LifeSiteNews.com

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

LifeSiteNews.com
LifeSiteNews.com

LifeSiteNews.com Exclusive

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

FREE pro-life and pro-family news.

Stay up-to-date on the issues you care about the most. Subscribe today. 

Select Your Edition:

Donate to LifeSiteNews

Give the gift of Truth.


Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
David Bereit of 40 Days for Life, on the right.
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

All one fight: Why the leader of 40 Days for Life says he may become active in the fight for marriage

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Just eight years ago, 40 Days for Life was founded as a pro-life Christian ministry. This year, it reached 252 cities in 19 countries.

Now, says founder and National Director David Bereit, he's discerning whether to expand his personal activism to marriage.

"The various moral issues we confront in our culture today are all intrinsically connected," Bereit told LifeSiteNews at Saturday's March for Marriage. “When you look at the various factors that lead to the breakdown of nations and civilizations, they are moral factors," Bereit said. "It's the devaluing of human life, it's the abandonment of religious belief and practice, it's immorality -- the increase thereof – and it's the breakdown of the family."

"They're all tied into this moving away from God, and America was founded as a nation with Christian principles and ideals that used to say 'In God We Trust.' And the further we've turned away from that, the more we have fallen,” he said. "I believe that with man, turning the tide in our culture is not possible, but with God, all things are possible."

Bereit stressed that his attendance at the March for Marriage, as well as his ongoing process of discernment, was representative only of his own circumstances -- not those of 40 Days for Life, which remains an abortion-focused ministry.

Bereit did not shy away from questions that are often raised about what President Barack Obama called America's “tragic” history.

"America was built on Judeo-Christians principles,“ he said. “There are still fallen people that make up our churches and our communities."

"The question is, will people of faith and conscience turn back to God and do their very best to align themselves with the principles that formed our nation and made our nation such a great place in history?"

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

The third annual March for Marriage, which was organized by the National Organization for Marriage and exclusively livestreamed by LifeSiteNews, drew thousands of people, mostly minorities, just three days before what is being billed as the definitive U.S. Supreme Court hearing on the issue of same-sex "marriage."  

Advertisement
Featured Image
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

, ,

‘Persecution plain and simple’:  Franklin Graham fundraises for Oregon bakers after GoFundMe shuts them down

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

BOONE, NC, April 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – First, they were fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual “marriage” ceremony. Then, a rival business owner convinced GoFundMe.com to stop Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein from raising money to pay the fine on the grounds that, since their religious beliefs violate state law, they are common criminals.

Now, one of the nation's most well-known Christian ministers and philanthropists is coming to their aid.

An administrative law judge fined the Oregon bakers, proprietors of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, $135,000 to pay for the emotional suffering of Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer – a lesbian couple who say they feel the Kleins “mentally raped” them.

The Kleins have since closed their Portland-area business and lost substantial income. After hearing of the fine on Friday, Melissa said the amount would financially crush them.

The family opened a GoFundMe page and, within hours, they collected more than $109,000.

Then Lisa Watson, the co-owner of Cupcake Jones in Portland, began lobbying the website to banish the couple's appeal.

“The amount of money they have raised in a matter of a few hours by thousands of anonymous cowards is disgusting,” Watson wrote on Facebook. She added that the website's “terms of service address hate speech, bigotry, criminal activity, and sexism among other things in their campaign.”

GoFundMe then suspended the Kleins' fundraising.

“While a different campaign was recently permitted for a pizzeria in Indiana, no laws were violated and the campaign remained live,” GoFundMe said in a statement. “However, the subjects of the 'Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa' campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled.”

The day after the announcement Watson, who operates her business with husband Peter Shanky, posted a photo of her 2015 Equality Advocate Award “for outstanding leadership to advanced lived equality for all LGBTQ Oregonians.”

The Kleins hope the website will reconsider. “We have told GoFundMe that the money is simply going to be used to help our family, and there is no legitimate breach of their terms and conditions,” the Kleins wrote on Facebook.

That's when the Reverend Franklin Graham and his ministry Samaritan's Purse stepped in, allowing those who wish to alleviate the couple's suffering to donate on its website.

"The fund was created to help persecuted Christians in the U.S., including Aaron and Melissa Klein,” an employee at Samaritan's Purse told LifeSiteNews today. “It was only activated over the weekend and the organization has not yet announced any numbers. Currently, Samaritan's Purse is focused on the earthquake in Nepal and providing relief supplies to people impacted by the disaster.”

Graham praised the Kleins' steadfastness in the face of legal challenges. “They have taken a stand for the Word of God, and they should not have to stand alone,” the ministry's founder and president Franklin Graham said. “I believe that Christians across our nation will rally around Aaron and Melissa and their five children. Please pray for Aaron and Melissa, and pray for our nation. When our judges are punishing Christians for practicing what they believe, that’s persecution, plain and simple.”

“God bless Reverend Franklin Graham,” AFR Talk radio host Bryan Fischer said today. 

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

The Kleins will still receive the money raised by GoFundMe, in addition to any supplemental funds raised by Graham's international charitable ministry.

Conservative author Dan Calabrese wrote that “Melissa's Sweet Cakes will not have to go into bankruptcy and the family won't personally be ruined. And what a disappointment that must be to the gay mafia, whose agenda is to intimidate all gay marriage opponents into not just silence but compliance, for fear of just such” an outcome.

Christians have risen to the challenge before. Memories Pizza raised more than $840,000 after the Indiana pizzeria was harassed into closing its doors for saying it would cater a same-sex “wedding.”

Calabrese warns that these victories may lead to more intense anti-Christian persecution.

“When put in an untenable position like this, Christians and others who support their right to operate their business as they see fit will come to their aid. So the gay mafia will take it up a notch, attempting to intimidate the fundraising organizations from cooperating with the effort,” he said.

If that fails, “Maybe they can persuade friendly Democrat lawmakers (or terrified Republicans) to legislate them out of business.”

Readers can donate to the Klein family here.

Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

,

Opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’ – a deeper love

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

April 27, 2015 (CNSNews.com) -- Same-sex “marriage” – the legal recognition of same-sex relationships – is one of the most contentious issues in America. Laws, constitutional interpretation, and the future of religious liberty may well rest on what nine justices decide two months from now.

Many observers seem to believe that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of redefining marriage. And while many on all sides of the debate, especially those who are undecided, believe this will bring cultural peace, evidence around the world points in the exact opposite direction.

Rather than settle animosity and ease cultural tensions, the advent of same-sex “marriage” will lead to the repression of religious freedom and determination to root out dissent to the gay rights doctrine. At LifeSiteNews, we have watched this play out for nearly two decades in 17 countries around the world – and America is next.

A prime example is Canada. Same-sex “marriage” passed in 2005. Similar to European countries which have done so, there has been a relentless pursuit of the minds of children against the wishes of their parents. Schools, both public and private, were first mandated by law to have gay-straight alliance clubs under the auspices of anti-bullying. Then, sex-education, teaching the normalcy of homosexual sex, was given to children without parents being permitted to opt their children out of the classes.

We have arrived at this state of affairs because of the silence of Christian pulpits on sexual matters, and the concomitant shouting from every secular pulpit, screen and book. Even the current discussion around same-sex “marriage” in the United States reveals a grave reluctance to speak about the heart of the issue – homosexual sex. Rather, arguments are made about the goodness of natural marriage, about its benefit to children, and its unchangeable character.

From reporting on the subject every day for so many years, we knew that the struggle for same-sex “marriage” has very little to do with marriage. In fact, until just recently, gay activists didn’t even want to be “married” to each other. Most had no interest in the constraints that such a formalized union would entail in terms of exclusive partnership.

