Once again, what should be a happy occasion has turned sour because of homophobic bigotry. You might remember Horace Boothroyd III's coverage of Sweet Cakes, an Oregon bakery that refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Well, now we have another anti-gay business using its twisted version of the Bible to deny services to a gay couple.
This time, it's a banquet hall located just outside Fort Worth, Texas, called All Occasion Party Place (isn't that funny, on a side note? I guess they mean all occasions except homosekshual ones). And it's a good thing that it's located just outside Fort Worth, because the city has an ordinance barring anti-LGBT discrimination in public accommodations. Ben Allen and Justin Hudgins are in the middle of planning a wedding, and on Monday they contacted All Occasion Party Place to schedule a reception for 150 people. No problem. Oh, but wait. Allen and Hudgins are evil sinners according to the bigots running the banquet hall, so no can do on that reception.
“She immediately responded with, ‘Well, no, I don’t do that,’ and that was just the end of that,” Allen said. “It felt like somebody had just hit me in the face.”Later, Robin Hearne, an employee at the facility, wrote in an e-mail to the couple:
It is because of God that I will not be a part in your reception, and I know he loves you, but not what you are doing. I simply said I can not rent to you which is also my right.Wonderful. Because the Bible is quite clear about the use of banquet halls by gay couples. You'd think Hearne was being asked to marry the couple herself while wearing a "Legalize Gay" shirt.
Equality Texas has this to say on the incident:
Refusing to provide services or public accommodations to anyone solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is wrong. Texans are proud people who believe in hard work and treating each other with dignity and respect.Now, of course, what this banquet facility is doing is completely legal, since it is located just outside the Fort Worth city limits. Fort Worth's ordinance should be the law everywhere, but it's not. The point is not to drum up legal action against them, because that is not possible at this point.
And, although I'm sure I'll get the usual "Man bites dog" and "Breaking: Bigotry in Texas" comments, the point is not to shock, because this isn't a particularly shocking case. But I do think we need to blast the names of these bigoted business establishments far and wide. They need to be shamed, confronted, and shamed again. Their names need to be dragged through the mud, and their business needs to suffer.
If you feel so inclined, you can share your feelings with All Occasions Party Place. Here is their contact information:
6765 Rendon Bloodworth RoadIf not, and you reside in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, at least share the story and do not do business with these bigots.
Fort Worth, TX 76140