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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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‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

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July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

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Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

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Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

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LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

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Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

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After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

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