Main | Sunday, April 27, 2014

TENNESSEE: Wedding Venue Reverses On Hosting Same-Sex Ceremony

Via Nashville's WSMV:
Two Iraq War veterans said they'd picked the perfect venue for their same-sex commitment ceremony. They said just days after employees told them they could hold their ceremony there, the owner called it off, saying they can't host the event until same-sex marriage is legal in Tennessee. "It's pretty disheartening," said Anthony Wilfert of Nolensville. "I would've thought in 2014 that we're a lot more ahead of our time than we are." Wilfert and Brian Blas became a couple nine years ago while serving with Fort Campbell. "We served under Don't Ask, Don't Tell," said Wilfert. Looking for a place to hold a commitment ceremony, Wilfert and Blas said an employee took them on a tour of Mint Springs Farm where they believed the rustic charm and fences along winding roads would be the perfect backdrop. The website even says, 'Mint Springs Farm is an all-inclusive venue.' "I made it clear from the get-go that it was a same-sex ceremony," said Wilfert. "He explicitly made it clear that it was not an issue, that they would host that type of ceremony."
The venue's owner has issued a statement to the press: "We only do weddings at our facility. When we went into this endeavor, we knew that due to the nature of our business, this situation would arise. However, Tennessee law currently states that same-sex marriage is prohibited by the Tennessee State Constitution. Because we only host weddings, we cannot violate Tennessee law." (Tipped by JMG reader Kyle)

RELATED: Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville have enacted some LGBT anti-discrimination measures. Tennessee does not have any statewide protections for LGBT citizens.

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