Just days after a wedding venue in Tennessee told a gay couple that they could hold their commitment ceremony there, the venue reversed course, citing the state's ban on gay marriage.
According to NBC affiliate WSMV, Iraq war veterans Anthony Wilfert and Brian Blas fell in love nine years ago while serving at Fort Campbell.
The men thought they had found the perfect venue for their ceremony after taking a tour of Mint Springs Farm.
“I made it clear from the get-go that it was a same-sex ceremony,” Wilfert said. “He explicitly made it clear that it was not an issue, that they would host that type of ceremony.”
But within days, the couple received an e-mail from the venue's owner: “Unfortunately, until same sex marriage is legal in the state of Tennessee, we cannot participate in this ceremony at our venue. I wish we could help, I truly do, but our hands are tied in this situation.”
“It is a private venue,” Wilfert said. “We purposefully chose a place that is not tied to a religious organization for that reason, so to mention something about state law is baffling.”
In a statement to the network, the owner reiterated his decision: “We are deeply sorry that a staff member of ours was unaware of our policy and truly understand the disappointment of this couple. Our employee was simply trying to be helpful to this couple who visited our venue after hours.”
“We only do weddings at our facility. When we went into this endeavor, we knew that due to the nature of our business, this situation would arise. However, Tennessee law currently states that same-sex marriage is prohibited by the Tennessee State Constitution. Because we only host weddings, we cannot violate Tennessee law.”
The owner added that the decision “does not in any way reflect or convey any personal feelings on this matter.”
Wilfert said that it was “quite deflating” to have fought in the military for the freedoms of all Americans only to “come back to fight a whole new set of obstacles.”
No, their hands aren't "tied" they are homophobes.
Just because it isn't legal for same sex couples to marry in Tennessee, doesn't mean a privately owned company can't host a gay commitment ceremony....who the hell do they think they are foolin'?