Did an Antigay Church Force the Closure of a 30-Year-Old Gay Club?

Bretz

It was bad enough when Toledo, Ohio's 30-year-old Bretz nightclub closed in December; now a Christian group that places homosexuality and bestiality on the same moral plane will take over the space.

The Greater Toledo House of Prayer purchased the nightclub's building on January 3 for $148,000. The small Christian denomination denies it forced the club's closure, saying in a statement that the congregation simply outgrew its current space and snapped up the gay club to hold its services.

That denial is being questioned, since as The Toledo Blade reports, the House of Prayer has ties to several extremist anti-LGBT and anti-abortion organizations — a director and a member of the House of Prayer are also directors of Agora Toledo, which unsuccessfully attempted to raze a closed abortion clinic and replace it with a "memorial garden to the unborn."

The House of Prayer makes it clear that it has no room for LGBT people or anyone who doesn't conform to their rigid view of spirituality. According to their Statement of Beliefs:

"Persons who choose to become members of the Corporation, are agreeing to support... basic biblical values derived from Scriptural and historical Christianity. These values oppose and prohibit living in, practicing, condoning, or supporting sex outside of marriage, adultery, homosexuality, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, gender identity different than the birth sex chromosomal level, pornography, or other sexual immorality."

The statement includes more details on their opposition to LGBT people, referring to their "rejection of the image of God."

Bretz's former owner was trying to sell the business and keep the club open, but couldn't find a suitable buyer, House of Prayer officials told the Blade. The club's owners closed Bretz in December and then apparently sold the real estate to the Christians.

Bretz's Twitter profile described the club as, "Toledo's number one #gay nightclub. Spending our 30th year in service by offering up the best in entertainment, and events."

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