FFRF stops Mississippi restaurant’s discriminatory discount (Sept. 11, 2012)

A restaurant in Wiggins, Miss., will no longer offer a preferential discount to church-going patrons, thanks to the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Western Sizzlin’ Steakhouse promoted a “half off buffet” discount to customers who presented a “church member appreciation card.” The discount was valid only for members of three local Baptist churches.

In a June 11 letter, FFRF Staff Attorney Stephanie Schmitt warned the manager that the restaurant was in violation of the Civil Rights Act and that “it is illegal for Western Sizzlin’ to discriminate, or show favoritism, on the basis of religion.”

The Civil Rights Act says that in places of public accommodation, including restaurants, every person is entitled to “full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations,” without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.

In a letter to FFRF on Sept. 11, restaurant management confirmed that the they will “discontinue including churches in our discount promotions and programs moving forward and will only offer them to other local businesses and companies that are not religious in nature.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation