(Phoenix, Ariz. – Dec. 17, 2007) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced the settlements of lawsuits against the Vermillion Candy Shoppe (“Vermillion”) and Big Dan’s Drive Thru (Big Dan’s) and their owners and operators. Both businesses are located in Colorado City, Ariz.
The settlements, in the form of consent judgments, resolve allegations that the owners and operators of Vermillion and Big Dan’s discriminated against customers because of their religious beliefs.
According to the lawsuits, Isaac Wyler, Andrew Chatwin and their friends and family members encountered religious discrimination at the defendants’ Colorado City restaurants on multiple occasions from April to July 2006 by being asked to leave without eating the food they had ordered, not being permitted to order food and by having the Colorado City Marshals escort them out of the restaurants.
The settlements, approved by Maricopa County Superior Court Judges Glenn A. Davis and A. Craig Blakey II, do not constitute an admission of wrongdoing. The settlements require:
- Vermillion and Big Dan’s to refrain from discriminating against any person because that person does not observe the FLDS religion, is not a currently accepted FLDS member in good standing or is considered an apostate by FLDS members.
- Vermillion and Big Dan’s must adopt a non-discrimination policy and provide the policy to all present and future employees.
- Vermillion and Big Dan’s must submit reports to the State for five years regarding policy violations and any refusal to serve or admit anyone to the restaurants.
- All employees of Vermillion and Big Dan’s must attend training regarding the new policy and antidiscrimination provisions of the Arizona Civil Rights Act.
Assistant Attorney General Sandra Kane handled this case. The Arizona Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on a person’s disability, race, color, religion, sex, familial status or national origin. If you believe you are a victim of discrimination, please contact the Attorney General’s Office, Civil Rights Division, in Phoenix at 602-542-5263 or in Tucson at 520-628-6500. To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General's Office has 36 satellite offices throughout Arizona with volunteers available to help. Locations and hours of operation are posted on the Attorney General's Web site at www.azag.gov. Copies of the consent judgments are attached.