GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- A local business owner wants to run his business how he wants and serve who he wants. He sparked controversy by posting his opinion on Facebook Tuesday morning.
"There's a set of behavior rules in my place of business," Dieseltec owner Brian Klawiter said. "I operate my life under Christian values and to not take those into my business, I think would be hypocritical."
Klawiter said he feels he should be able to run his automotive diesel engine repair shop how he'd like to, and that includes running it under his religious beliefs.
He took to Facebook to express that, and the sparks flew after he posted several controversial lines, including this:
"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."
"I did choose homosexuality as an example when I spoke of immoral behavior, and that certainly has become the hot-button issue," he said. "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."
The reaction, including hundreds of comments, shares, and likes, surprised Klawiter, he says, but he isn't scared of it.
"It's not popular to go against the grain of what you see across the national media, so it's uncomfortable -- but when given an opportunity to express my beliefs, I need to stand firm on those."
What has surprised him is outright hate, he says, attacks, threats, and language used by those disagreeing with his viewpoint.
He said his comments on sexuality were only a small part of the post; the bigger issue is his rights as a business owner.
"If I say something you don't agree with, don't attack me personally -- offer me your side," he said, "and I think at times we're guilty of not lending that ear."
He said he didn't mean to start a controversy but knows he should have realized the consequences before posting, but the opinion is out there and there's nothing that is going to take them back now.
"I hope I get some hate mail, some pats on the back, and then we get back to fixing some trucks."
If you want to read his entire post, click here to see his Facebook page.