We Were Turned Away on What Should Have Been Our Happiest Day Because We’re a Same Sex Couple

Planning a wedding is an exciting time. After Jen proposed to me, we immediately began talking about how we wanted to celebrate the big step we were taking together. We spent a lot of time searching for venues and debating their merits, but that all changed when we came across Liberty Ridge Farm’s website. There was no debate. There was no uncertainty. We fell in love instantly. We knew it would be the perfect place for our wedding and were so excited to take the next steps.

And then we called them.

When we inquired about having our wedding at Liberty Ridge Farm, we were turned away. This was not for lack of money. It was not because the day we wanted was already booked. We had flexible dates and money saved. We were denied service for only one reason: We are a same-sex couple.

It is difficult to describe how heartbreaking it is when someone says to you that because you are marrying someone of the same sex, you cannot have the options that heterosexual couples are allowed. We had our hearts set on this beautiful venue and thought that it would be a simple matter of planning a visit to finalize a date.

That simple matter has taken up three years of our lives because a business refused to treat us the same way they would treat a heterosexual couple. What had been an exciting time quickly turned stressful and sad. This unbelievable discrimination felt especially jarring because New York had just declared marriage equality right before this happened.

No one deserves to be discriminated against. No one deserves to be treated as a second-class citizen when planning one of the happiest days of your life.

It had never occurred to us that a business would decline our patronage, but after interacting with Liberty Ridge Farm, we worried about it with every element we planned and every vendor we spoke to. We were already crushed to not be able to marry in the venue we loved. The last thing we wanted was to get our hearts set on something again, only to be disappointed if someone else chose to treat us as if we were not as deserving of happiness as a straight couple.

LGBT people have always had to employ an extra degree of caution in some of their interactions. My wife and I are no exception to that. To walk through life visibly as a bisexual woman has not always been easy for me. There are times when I worry about holding my wife’s hand in public. Countless times we have been subject to crude jokes and offensive behavior when someone realizes that we are a couple. We have been preached at. We have lost friends. To be visible can be very, very hard. But it has always been worth it. The world needs people to stand up for their rights. To be proud. To be visible. To not back down and allow bigotry and discrimination to win.

People still ask: Why did we pursue this?

After three years, the answer is still the same.

We will do whatever we can to make sure that no other couple has to deal with the same feelings of sadness and anxiety that we wrestled with from the moment we realized that, though the laws have changed, same-sex couples are far from being treated as equals.

The owners of Liberty Ridge Farm have a right to their beliefs, but what they do not have is the right, as business owners, to discriminate against anyone. I am grateful to live somewhere where my rights are protected and where a public accommodation has no business picking and choosing who they feel like serving on any given day. That is why we pursued this with the New York Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU. And that is why we will continue to fight.  

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Kanchata

omg dis iz gr8, so sory dat they discrimin8 u, hav good marriag.

Emmy

Do you know what else is "gr8"? Proper English is great. Please try it at your earliest convenience. Your sentiments would mean more if we could read it.

I have taken the liberty of editing your post. I believe you meant to say:
"Oh my goodness, this is great. I'm so sorry they discriminated against you. Have a good marriage."

Anonymous

ok lmao, i dont think ive ever actually seen a grammar Nazi outside of tumblr nonetheless doing anything unironically.

Anonymous

Yeah!

There is a Sanc...

Marriage used to be a serious step. Sacred and Holy. However, here in the U.S. it is a joke bonded by a contract. People treat it like changing curtains and some change spouses like updating their underwear drawers. It is sad and to be proud of something that is shameful. I will pray for mercy on you.

I sin but I repent and am fearful to act in a manner not pleasing to God. If you have no belief you seem to know right from wrong. If the courts say you are legally able to do just like owning slaves, treating women as property, and now fornication under the guise of marriage ..then what can one say. You have equal protection under our laws. May God forgive us all.

Anonymous

No need to pray for mercy from your god who does not judge any of his children...

Anonymous

Up your judgmental arse & your imaginary sky Daddy's too. Mercy, indeed. You haven't a clue.

Anonymous

Seek professional psychiatric help immediately. As if you know what is 'sanctified' by virtue of a fairy tale? Pfffft you are beyond pathetic.

Anonymous

Eh? No. Patently and axiomatically false. Marriage was never "sacred and holy." Even in Biblical times, marriage had been a way to link two families in order to combine their wealth, property, politicial influence, or other resources. What's in fact shameful is that people are using the Bible as some sort of moral high-ground, preaching hate and intolerance of others in the name of "God"; but it was exactly the opposite that Jesus taught us in the Bible: to love and honor each other, and to help those who are being treated injustly. And if I were religious, I'd pray that you actually read and understand your Bible before using it to deny others' love:

-- "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." (John 13:34)
-- "Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed." (Jeremiah 22:3)
-- "You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Exodus 22:21)
-- "Do to others as you would have them do unto you." (Luke 6:31)

Moreover, to be fearful is to neither truly know love nor God, as "He that fears is not made perfect in love;" (1 John 4:18) and "He that does not love not does not know God; because God is love.".

But the Bible is in fact not entirely infallible: Owning slaves and treating women as property are both justified, such as with:
--"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ." (Ephesians 6:5)
--" However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. [...] You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way." (Leviticus 25:44-46)
--"I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet." (1 Timothy 2:12)
--"That they may teach the young women to be [...] obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." (Titus 2:4-5)
--"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife,[...] Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing." (Ephesians 5:22-24)
--"[...] Women should be silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, " (1 Corinthians 14:34)

"May God forgive us all."...Indeed. May God forgive each of you for violating His most fundamental rule: to love each other. For in denying the right of same-sex couples to marry, you deny them the ultimate profession of that love to their friends, family, and the law.

Anonymous

You like farts.

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