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Gay couple say wedding venue told them: ‘We can’t allow people like you here’

Joseph McCormick February 25, 2015
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A couple in Scotland say they were told by a wedding venue: “We can’t allow people like you here.”

Stephen and John Devaney said they were left shocked because the Loch Lomond Waterfront owner Suzanne Cottam voiced her opposition to same-sex marriage, and turned them away.

The couple, who have been together for 17 years, and in a civil partnership since 2006, said they were told by Cottam that she thought marriage was “between a man and a woman”.

According to the couple, who enquired about converting their civil partnership to a marriage there, Cottram simply told them: “I’m the owner. I can do as I like.”

The Daily Record reports that John, 49, who said he was still “shocked”, said: “We’ve fought for many years for equal rights. That woman stripped me of them in an instant.

“She couldn’t hide her disgust,” he continued. “She told me, ‘We can’t allow people like you in here’, and said gay marriage was against her beliefs.”

Stephen, 38, added: “This discrimination is disgusting. We were both upset – it was the most horrible feeling.”

The couple are now considering court action against the venue.

According to the Record, the venue owners have refused to comment in person.

The Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Bill took effect on New Year’s Eve 2014, allowing couples to convert civil partnerships to marriage, or to marry.

Update: PinkNews contacted Loch Lomond Waterfront and spoke with Suzanne Cottam, who denied that the words attributed to her were said, but declined to clarify whether the couple were ever turned away from the venue.

She released the following statement:”We would like to put the record straight about false allegations made about us in the media today.

“Suzanne Cottam did not say the words attributed to her, nor would she do so because of her Christian faith and her belief in the dignity of all people.

“Due to the hysterical nature of the reporting, we have been inundated with foul, abusive and sometimes threatening messages. We urge the press to exercise caution in repeating the false claims being made about us.

“Suzanne has an independent witness who was present throughout the conversation and can back up her version of events.

“As a result of the serious defamatory comments which have been made and published we are taking legal advice as to what remedies may be available to us.

“We will be making no further comment on this matter at present.”

Related topics: Scotland

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