An event venue owner in Booneville, Mississippi, has apologized for refusing to host same-sex and interracial weddings.
LaKambria Welchl’s brother’s wedding has been canceled by the venue, Boone’s Camp Event Hall, and she confronted the owner to ask the reason.
“First of all, we don’t do gay weddings or mixed race, because of our Christian race, I mean, our Christian belief,” said a woman.
According to Deep South Voice, Welch’s brother, who is black, had planned to marry his white fiancé at the venue, but the owner canceled the booking.
Welch told the woman she was also a Christian, but the owner replied that she didn’t want to “argue my faith.”
“We just don’t participate,” the woman tells Welch.
“Okay. So that’s your Christian belief, right?” Welch asks the woman.
“Yes ma’am,” she replies.
Welch posted a video of it on Facebook, and it has received more than 2 million views. She has since removed it from public view.
“When she explained that she doesn’t do the two specific type of weddings, I felt myself starting to shake,” Welch told the Washington Post, adding, “just hearing it gave me chills.”
After the video went viral, Booneville released a statement on Facebook, saying the mayor and other officials were aware of the comments.
“The City of Booneville, Mayor, and Board of Aldermen do not discriminate based on race, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status,” the statement said.
“Furthermore, the City of Booneville, Mayor, and Board of Aldermen do not condone or approve of these types of discriminatory policies.”
Boone’s Camp Event Hall posted an apology on Facebook before scrubbing the site of their presence. In it, they said that growing up in Mississippi, “our racial boundaries that were unstated were that of staying within your race.”
The poster said that, after the backlash, they studied the Bible and consulted their pastor but found no evidence that their faith forbade interracial marriage.
“To all of those offended, hurt or felt condemn by my statement I truly apologize 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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