A Pennsylvania wedding venue is under fire for refusing to allow a same-sex couple to marry at its facility.
Desiree Mark had requested information via the facility’s website about holding a wedding at the venue. She received a return response from Courtney Killeen, a wedding and event planner at the inn.
“Unfortunately, we do not hold same sex marriages at our facility,” Killeen said in the email, which was widely circulated on the internet after Mark’s mother posted it to her Facebook page. “I truly do hope you find somewhere that will fulfill all your wedding dreams.”
In May, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the state's same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, paving the way for gay couples in the Keystone state to marry within Pennsylvania’s boundaries.
But Killeen told the Scranton Times-Tribune it is the inn’s policy to refuse service to same-sex couples. “I don’t agree with it,” she told the publication, adding the policy was put in place by owner John O. Antolick.
The refusal from the inn to accommodate the same-sex couple set off an online firestorm, with dozens flocking to the Inne’s Facebook page to offer their viewpoints on the issue.
“Can not believe this crap exists in 2014. Never bothered to review your facility since nothing impressed me. Mediocre experience. The food was terrible, grounds were ok, 1/2 class facility. Now you are a full fledge, low class, nothing. People have the right to their opinions but do not have the right to discriminate. You disgust me!!!!,” wrote reviewer Wendy Doloff
“There was a time when one could also refuse service to someone because of race or religion. That was wrong and is now illegal. The same is true for choosing not to serve someone because of sexual orientation. It is a violation of civil rights. I hope the owners come to realize this,” reviewer Steven Nathan wrote.
Others who commented on the Facebook page expressed support for the Inne.
“Thanks for standing up for God and for traditional marriage. He will reward your faithfulness. I will support you and will speak to anyone and everyone I can for standing on God's Word. I'll pray for increased success for your business. God bless!,” wrote reviewer Jack Munley.
“Stand your ground! There is no reason our civil rights should be trumped by someone who decides to try to force us into have a gay wedding. Have your wedding somewhere else,” wrote reviewer Dianne Becker.
On its website, The Inne of the Abingtons, describes itself as a "breathtaking" facility perfect to celebrate life's most memorable moments.
"From a grand wedding reception to a small intimate gathering, our experienced staff will cater to every detail allowing you to enjoy yourself, your guests, your memorable moment," the Inne's website says.
"We'll be there with you from our first meeting until your last guest leaves."
What do you think? Is it right for wedding venues to refuse to accommodate same-sex couples?