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Restaurant cancels Christian group's event just before start time because eatery's staffers — many of whom are LGBTQ+ — felt 'uncomfortable,' 'unsafe'

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Photo by Mariana Nedelcu/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Virginia restaurant canceled a Christian group's event reportedly less than two hours before the start time last week, and the venue said the reason was because the eatery's staffers — many of whom are LGBTQ+ — felt "uncomfortable" and "unsafe."

What are the details?

The Family Foundation — a Richmond-based outfit affiliated with Focus on the Family — said Metzger Bar & Butchery, also in Richmond, "refused to service our pre-reserved event, leaving us scrambling just moments before" the start time Wednesday night.

The Family Foundation — which advocates for "policies based on biblical principles that enable families to flourish at the state and local level" — added that "for weeks, we had planned a gathering of supporters and interested people in a private room to fellowship and receive an update on our work. About an hour and a half before the event was set to take place, one of the restaurant’s owners called our team to cancel the event."

The Family Foundation said its vice president of operations explained to the restaurant that "guests were arriving ... shortly" and requested an explanation. "Sure enough, an employee looked up our organization, and their wait staff refused to serve us," the Family Foundation added.

More from the group:

Welcome to the double standard of the left, where some believe Jack Phillips must be forced to create a wedding cake as part of the celebration of a same-sex ceremony but any business should be able to deny basic goods and services to those who hold biblical values around marriage.

At The Family Foundation, we believe individuals in private business should not have to violate their convictions, which for some Christians means not celebrating what God has declared sin (Romans 1:32). However, most, if not all, faiths not only allow for the provision of services, like food, to those with whom they disagree, but they also encourage it.

The Family Foundation noted that after being denied service, it was able to "pivot to another restaurant in time to hold our event" and that "our witness will not be diminished, and we will not be silenced. We will speak out when we see this type of religious discrimination occurring in Virginia."

What did the restaurant have to say?

Metzger Bar & Butchery posted an explanation Friday to Instagram:

The restaurant said, "Recently we refused service to a group that had booked an event with us after the owners of Metzger found out it was a group of donors to a political organization that seeks to deprive women and LGBTQ+ persons of their basic human rights in Virginia. We have always refused service to anyone making our staff uncomfortable or unsafe and this was the driving force behind our decision. Many of our staff are women and/or members of the LGBTQ+ community."

Anything else?

Also on Friday, the restaurant announced it was "so grateful to our many guests and neighbors for their support the past few days" and that to say "thank you," it was donating all proceeds from those buying a particular cocktail that night to Equality Virginia, which calls itself "the leading advocacy organization" in the state "seeking equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people."

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