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Wedding venue Star Barn bans LGBT weddings due to ‘religious beliefs’

Lydia Smith April 5, 2019
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A popular wedding venue in the US has come under fire for refusing to host LGBT+ weddings.

The owners of Star Barn in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, said the decision was based on their “religious beliefs”.

Speaking to PennLive, owner David Abel said: “No persons will be discriminated against; however, we ask people to respect that we have core tenants in our faith and our beliefs and we cannot participate in any event that would be in contradiction to those core tenants – one of them being marriage, which has been biblically based for thousands of years as being between a man and a woman.

“The United States government is a government founded on the principles of religious freedom,” he added. “It was also founded as one nation under God not over God.”

The news has sparked widespread condemnation from social media users.

“Never again will I step on (their) grounds. What one does not know is the blatant discrimination they have towards the LGBTQ community,” one person posted on Facebook.

Wedding cake figures of a gay and lesbian married couples
The owner cited religious beliefs as the reason for banning same-sex weddings (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“I for one will not be attending any wedding or party at this venue knowing they discriminate against people.”

Another added: “I hope they lose a whole bunch of hetero business because of this.”

One Facebook user said: “Don’t use your religious work to marginalisa group of people. It goes against your God’s most basic rule. Love thy neighbour.”

Earlier this year, a wedding photographer refused to work with a same-sex couple, citing “personal religious beliefs” as their reason.

Anna Suhyda and Amanda Broadway, from Boulder, Colorado, reached out to company Media Mansion about shooting their wedding video, they were told the firm was “not serving” LGBT+ couples.

Speaking to the Denver Channel, Suhyda said: “He asked, ‘What’s your fiancée’s name?’ And I said, ‘Amanda.’ And I could tell he kind of paused on the phone, but I thought he was maybe jotting down notes.

When she checked her emails, she found one from the company, saying: “Unfortunately, at this time, we are not serving the LGBTQ community!”

“With an exclamation point. Kind of like a punch in the gut,” she added.

The owner of the company also posted a letter on Media Mansion’s Facebook page, stating they would work with the LGBTQ community on business videos, but not “gay ceremonies or engagements” due to “personal religious beliefs”.

More: Discrimination, Pennsylvania, same sex marriage, US, Weddings

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