MARYLAND: DJ Company Refuses To Work Birthday Party For Gay Man
First there was the New Mexico wedding photographer. Then there was the Indiana pizza maker. Now there is the Maryland disc jockey. The national debate about how to balance religious conscience protections and gay equality flared in the large, mostly liberal Washington, D.C., suburb of Montgomery County Friday, when Dani Tsakounis tried to help her brother hire Ultrasound Deejays for a party. An owner of the business told Tsakounis he would not provide the DJ because Tsakounis’s brother, a Silver Spring therapist, is married to another man and the birthday party they are hosting is for their 60-year-old roommate, who is also gay. “I just said, ‘We won’t be able to do it, we’re a Christian organization and it would go against our faith, I’m sorry,’” Michael Lampiris, co-owner of Ultrasound Deejays, said Friday. Tom Tsakounis, 46, was so upset when his sister told him that he posted the news on his neighborhood listserv, prompting calls of sympathy from neighbors. He also registered a complaint with the Montgomery County Human Rights Commission, which hears cases of alleged discrimination.From the company's website:
We will not play music that contains profanity or vulgarity. We will not support a new teen dance style called "freaking." We will not tolerate provocative dancing or actions. We will not participate with strippers or be involved in any event with strippers. We will not be involved in any event with fortune tellers, psychics, or magicians. We will not be involved in any event that celebrates Halloween. We will not be involved in any event involving homosexual celebration or activity. We follow biblical morality. We do not work on Sundays.Ultrasound reportedly contracts with about 40 DJs and admits to having rejected other events where gays would be in attendance. Its owner claims to have never heard of Maryland's public accommodations law and appears unconcerned about legal action.