The mechanic in Grandville, Michigan who caused a national uproar over his post on Facebook saying he would refuse to provide service to openly gay people, or if he did provide such service, would half-ass the job so as to potentially lead to injury or a fatality, has more than just a hate of LGBT people. He apparently hates rules in general.
Exhibit A in Klawiter’s checkered relationship with the rules that make society functional is his apparent conviction in 1999 for assault.
He was charged in Grand Rapids Circuit Court for the charge in 1998, and convicted in 1999, according to online records. He was sentenced to probation. Of course, those pesky rules he was subjected to on probation were a bridge too far for him — he was convicted of violating his probation in March of 2001 and ordered to work release jail time for 15 days. He paid the courts $490 in costs and fees for his assault conviction.
Note: Those who are tempted to do the ill-advised and try to get some “street justice” would be best served by recognizing this man has acted violently in the past and could do so in the future.
Exhibit B in Klawiter’s hate of the rules is his apparent fight with the city of Grandville. Seems the man who does God’s work thinks he is not obligated like every other business in Grandville to register his business. If he doesn’t register his business, Klawiter could face a $50 fine, city officials told MLive. But don’t expect that to happen soon, as officials are waiting for the social media storm to subside.
As a sidenote, Klawiter’s Facebook declaration may result in Grandville adopting a comprehensive human rights ordinance. Grandville Mayor Steve Maas tells Mlive he’s not sure such an action would be supported by the town.
“That would surprise me if that (had no opposition) in Grandville,” Maas said. “We had a lively, vigorous debate about whether the library should be open for a bit on Sunday,” Maas told the online news outlet. “I don’t think it would be bad to have a discussion about it. It’s a discussion that every municipality is going to be having eventually, unless the state decides the issue (by amending the civil rights law).”
Maas told the outlet he thinks a move to adopt such a law should be citizen initiated. That sounds like a huge invitation to Grandville’s progressive residents to throw caution to the wind and start advocating for such a law for economic reasons as well as common human decency.
Of course, Klawiter might end up without two quarters to rub together if things continue the way they are. Progress Michigan on Thursday called for a boycott of his business.
“Discriminating against people because of who they are or whom they love is wrong — period. That’s true no matter what industry we are talking about. It’s time that people start taking action not only with their votes and voices, but with their wallets,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “We need to show both lawmakers and business owners that intolerance will not be welcome in our state. In the same way that this business owner shouldn’t be threatening the LGBT community with refusal of service, we discourage people from threatening the business owner for his beliefs. Instead, we would encourage everyone who supports the LGBT community to show their solidarity by doing business at another establishment.”
And Fortune 500 company Cummins is not having Klawiter’s attitude either. Klawiter’s business website includes a logo from the company, and the company announced on social media yesterday it is taking action to have Klawiter remove it.
“At Cummins, diversity is a core value. We strive to ensure all individuals are treated with dignity and respect throughout the company and in the communities where we are located. Cummins understands diversity creates stronger and more competitive work environments. Additionally, welcoming and inclusive communities help attract and retain top talent,” Cummins officials wrote on their Facebook page according to Mlive.com. “Cummins has a long history of standing up for what is right, even in the face of adversity. Our leaders championed civil rights in the 1960s, took a stand against apartheid in the 1980s and in 2000 began offering domestic partner benefits to our employees, despite opposition in our community. We have also opposed efforts that were against marriage equality in Indiana, Minnesota and at the federal level. And this year, we opposed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana. These measures run counter to our values and undermine our ideals of respecting diversity and demanding that we treat each other with mutual respect.”