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Same-sex couple rejected from wedding venue because they’re gay – and it’s legal

March 22, 2018

A same-sex couple has been barred from using a venue for their wedding because of their sexuality, and it’s entirely within the law.

Brandyn Rathman and his partner John Stansfield are set to wed later this year and were looking around the Kansas area for the right venue.

When the couple stumbled across The Cottage in Haysville they booked an appointment to look into hiring it for their special day.

They were left stunned when venue owner Kathleen Garrison told them to cancel their booking because she would not accept a same-sex couple.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“Maybe I’m naive or whatever, but I honestly never considered it being a possibility or something we’d come across,” Rathman told KAKE.

“If you’re going to discriminate against same-sex because of your religion, then you need to go by everything that follows that religion,” Stanfield said. “Divorce, abortion.”

In Kansas, there are no laws protecting someone from discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Four years ago lawmakers tried but failed to pass a law that would have allowed a business owner to refuse anyone service based on their personal religious beliefs.

Since rejecting the couple the venue’s Facebook page has been inundated with negative reviews.

Wedding cake (Getty Images)
Wedding cake (Getty Images)

Condemning the situation, civil liberties group ACLU said: “The decision of the owner of the wedding venue to refuse service to same-sex couples offers grave moral and constitutional concerns.

“Business owners often justify these unfortunate decisions by misinterpreting the First Amendment as guaranteeing the right to discriminate.

“That is not the case. Businesses open to the public should not pick and choose their customers.

“Everyone should have the right to walk into a business and be treated fairly, regardless of their race, gender, or sexual orientation.”

Delegates of the Greens cut a wedding cake in rainbow colors
Delegates of the Greens cut a wedding cake in rainbow colors (Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images)

The couple say they do not intend to sue the owner, but want to highlight how states still legalise such discrimination in the US.

“It’s better than it was. Don’t get me wrong. But we’ve still got a long ways to come.” Rathman said.

More: Gay, LGBT, same sex marriage, US, wedding

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