Mississippi wedding venue apologises for refusing mixed-race couple, stands by anti-gay bias
The owner of a wedding venue in Mississippi that refused to host the wedding of a mixed-race couple has apologised, after a video of its owner saying they wouldn’t hold interracial or gay weddings on the basis of “Christian beliefs” went viral.
The video was recorded by LaKambria Welch, who went to the venue in Booneville, Mississippi, to find out why it was refusing to hold the wedding ceremony of her brother, who is a black man with a white fiancé, according to Deep South Voice.
Welch recorded the video in which the alleged owner of Boone’s Camp Event Hall said: “First of all, we don’t do gay weddings or mixed race, because of our Christian race – I mean, our Christian belief.”
Boone’s Camp Event Hall posted an explanation on Facebook, saying that its religious beliefs about “biracial” couples were wrong – but with no mention of the refusal to host gay weddings.
“To all of those offended, hurt or felt condemn by my statement I truly apologise to you for my ignorance in not knowing the truth about this,” the post said, according to the Washington Post.
“My intent was never of racism, but to stand firm on what I ‘assumed’ was right concerning marriage.”
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Yet in the post, the owner also inadvertently reveals that it was more than religious beliefs that led her to refuse to host the wedding of a mixed-race couple.
“As a child growing up in Mississippi, our racial boundaries that were unstated were that of staying within your own race,” she wrote. “This was never verbally spoken, but it was an understood subject.”
The Facebook page for Boone’s Camp Event Hall has now been deleted.
No apology for gay-wedding refusal.
Mississippi law means it is legal to discriminate against gay people.
Since 2017, it’s been legal in Mississippi to deny LGBT+ people employment, housing, adoption rights, marriage licenses, and even services at a local business.
A broad law called HB 1523 grants Mississippians the ability to use so-called “religious exemptions” to legally deny LGBT+ people.
Despite protests from LGBT+ rights groups, the sweeping law was signed by the state’s governor Phil Bryant.