Dallas couple Aaron Lucero and his fiance, Jeff Cannon, were recently turned away by the Venue at Waterstone in Celina, a wedding venue in Celina, Texas, because the venue refuses to host same-sex weddings, according to NBC Dallas-Forth Worth.
Aaron and Jeff got engaged in June 2018 and decided to set a date for their wedding in November 2019. The pair had been set to tour the venue when they received an email letting them know that they wouldn’t be welcome to get married there.
“We thought that like a country wedding was just kind of very classy and very Texas, and so that’s what we wanted,” Cannon tells NBC Dallas-Forth Worth.
The venue’s owner wrote in an email to the couple that he believed marriage “is a representation of the bride of Christ joined to the groom (Christ who is the very God we worship). Given His plan and design for marriage, we dare not veer from His instruction… we are not able to violate our conscience.”
“It’s 2019, is this really happening to us? I was kind of shocked,” Lucero tells NBC Dallas-Forth Worth.
In a statement to NBC Dallas-Forth Worth, Lyle Wise, the owner of The Venue at Waterstone said: “We are a family of believers. We love all people because Christ first loved us; Jeffrey and Aaron included. We cannot violate the convictions God has placed within us. In love, we would never affirm anyone in something that was to their detriment.”
Kudos to The Knot for dropping The Venue at Waterstone from its directory of wedding vendors as a result. In the wedding industry, we all need to fight for equality if we want to create sustainable change.
Lucero believes we all need to hold wedding vendors and other companies accountable and demand transparency so that LGBTQ+ people and allies can avoid the hostility and rejection that he and Cannon experienced. When we have all the information, we’re able to make informed decisions about where we spend our money and we can choose to support LGBTQ-friendly businesses.
All venues and vendors need to be inclusive, not homophobic—it’s 2019, and being on the right side of history means supporting LGBTQ+ rights and couples.
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