Americans For Truth Sues Naperville Hotel for Anti-Christian Discrimination

“We simply want to send a message that it might be easier to discriminate against a small Christian group, but it’s no less acceptable … We don’t want corporate America to continue in its belief that it’s OK to discriminate against unpopular points of view.”
Americans For Truth attorney Jason Craddock

*      *     *

“For those who support the hotel in this, imagine that the tables were turned. Suppose it was a homosexual group that had been turned down by the hotel because of ‘negative publicity.’ Would you still support the hotel’s right to discriminate in this fashion? Sauce for the goose…”

— Comment by “Springer” posted at Daily Herald article (reprinted below), “Anti-gay group sues Naperville hotel, alleges discrimination”

_____________________________

holiday_inn_select_naperville.gif

Anti-Christian Discrimination OK? Imagine the hue and cry that would have erupted had the Holiday Inn Select hotel (left) in Naperville, Ill., canceled a “gay” organization’s scheduled banquet after its leader told the hotel that some Christians might protest the event.

Dear AFTAH Readers,

Below are two local articles on AFTAH’s just-filed lawsuit against a Naperville, IL Holiday Inn hotel for canceling our banquet two years ago out of fear of “gay” protests.

We hope you can make it to this year’s AFTAH banquet on Sat., Oct. 24 at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, IL — featuring culture warrior and former professional heavyweight boxer Matt Barber, who was fired by Allstate Insurance Co., after writing an article against homosexual “marriage” on his own time. Tickets are $50 each. A table of 10 is $500. More information here: http://americansfortruth.com/news/matt-barber-to-keynote-aftah-banquet.html; book your seat now at www.americansfortruth.com/donate.

Also, don’t forget our the dinner-lecture at our Carol Stream office Thursday, Sept. 17 featuring Michael Brown, who is going to talk about how to walk that fine line of reaching out to homosexuals with the Gospel of Christ while resisting the radical “gay” political/cultural agenda. I am really looking forward to this talk. Click HERE for more info. RSVP to aftahangela@gmail.com or americansfortruth@comcast.net. (Donations will be accepted at the event to cover costs.)

Lastly, AFTAH has now crossed the half-way mark in our goal of matching a generous donor’s $20,000 grant. Please help us go all the way with your tax-deductible donation to AFTAH at www.americansfortruth.com/donate or by mailing your gift to: Americans For Truth, P.O. Box 5522, Naperville, IL 60567-5522.  Thank you!

Peter LaBarbera
Americans For Truth  About Homosexuality
www.aftah.org

——————————————————————————–
(Suburban Chicago) Daily Herald story:

Link: http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=316820

Anti-gay group sues Naperville hotel, alleges discrimination

August 27, 2009

By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff

Peter LaBarbera said he was just being honest when he told the Naperville hotel event planner to expect protesters outside his anti-gay group’s upcoming banquet.

His truthfulness, though, may have led to his own undoing.

Americans For Truth About Homosexuality recently filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against Holiday Inn Select, 1801 N. Naper Blvd.

The Carol Stream-based group alleges its Oct. 6, 2007 fundraiser was canceled by the hotel six weeks earlier because of the group’s religious beliefs against homosexuality.

LaBarbera did not have a written contract, and no money was exchanged, but he said organizers verbally worked out details of the 100-person event, including the menu, during two meetings.

LaBarbera said hotel management told him the reservation was canceled due to “potential negative publicity.” AFTAH filed its discrimination suit Aug. 21.

“It’s always easy to come up with excuses,” said LaBarbera, AFTAH’s executive director, “but the real truth is they didn’t like our message. If you allow this sort of hecklers’ veto, you’re sanctioning discrimination.”

The banquet was planned at the hotel on the same night as a couple’s wedding. The Naperville Holiday Inn Select is independently owned and operated. Managers there said they had not been served with the lawsuit, and could not comment.

Georgia-based InterContinental Hotels Group owns the Holiday Inn brand. AN IHG spokeswoman said the cancellation decision was made solely by local hotel management. “IHG is very concerned about any claim of discrimination at any hotel bearing the Holiday Inn name,” said Sarah-Ann Soffer, media relations manager, in a statement. “IHG condemns unlawful discrimination in all of its forms. Since this matter is the subject of pending litigation, we have no further comment at this time.”

