Brian Klawiter, the owner of Dieseltec, a West Michigan auto repair shop, stirred up controversy with a Facebook post stating that Dieseltec would refuse service to any openly gay customers, while offering a discount to all customers who come in with a gun. Klawiter said that on-duty police officers carrying guns would not receive a discount, writing, “thats not their gun, thats my gun bought with my money.”
The owner of Dieseltec cited his Christian values as the reason he would deny any openly gay customers service. The Facebook post was published from Dieseltec’s page on Tuesday morning, according to MLIVE. Dieseltec’s owner stated that his conservative rights are “squashed more and more everyday.”
“There’s a set of behavior rules in my place of business,” Klawiter told WZZM in an interview, justifying his reasons for announcing that Dieseltec will turn away gay customers. “I operate my life under Christian values, and to not take those into my business, I think, would be hypocritical.”
Dieseltec’s owner said that he chose homosexuality as an example of “immoral behavior,” and added that he has the right to run his business the way he sees fit.
“I did choose homosexuality as an example when I spoke of immoral behavior, and that certainly has become the hot-button issue. I did speak about guns, that they are welcome in my shop, so much so that I will offer a discount for those that want to carry one into my shop. I spoke about racism; I spoke about thievery and dishonesty and these are all things that aren’t acceptable in my place of business.”
Klawiter says he was surprised by the hundreds of comments on his Facebook post about his policy of refusing openly gay customers, but others on Facebook say that the auto repair shop owner was trying to stir up controversy.
“While I respect your right as a business owner, I found it tacky to make threats of shoddy workmanship. This whole post seems like an attempt to ride the wave other people started. Can’t survive? Bash a group on Facebook and get a gofundme page… If your so uppity and Christian why not just pray and make a Godfundme prayer instead,” Rhonda Heikkinen wrote, referencing Memories Pizza’s skyrocking GoFundMe account.
Dieseltec’s owner told WZZM News that he was surprised by the hate and threats he is receiving from the Facebook post, because, according to him, his comments about refusing gay customers were only a small part of his post. He told the reporter that he should have known the consequences of posting about controversial issues such as refusing service to gay people and offering discounts to people who carry guns.
The text of the post made from Dieseltec’s Facebook page is still online as of Thursday morning.
“Enough is enough.
“Our rights as conservative Americans are being squashed more and more everyday. Apparently if you are white (or close to it), you have a job, go to church, and own a gun… That translates into racists, privileged, bigot, conspiracy theorist. Too many of us say nothing. Well, freedom of speech isn’t just for Liberals, THEY are the ones that need to learn to ‘co-exist’, THEY are the ones who need to WORK to be ‘equal’
“Therefore, in the spirit of freedom (whats left of it) and MY right to operate MY business as I see fit:
“Guns ARE allowed at DIESELTEC, so much so in fact that we will offer a discount if you bring in your gun. (‘On duty’ cops are excluded because thats not their gun, thats my gun bought with my money, off duty absolutely!)
“I am a Christian. My company will be run in a way that reflects that. Dishonesty, thievery, immoral behavior, etc. will not be welcomed at MY place of business. (I would not hesitate to refuse service to an openly gay person or persons. Homosexuality is wrong, period. If you want to argue this fact with me then I will put your vehicle together with all bolts and no nuts and you can see how that works.)
“We, as a team, work hard for whats ours. We are not protected by unions or contracts. We absolutely MUST provide our customers with a service level that would make them come back or tell their friends about us. We don’t have a ‘right’, and we are not ‘entitled’ to our pay. We must EARN it.
“I am not racists, you are for assuming I am, however, I am really quick to judge… if it acts like a duck, and quacks like a duck…
“It IS a free country and I support your right to your opinion, that being said, if you don’t like what I have to say I reserve that same right to tell you to go cry to your momma (cause your daddy would probably smack ya’, better yet, yes, go tell your dad.)”
Many Facebook users have responded negatively to Dieseltec’s anti-gay, pro-gun business post.
“‘I am a Christian’ and ‘I am really quick to judge’ somehow don’t really line up with the teachings of Christ. Your conservative rights are not being trampled on. You can refuse service to anyone and you should. Please don’t use Jesus as a reason for it. He turned nobody away,” Tecia Timmel wrote.
“Thanks for showing me where NOT to do business. Jesus preaches love. This is not it. And what kind of ‘businessman’ threatens to purposefully do shoddy work? Opening yourself up to some big lawsuits. Keep doing business this way,” Shanna Nicole Anderson wrote.
Do you think of Dieseltec’s anti-gay, pro-gun Facebook post was the result of a business owner standing up for his personal beliefs, or do you think he was trying to start a controversy for free publicity?