American couple face flak for running swingers” club inside a church

September 20th, 2008 - 2:36 pm ICT by ANI  

Pittsburgh, Sept.20 (ANI): A Pennsylvania couple is fighting to maintain a church they run from a Huntingdon Township home, which officials say is really a raunchy swingers club where single men have to pay for access but women come for free.

A Fox News report said that John and Kim Ondrik have claimed that they worship nature at the Church for Spiritual Humanism. But midnight mass at the Spiritual Palace is on hold opponents of the church, including neighbors and North Huntingdon Township officials, say what’’s really behind those closed doors is a club called the “Swinger’’s Palace.”

Township commissioner Richard Gray said it’’s been an open secret that a swingers club has operated out of the two-story house since the 1970s, but they finally have the evidence to shut it down.

Gray said the dispute is not about church or sex it’’s about having a business operating in a residentially zoned area.

“The mere fact that they were charging a mandatory fee to get in, in my opinion, would constitute a business,” he said.

An attorney representing John Ondrik told FOX News that members in the private church give a donation and aren”t charged to get inside the midnight masses, which typically take place on Friday and Saturday nights.

Bruce Ledewitz, a law professor at Duquesne University, said the Ondriks might have a case if they can convince authorities they”re sincere about their religion and that they truly believe in their church.

But keeping the Palace open might be a tough sell. Its Web site, which was recently taken offline, showed that couples were charged an admission of 50 dollars while single men had to pay 75 dollars. Single women could attend free of charge.

Self-described swinger “Dave” said he and his partner paid money to get into the club, and he gained no religious experience from the Ondriks church.

A ruling on the variance is expected October 14. If it’’s denied, the Ondriks are expected to appeal. (ANI)

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