Illinois Wedding Hall Denies Lesbian Couple Due To Religious Beliefs
In a test of new attitudes towards gay marriage, an Illinois wedding hall has turned away a lesbian couple from renting. The manager of the hall told the couple she wouldn’t help the couple “celebrate that sin.”. Illinois is not one of the States that has legalized gay marriage but has anti-discrimination laws that bar refusing service due to a person’s sexual orientation.
According to ABC 7 News, the manager of the University Club in Moline, Illinois, Kristen Stewart, turned down a request from Taylor Shumaker and her partner of three years to use the hall due to her religious beliefs. According to Stewart that goes for all gay couples.
Stewart is married to the owner of the club. She told ABC 7 News,
“Because marriage is a covenant that God created for man and woman, then, as a biblical Christian, I cannot help them enter into or celebrate that sin,”
Schumaker said she had booked an appointment to see the hall with Stewart this week. Stewart asked if “he” would be joining. Shumaker told her that her significant other was a “She” and Stewart told her that she doesn’t rent to homosexual couples.
Schumaker said of the experience,
“I cried when I got off the phone because, honestly, I wouldn’t have called there if I knew it was their policy,” she said. “If it would have been on the website from the very beginning, I wouldn’t have wasted my time.”
Stewart’s husband Perry was quick to call a rival news channel and point out that there is no ban on homosexual couples renting the hall and his wife misspoke.