

Some of these external costs are in the six-figure level, given the large volume and variety of material that we publish, the cutting edge complexity of the website and the high level of traffic that LifeSite must now be able to handle.

We also have on-going and major electronic equipment costs since we are a digital service requiring high quality, reliable and the most up-to-date digital resources.

Finally, our team, and especially John-Henry, have been required to do a lot more travelling in recent years to cover major stories on site and to attend and be actively involved in very important meetings in several nations.  
 
The Marches for life in Washington, DC, Ottawa Canada and Rome, Italy have required a team of LSN staff. As well, we are the original organizers of the Rome Life Forum in Vatican City that is now billed as a Voice of the Family (which LifeSite co-founded) event and is co-sponsored by a number of International groups.

I hope this has helped you to much better understand our financial needs and will encourage any who might have been hesitant to donate to re-consider and send a generous gift for the LifeSite mission.

We are amazed that so much has been accomplished over the years, thanks especially to the generosity of those who believe in what we do and have wanted to express their appreciation for this work and what it has meant to them.

Please join our other supporters today with your gift.
 
You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

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Courtesy of Stand True Ministries
Bryan Kemper Follow Bryan

10 years ago today, Terri Schiavo died an agonizing death. I was with her family. Where were you?

Bryan Kemper Follow Bryan
By Bryan Kemper
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March 31, 2015 (StandTrue.com) -- For twenty-four years I have been involved with pro-life work in one way or another. Over those twenty-four years I have talked to thousands of people about their involvement, why they got involved, how they got involved and what motivates them to continue. We have talked about what happened in 1973 and where were all the Christians when Roe vs. Wade was passed. We would wonder why Christians would ignore human rights and own slaves in the time of the Dred Scott decision. We would tell stories about the few brave Christians that hid Jews during the Holocaust and proclaim that if it were we in those times we would have been a voice. If we were around in those days we would have risked all to save an innocent life; that is what we said, at least.

Ten years ago a young woman in Florida who was handicapped began an agonizing and painful journey towards death. Her husband, who had once made a vow to love and honor her through good times and bad, murdered her on national television. Her husband, who had already broken his vows to her by living with another woman and fathering children with her, went to court to have his wife starved and dehydrated to death. Terri Schiavo held onto life and fought for 13 days before finally dying on Thursday, March 31, 2005.

When I arrived in Florida one week before her death I expected to see thousands and thousands of Christians in front of the hospice praying, singing and crying out for Terri. I expected to see all those people who said, “I would have been there to stand up if I were around in the times of Roe vs. Wade or during the Holocaust.” I was sadly disappointed.

I walked up and saw maybe 150 people at most — some of them familiar faces from the pro-life movement, some of them just wanting to be on TV. I started to walk around and ask where people were from and most of them were from out of town; it was hard to find anyone from the Tampa area there to stand up for Terri. For years I wondered where the Christians were when Roe vs. Wade was passed, and now I had the answer.

I spent the first day walking around the crowd praying with people, talking about what could be done and simply being there in solidarity with our sister as she was dying. When I arrived the second day I talked to Terri’s sister whom I had met in Washington, DC, in January, when I volunteered my services to the family. I was asked to help guard the family and escort them around as everyone was swarming them.

I spent a lot of time just sitting with them and listening to stories about Terri and her life growing up. Her dad told a story about when Terri ran over a cat and how upset she was over this poor little cat. The friends shared beautiful stories and memories that I will treasure forever.

During this time we also spent a lot of time in prayer, with many different Christian leaders and friends. Everyone would be talking about a possible option and then someone would just stop and say, “Let’s pray.” There was more spontaneous prayer than I had ever seen. I would walk among the people there in support and see small groups up and down the street praying, singing hymns and just reading the Scriptures out loud. There may not have been a large group there, but they were dedicated and focused on prayer.

I spent a lot of time walking the family through the media circus to and from the hospice trying to give them a little privacy. I would walk Terri’s dad through the crowd every night as he thanked all the supporters for being there for Terri.

I talked to many of the behind-the-scenes media people who were obviously shaken by this tragedy. I saw people from all different walks of life and political and religious backgrounds taking a stand. There were many non-Christian people there in support of Terri, and dozens of handicapped people from a group called Not Dead Yet. I even spent time in prayer with the Rev. Jesse Jackson as he came to help the family and speak out for Terri. I never in a million years would have believed that I would sit in a room praying with Randal Terry, Jesse Jackson and Sean Hannity.

Each night at about 11:00 PM I would leave the hospice area and go get something to eat and try to catch up on some computer work and grab a few hours of sleep. I talked to a lot of people at different restaurants that would ask us what was really happening there. One night Terri’s brother, Bobby, came out to eat with us. When he left, the people there asked us questions and wanted to know the truth about the whole situation; they were shocked when they got the true facts about Terri.

On Wednesday night I went to the hotel and was especially saddened as we were reaching 13 days. My friend Will and I sat in the pool at the hotel at 2:00 AM discussing the past week and what else could have been done. I finally got to sleep at about 3:00 AM. Early the next morning, I was awoken by Will telling me that Terri had died.

We quickly packed our bags and went to the car to drive over to the hospice a few blocks away. As I got into the car it really began to hit me what had just happened and I started to cry. I picked up my cell phone and called my wife and children; I just needed to hear their voices and tell them I loved them.

I got to the hospice and stood guard outside the room the family was in to give them some privacy. The room was tucked in behind all the major media trucks and production areas. I watched as many of the media producers and reporters were fighting back tears. I watched reporters hugging the family and giving condolences; they were truly touched by Terri’s family. Many of the media that I had gotten to know expressed their grief to me, some of them on-air personalities who were affected greatly.

After the family was done making their statements for the day, I made my rounds to offer my condolences and say my goodbyes. I told the family about all the Stand True supporters and family that had asked me to send their best wishes and prayers. I thanked them for their strength and resolve in the fight for Terri’s life. I let them know that we at Stand True will never let Terri’s name die and that we will continue the fight for life and others like Terri.

I will never forget and I will never stop telling her story. 

HTTP://WWW.TERRISFIGHT.ORG

Also read Father Frank Pavone’s memory of his time with Terri.

HTTP://WWW.WASHINGTONTIMES.COM/NEWS/2015/MAR/30/FRANK-PAVONE-TERRI-SCHIAVOS-INCONVENIENT-LIFE/

Reprinted with permission from Stand True.

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