A venue in Mississippi called Boone’s Camp Event Hall canceled a couple’s reservation after discovering the groom was black and the bride was white, Deep South Voice reports. The groom’s sister LaKambria Welch shared a video she recorded after traveling to Boone’s to make sense of the sudden cancellation, and it’s pretty shocking.
NEW: A Mississippi venue allegedly cancelled a couple's wedding plans after discovering the couple was a black man + a white woman.— Ashton Pittman (@ashtonpittman) September 1, 2019
"We don’t do gay weddings or mixed race, because of our Christian race—I mean, our Christian belief," a woman says.
More: https://t.co/9P0ZjNu3M0 pic.twitter.com/XKlRRSL44B
Welch speaks to a woman wearing a “tires for tots” t-shirt.
“First of all, we don’t do gay weddings or mixed race, because of our Christian race—I mean, our Christian belief,” she says.
“Okay, we’re Christians as well,” Welch responds.
“Yes ma’am,” the woman says, inexplicably.
“So, what in the Bible tells you that—” Welch starts, then gets cut off by this supposed-Christian.
“Well, I don’t want to argue my faith,” she says.
“No, that’s fine,” says Welch.
“We just don’t participate,” the woman continues.
“Okay,” Welch very calmly responds.
“We just choose not to,” the woman adds.
“Okay. So that’s your Christian belief, right?” Welch confirms.
This would be an outrageous story even if it was just one woman and one place that believes Christianity outlaws interracial marriage—or who says that Christianity outlaws interracial marriage because they’re a bunch of racists who want to hide behind religion.
But it’s especially bad in light of recent legislation that has created “religious freedom” laws that allow businesses to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. It would follow then that these sorts of laws will be tested for their use in legalizing racial discrimination. This venue actually has turned down at least one lesbian couple in the past:
It may be the case that, under Mississippi law, this wedding venue does have the right to discriminate against LGBT couples, but not interracial couples (which is banned by federal law).— Ashton Pittman (@ashtonpittman) September 1, 2019
A woman told me that this same Mississippi venue turned her down last year when she sought to help find a venue for her best friend, who is a lesbian. She sent this screenshot of messages she says she exchanged with Boone’s Camp on Facebook. https://t.co/9P0ZjNu3M0 pic.twitter.com/OkcvRvNf5k
— Ashton Pittman (@ashtonpittman) September 1, 2019
The new law, HB 1523, stops state officials from interfering with venues or businesses who refuse to serve wedding ceremonies in any respect that are not in accordance with their “sincerely held religious beliefs.” This is how that sincerity is measured:
“The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that: (a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman; (b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and (c) Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.”
So, it doesn’t mention race. However, these laws should alarm anyone who doesn’t want someone’s religious beliefs to stand between them and service—consider women who have been refused Plan B by pharmacists who say it’s against their religious beliefs, or marriage licenses refused by certain hateful elected clerks, like Kim Davis.
Would a doctor refusing to perform emergency surgery on someone because of religious beliefs be next? The answer is almost certainly yes, and that’s the direction conservative lawmakers are pushing things.
A terrifying world where no one is safe, just like Jesus wanted.
You ain’t Christian https://t.co/s2Z0ON6Rtu— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) September 2, 2019