A mechanic who owns a Michigan auto repair shop is refusing to serve gay people, refuses to obtain proper business and trade licenses, and seems to have had several run-ins with the law.
When Brian Klawiter posted an anti-gay rant to his company's Facebook page this week, he likely had little idea how many people he not only offended but just how much attention it would draw.
Klawiter, who owns Dieseltec, a Michigan auto repair shop, says he has the right to not serve gay people, thanks to his interpretation of the bible. And legally, he's right. There are no protections for LGBT people in Michigan, andÂ Klawiter's Facebook post has helped expose that troublesome fact.Â
In fact, the recent spate of so-called "religious freedom" laws, including Indiana and Arkansas' Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, were designed to protect the very people who, like Klawiter, want to use the bible to defend their anti-gay beliefs.
"I am a Christian," Klawiter wrote.Â "My company will be run in a way that reflects that. Dishonesty, thievery, immoral behavior, etc. will not be welcomed at MY place of business. (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.)"
But now a fuller picture ofÂ Brian Klawiter is emerging, and it's clearÂ Klawiter's idea of "freedom" is a one-way street.
"Our rights as conservative Americans are being squashed more and more everyday,"Â Klawiter wrote. "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. Too many of us say nothing,"Â he complained.Â
Klawiter wants to run his business in the way he thinks a conservative Christian would.Â
But Klawiter refuses to obtain a proper business license, because he believes that is a violation of his civil rights. He refuses to serve gay people, but offers customers who walk in with a gun a discount. As a result, several of his major suppliers have demanded he remove their logos from his website in response to his anti-gay diatribe.
And now we learn thatÂ Brian Klawiter refuses to renew his mechanic's license.
Klawiter "has not been a legally licensed mechanic in Michigan since Oct. 12, 2014," PrideSource reports. "Fred Woohams, spokesman for Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, says the mechanic's license expired in October and has not been renewed."Â
"Performing auto repair work as an unlicensed mechanic is a misdemeanor offense," Woodhams tells Between The Lines by email.
"The department is concerned about any work done in an improper or unsafe way by a mechanic and will take licensing action as appropriate when it receives a complaint," Woodhams says. "As we discussed, Mr. Klawiter is not a licensed mechanic."
PrideSource also reports Klawiter "was charged in Grand Rapids Circuit Court for the charge in 1998, and convicted in 1999, according toÂ 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."
Brian Klawiter says he's just a freedom loving good Christian. He seems to be more like an anti-government, anti-gay activist who wants the protections society and government provide him, but is unwilling to abide by or respect those rules in return.
Image: Screenshot viaÂ WZZM