Restaurants in Colorado City settle discrimination suit

Restaurants in Colorado City settle discrimination suit

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PHOENIX (AP) -- The owners of two restaurants near the Arizona-Utah border have settled lawsuits that accused them of refusing to serve former members of a polygamous sect.

Big Dan's Drive Thru and Vermillion Candy Shoppe were accused of turning away people who no longer belonged to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a sect that practices polygamy and arranged marriage in Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah.

The restaurants in Colorado City are owned by FLDS members.

The owners agreed not to discriminate against anyone who is not a FLDS member or has left the church, according to the Arizona Attorney General's Office.

They also must adopt an anti-discrimination policy, submit reports to the state for five years and teach all employees about the Arizona Civil Rights Act. Attorney General Terry Goddard sued the restaurants in June.

Isaac Wyler, Andrew Chatwin and their friends and family members claimed they had problems at the restaurants in 2006.

They were asked to leave before eating food they had ordered, were sometimes not allowed to order and were escorted out by Colorado City marshals, according to the lawsuits.

The businesses agreed to the settlement without admitting any guilt, Goddard's office said Monday.

The FLDS church has its roots in early Mormon theology, although the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disavows any connection to the sect.

Former FLDS leader Warren Jeffs was sent to prison last month for rape as an accomplice. He resigned as president Nov. 20.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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