GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WWJ) - A west Michigan business owner claims he's been the target of death threats after he announced he won't serve gays.
Brian Klawiter, who owns Dieseltec Automotive Repair in Grandville, posted a message on his business' Facebook page saying that he is a Christian, and that his company does not welcome "immoral behavior" — including homosexuality.
"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.
"...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," the post reads, in part. [Read the compete message here].
The post went viral and now has hundreds of comments, mostly from people calling him names and accusing him of bigotry; although a handful of supportive commenters commend him on his stance.
Speaking to WWJ Newsradio 950's Zahra Huber, Klawiter would not agree to an interview, but did confirm that he and his family have received death threats, with some saying they'd burn down his shop. He also said there have been people protesting outside his business.
In a new Facebook message posted Thursday morning, Klawiter said he doesn't mind people expressing opposing views — but the threats are unacceptable.
"Listen up folks, If you have an opposing view to mine that IS OK, what is NOT OK is threats to kill me, my family, and friends; threats to burn down my shop and my home. I will stand firm on my views and will not back down, however, because of the ridiculous backlash I am requesting any supporters of ours that would be willing to stand with us to help secure my home and business. (There also seems to be a TON of confusion about one of my comments, the bolt and nut thing was a reference to physiology, bolt penis and nut vagina. I DID NOT threaten to purposely put a vehicle together wrong to harm someone," the post reads.
A Grandville police sergeant said they haven't received any calls regarding the alleged threats, but they are monitoring the situation.
She said the department is deploying extra officer patrols in the area surrounding the business, to "make sure nothing gets out of hand," and to "protect everyone" involved.
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