Metzger Bar and Butchery, a Richmond, Virginia restaurant that says it prides itself on being an "inclusive environment," recently canceled a reservation just 90 minutes before it’s scheduled time for a Christian group that they say made their female and LGBTQ+ staff feel "uncomfortable and unsafe."
Late last week, the restaurant posted an explanation to Instagram as to why they canceled the reservation.
"Metzger Bar and Butchery has always prided itself on being an inclusive environment for people to dine in," the statement began.
"In eight years of service we have very rarely refused service to anyone who wished to dine with us. Recently we refused service to a group that had booked an event with us after the owners of Metzger found out it was a group of donors to a political organization that seeks to deprive women and LGBTQ+ persons of their basic human rights in Virginia.
"We have always refused service to anyone for making our staff uncomfortable or unsafe and this was the driving force behind our decision. Many of our staff are women and/or members of the LGBTQ+ community. All of our staff are people with rights who deserve dignity and a safe work environment.
"We respect our staff’s established rights as humans and strive to create a work environment where they can do their jobs with dignity, comfort and safety," the statement concluded.
The Christian group was revealed to be the Family Foundation, a non-profit, faith-based organization in Virginia that advocates for policies based on "Biblical principles that enable families to flourish at the state and local level."
In a December 1 post written by President Victoria Cobb, she revealed that the cancellation came just an hour and a half before people were set to arrive.
"Have you ever been denied a meal because of your beliefs?" Cobb’s post began.
"Last night, our team and supporters got the firsthand experience when Metzger’s Bar and Butchery in Richmond, VA refused to service our pre-reserved event, leaving us scrambling just moments before."
Cobbs wrote that the organization had been planning a gathering for weeks to take place in one of the restaurant’s private rooms.
"About an hour and a half before the event was set to take place, one of the restaurant’s owners called our team to cancel the event," the post continued. "As our VP of Operations explained that guests were arriving at their restaurant shortly, she asked for an explanation. Sure enough, an employee looked up our organization, and their wait staff refused to serve us."
A flyer for the event, which was set to take place on November 30, stated that the "Dessert Reception" was being held "to discuss the success and future plans of the Family Foundation."
"Welcome to the 21st century, where people who likely consider themselves 'progressives' attempt to recreate an environment from the 1950s and early 60s, when people were denied food service due to their race," the post stated.
Cobbs later added, "Welcome to the double standard of the left, where some believe Jack Phillips must be forced to create a wedding cake as part of the celebration of a same-sex ceremony but any business should be able to deny basic goods and services to those who hold biblical values around marriage."
Cobbs explained that the Family Foundation believes that those with private businesses should not have to "violate their convictions," but noted that "most, if not all, faiths not only allow for the provision of services, like food, to those with whom they disagree, but they also encourage it."
"Our witness will not be diminished, and we will not be silenced. We will speak out when we see this type of religious discrimination occurring in Virginia," Cobbs concluded.
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