A couple in Nashville, Tennessee, claim they were turned down by a wedding venue when the owner discovered they were LGBT.
Mike Gill and Coty Heaton had enquired about getting married at Barn in the Bend, a Madison, Tenn.-based venue that allegedly charges $10,000 for the average wedding package.
Gill got an email from owner Jackie Daniel, in which she stated, “we appreciate your interest in our business,” and added, “we would be pleased to schedule a tour.”
Tragically, Daniel wrote Gill another email little over an hour later, wanting to clarify a detail regarding Gill’s prospective life partner. “Did you say your spouse was a “he”?” If I’m mistaken, please accept my apologies; nonetheless, I don’t want to waste your time because we do not provide same-sex marriages here. If I’m mistaken, please accept my apologies. Just let me know if we need to keep the 4:00 appointment tomorrow.”
According to TMZ, the venue’s original tone, as well as the signature at the bottom of each email, appear to have been altered. In the first email, underneath the owner’s signature, there was a statement that said, “**We exclusively provide same sex marriage ceremonies.” That was evidently a mistake, as the bottom of the second email to Gill said, “We do not provide same sex marriage ceremonies.”
After word of the rejection spread via Twitter feeds and Facebook share buttons, the venue changed its website to “private” and removed its social media presence. Barn in the Bend was also removed from various recommendation services “after hundreds of reviews, comments, and phone calls poured in.”
However, before closing its social media accounts, the firm reacted to the unfavourable ratings and comments by saying that according to his religious convictions, that is his decision.