Illinois bed and breakfast responds to baseless charges of civil rights violations

TimberCreek Bed and Breakfast accused of violating Human Rights Act for hosting weddings, not ‘civil unions’
Tuesday, December 06, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — An Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney representing a central Illinois bed and breakfast filed answers Friday to complaints filed against it with the state’s Human Rights Commission. Two men filed the complaints after TimberCreek Bed and Breakfast told them that it does not host “civil union” ceremonies, but only weddings, on its premises.

“No business owner may be forced to violate his sincerely held religious beliefs merely because someone demands it,” said Steve Amjad, one of more than 2,100 attorneys in the ADF alliance. “Constitutional and state laws guarantee religious freedom for every American, including business owners. These complaints ignore those fundamental freedoms.”

“TimberCreek does not host civil union ceremonies for same-sex or opposite-sex couples, so the discrimination charge is baseless,” added ADF Senior Counsel Bryan Beauman. “TimberCreek has done nothing wrong, and their right to freely exercise their faith should not be threatened.”

The answers filed with the commission in response to the complaints filed by Mark and Todd Wathen assert that “TimberCreek did not engage in sexual-orientation discrimination under the Illinois Human Rights Act” and that applying specific portions of the act to this situation would actually violate the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, federal law, and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The complaints are listed as Mark Wathen v. TimberCreek Bed and Breakfast and Todd Wathen v. TimberCreek Bed and Breakfast.
  • Pronunciation guide: Amjad (AHM’-jahd), Beauman (BOH’-min)
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.