However, the leaders among the activists convinced the movement that they must attain marriage as a societal stamp of approval to homosexual behavior. And, frankly, they have largely succeeded.

Today, in many of the nations where same-sex “marriage” is law, opposition to it is seen as akin to racism. It is seen falsely as an animosity against someone for who they are—an unwillingness to recognize the human dignity of a class of persons due to an immutable characteristic.

However, that false perception is due to a purposeful agenda to conflate animosity against homosexual sex acts with animosity against persons who experience same-sex attraction. The ancient Christian teaching to “love the sinner and hate the sin” is an impermissible distinction in the minds of some. It is, however, the key to understanding the majority of the opposition to same-sex “marriage.”

The plain truth of the matter is that opposition to same-sex “marriage” is rooted not in hatred and bigotry, but just the opposite – in love. Like parents who do not allow children to behave dangerously without lovingly correcting them, opponents of same-sex relationships are hoping to save people with same-sex attractions from severe physical, psychological, and spiritual harm.

Just as, out of love and concern for their children’s welfare, parents must correct and discipline, despite the protests they may get in return, any true believer in marriage, natural law and science must lovingly correct their fellow man.

In other nations, the perception that opposition to same-sex “marriage” is based upon bigotry has led to laws that violate religious liberty, parental rights and freedom of speech. This is why those who oppose same-sex “marriage” must present their reasoning as based on love and concern for the welfare of those in homosexual relationships, in addition to concerns for children and society itself. And there is ample evidence on which to base that concern in the numerous studies showing the grave harm of homosexual sex to both body and psyche.

When I’ve spoken of these findings at conferences around the world, some have questioned if the researchers who showed these harms weren’t themselves biased by anti-gay sentiment. And so I’ve taken to carrying with me on my phone the quotes of the late Canadian gay activist Gens Hellquist, whose testimony proves the harms of gay sex better than any study ever could.

Speaking a year after the passage of same-sex “marriage” into law, Hellquist was seeking more healthcare dollars for the LGBT community. "We have one of the poorest health statuses in this country,” he said. “Health issues affecting queer Canadians include lower life expectancy than the average Canadian, suicide, higher rates of substance abuse, depression, inadequate access to care and HIV/AIDS."

"There are all kinds of health issues that are endemic to our community,” he added. “We have higher rates of anal cancer in the gay male community, lesbians have higher rates of breast cancer.”

He concluded: “Now that we can get married everyone assumes that we don't have any issues any more. A lot of the deaths that occur in our community are hidden, we don't see them. Those of us who are working on the front lines see them and I'm tired of watching my community die."

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

Pastors and preachers must take up this call to speak the truth in love, for without this approach, the public will be led to believe that those opposed to same-sex “marriage” are indeed haters needing to be stopped with the force of law. Love is the most powerful force in any argument, and gay “marriage” pushers have used it very effectively. As Hilary Clinton tweeted as she fought religious freedom laws in Indiana: “We shouldn't discriminate against ppl bc of who they love #LGBT”

The truth is that those who oppose same-sex “marriage” are showing a deeper love, as any parent does when instilling difficult discipline. We have enough love and concern for those with same-sex attraction to warn them not to engage in behaviors proven to be very harmful. We won’t encourage people to enter into such harmful behaviors by redefining marriage to encourage it, nor will we allow our children to be indoctrinated into regarding it as a healthy and safe alternative lifestyle.

We have failed so far to get this message of love out to the public. I will not be surprised if the Supreme Court approves of same-sex “marriage” – and I will be even less surprised to see a subsequent  crackdown on religious freedom, as already seen in states like California and Colorado.

Pope Benedict XVI predicted it a decade ago. Observing the international trends, the then-Cardinal said “very soon it will not be possible to state that homosexuality, as the Catholic Church teaches, is an objective disorder in the structuring of human existence.”

Reprinted with permission from CNS News

Share this article

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook