Insurer rejects church over stance

January 8, 2008
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An insurance company headquartered in Fort Wayne has refused to offer a property policy to a Michigan church that belongs to a denomination that backs gay rights.

Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co., says the risk of insuring West Adrian United Church of Christ is too great because its national governing body has approved gay marriage and ordination of homosexuals.

Controversial stances like support for gay rights could result in property damage or litigation, Brotherhood Mutual told the Adrian church, which is near Ann Arbor and Toledo, Ohio.

In a story in todayâ??s Wall Street Journal, a Brotherhood Mutual spokeswoman said that while the company wasn't aware of violence, the controversies have caused expensive litigation when churches and other denominations split.

The spokeswoman added that Brotherhood Mutual also avoids churches for circumstances including support for militia groups and picketing military funerals.

Did Brotherhood Mutual make the right call?
  • no
  • Yes, they work in a society that allows them to operate under the parameters they choose, like it or not. Many may disagree, but it is their choice. They aren't involved in government entities, so they are free to choose whom they do business with.
  • Sure, they have the right to discriminate here (which, taking the lipstick off this pig is exactly what they're doing). When we choose with whom we're going to do business (or not going to do business) we discriminate. In this case, sexual orientation is not a protected class in the US or in the State of Indiana (though protected in other states). I just trust that they have a sunshine policy towards those groups they exclude and have the appropriate policies for churches that operate in states where homosexuality is a protected class.
  • Let me get this straight (no pun intended) - the church is denied insurance because they may be targeted with litigation and property damage by other churches and/or religious zealots due to their gay rights stance. What a debacle the politicizing of gay issues has become for organized religion.
  • Then why insure someone who smokes? Or buidlings near airports because there is always a chance a plane might crash.

    What a stupid policy and and with management like that it won't be long before they go out of business.
  • Mark,

    That's true that with stupid policies, the insurance company may go out of business, but that's also their decision to make. If, in their minds, it wouldn't make financial sense to insure the church, they shouldn't have to. While I personally disagree with their stance (since it does appear to be discriminating against the church since the church doesn't discriminate against gays), I do support the fact that they are free to make their own decision.

    There are plenty of other insurance agencies who would be happy to have the church's business. Like berwickguy said, since they are both private organizations, they are free to do as they choose. The minute you let the government require private companies to insure everyone, regardless of risk, that's when you have defeated the purpose of insurance

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