Pro-Family Group Accuses Holiday Inn of Anti-Christian Discrimination

A Christian non-profit devoted solely to confronting the homosexual activist agenda is alleging anti-Christian discrimination against a Holiday Inn Select in Naperville, Ill.

Weeks after Americans for Truth (AFT) reserved space at the hotel and provided a security deposit to hold their first annual banquet on Oct. 6, the local Holiday Inn dropped the reservation over the possibility that gay rights activists would protest the upcoming gathering.

The dinner banquet, themed "Celebrating Truth and the Freedom to Be Moral," will feature former lesbian activist Charlene Cothran and parents' rights crusader David Parker. Pro-family leaders will celebrate "God's power to transform men and women struggling with homosexuality and expose the attack on children's innocence, parental rights and religious freedom by a gay/transgender lobby," according to AFT.

When AFT's executive director Pete LaBarbera mentioned there might be a small protest considering they are a Christian group addressing the issue of homosexuality, Holiday Inn's general manager Dennis Igoe cancelled AFT's reservation citing safety issues for the hotel guests and "potential negative publicity to the hotel." The venue was advertised only on invitations sent to those participating in the event.

Holiday Inn's corporate offices backed Igoe's decision despite the argument by Christian legal group Liberty Counsel that the cancellation is a violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act which prohibits discrimination in places of public accommodation on the basis of religion.

"I think this is a first," said LaBarbera about the cancelled reservation on the basis of a "theoretical protest of a homosexual group."

"I think we have to let corporations know that if they're going to be victimizing Christians [by] engaging in anti-Christian anti-pro-family or anti-conservative discrimination, there's a price to pay," said LaBarbera in an interview with Concerned Women for America.

LaBarbera doesn't plan to book any more stays at the Holiday Inn, noting that another Inn in the state kicked out Christian group Minuteman Project for the same reason.

"I can't picture them doing this to a gay group," he further mentioned.

AFT rescheduled the banquet for Oct. 5 at an undisclosed location outside Chicago.

In the meantime, AFT calls pro-family advocates to complain about Holiday Inn Select's "discriminatory treatment against people of faith and conservatives."