The national AFTAH organization, which is devoted to countering the gay agenda, ended up holding its banquet one day earlier at a Lombard hotel. Activists with the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network often protest AFTAH events, LaBarbera said.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount from the hotel in damages and attorney fees.

“We simply want to send a message that it might be easier to discriminate against a small Christian group, but it’s no less acceptable,” said Jason R. Craddock, AFTAH’s attorney. “We don’t want corporate America to continue in its belief that it’s OK to discriminate against unpopular points of view.”

_________________________________________

Naperville (IL) Sun story:

Link: http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/napervillesun/news/1739100,Christian-group-sues-Naperville-hotel_na082809.article

Christian Group Sues Naperville Hotel

August 28, 2009

By KATHY CICHON [kcichon@scn1.com]

Even though two years has passed since the incident occurred, a conservative organization has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against a Naperville hotel.

“Ultimately it would be easy just to ignore it and walk away,” said Peter LaBarbera, president and founder of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. “(But) it’s really not right to succumb to this sort of hecklers’ veto.” ….

On Friday the Carol Stream-based Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, which describes itself as “a group dedicated to exposing the homosexual activist agenda,” filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Holiday Inn Select, 1801 N. Naper Blvd., Naperville.

The lawsuit stems from the cancellation of a banquet Americans For Truth planned to hold Oct. 6, 2007, at the Holiday Inn Select. While working on the menu several weeks before the event, LaBarbera told the hotel the banquet may draw protesters from the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network, which describes itself as “a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered direct action group.” According to LaBarbera, a Naperville resident, the group frequently protests Americans For Truth activities.

According to a 2007 Sun article, that information led the Holiday Inn Select to reconsider. With a wedding in the other ballroom, the hotel canceled the Americans For Truth event.

“For the safety and security of all of our employees and guests, we decided that it is not a function that we wanted to have based upon the potential of having a protest,” said general manager Dennis Igoe at the time.

There was no written contract for the banquet, LaBarbera said Thursday.

When contacted Thursday, the Holiday Inn Select said it has no comment at this time. Atlanta-based InterContinental Hotels Group, which owns the Holiday Inn brand, issued the following statement:

“InterContinental Hotels Group, owner of the Holiday Inn brand, is very concerned about any claim of discrimination at any hotel bearing the Holiday Inn name. IHG condemns unlawful discrimination in all of its forms. The Holiday Inn Select Naperville hotel is independently owned and operated. IHG does not dictate local hotel operating policy for such franchised properties other than to require all hotels bearing its trademarks to comply with all applicable governmental requirements. In addition, IHG expects every Holiday Inn hotel to make every reasonable effort to promptly resolve all guest complaints. The cancellation decision in this matter was made solely by the local hotel. Since this matter is the subject of pending litigation, we have no further comment at this time.”

Saying it was unfairly treated because of its religious beliefs, LaBarbera said the group felt compelled to take action to prevent similar situations in the future and send a message to other hotels.

“We want something to come of it so hotels like Holiday Inn think twice before succumbing to anti-Christian (sentiment),” LaBarbera said.

LaBarbera said Naperville prides itself on tolerance, and that a “pro-family, pro-marriage” group deserves the same as other groups. If his group had been a gay rights or other organization, the situation never would have happened, he said.

“Tolerance is a two-way street,” LaBarbera said.

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages.

“We don’t really have a dollar amount at this time,” said Jason Craddock, a New Lenox-based attorney representing Americans for Truth. “The most important thing is the message.”

________________________________________

To sign up for AFTAH’s Feedblitz service to receive notice of all AFTAH web postings, click http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=126361


Support Americans for Truth about Homosexuality

Americans for Truth
P.O. Box 5522
Naperville, IL 60567-5522

Peter's Lifesite News Articles'

Peter's Lifesite News Articles'

Peter's Lifesite News Articles'

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Americans for Truth Radio Hour

Want to See Every New AFTAH Article?

If you don't want to miss anything posted on the Americans For Truth website, sign up for our "Feedblitz" service that gives you a daily email of every new article that we post. (This service DOES NOT replace the regular email list.) To sign up for the Feedblitz service, click here.

Americans for Truth Academy