Canadian Florist Refuses to Handle Gay Couple’s Wedding

Florist vs. gays in New Brunswick, Canada:

Petalsandpromises After agreeing to provide the flowers for a wedding, Kim Evans of Petals and Promises Wedding Flowers sent an email last month to the couple, saying she didn't know it was a same-sex wedding and would have no part of the ceremony.

"I am choosing to decline your business. As a born-again Christian, I must respect my conscience before God and have no part in this matter," the email said.

Evans has not returned calls from CBC News to explain her decision.

Mario Bourgeois Leduc, wedding planner for the couple, who didn't want their names released, said he was appalled by the florist's email, especially since "you're celebrating love and you're going against all of the odds to celebrate what is important in your life."

"This is going to stay with them for years, because they were again told that their lives are not OK

It's also against the law: "According to the New Brunswick Human Rights Act, anyone doing business in the province cannot refuse customers based on race, religion or sexual orientation."

Comments

  1. Mike says

    My husband and I got married last August here in Quebec. The florist we chose was the local shop down the street and they were extremely nice and helpful. The cake came also from the local bakery around the corner. The chef also did a outstanding job. Same for catering.
    For the wedding we invited family, friends and most of our neighbors, basically the entire street and we celebrated in our backyard.
    I have to say that we got nothing but support and help from everyone involved.
    It is sad to see that this couple has not received the same treatment. I hope that they’ll find the right business that is glad to have them as their customers.
    Once they’ve celebrated their wedding I suggest to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission. They take such cases very seriously.
    Good luck to the couple!!!

  2. excy says

    What Kim Evans did is against the law. She is entitled to her beliefs but as soon as she starts serving the public she cannot, by law of this land, discriminate.

    Kim Evans of Petals and Promises Wedding Flowers in Moncton/Riverview must be praying that there are enough flower-buying born-again Christians who support discrimination and homophobia in her area to keep her in business.

    My guess is that she will close up shop and remain bitter and disrespectful of others.

  3. Rob says

    I absolutely love this stance taken by Ms. Evans. I mean what action could be better to promote born-again “Christianism” than this person – even in the face of breaking the law in her local community? After all, is nothing more “Christian” than hating your neighbors and refusing to help celebrate their love for one another?? Didn’t Christ preach that his followers should hate and disavow gays and lesbians – isn’t it right there in the New Testament??? Nah, I didn’t think so. The millions of faux Christians in this world are a sick bunch of haters who pick-and-chose Bible verses, usually from the Old Testament, to support their Christo-fascists beliefs against many groups – not just the LGBT community. I hope she gets everything that should be coming her way now that she has exhibited such strong Christian love toward this gay couple.

  4. NW Rich says

    I agree it’s against the law and ya the woman is a .. FILL IN THE BLANK. But, and I guess this is on another tact, LET THE BUYER BEWARE. This woman’s business is discriminatory. Did the couple investigate before anything was signed? I mean we look at our coffee to see if the company selling is a fair trade company to make sure the growers and pickers are not being exploited. My first stop in planning a wedding would be to research what vendors advertise in LBGT publications etc.

    As for Pedals & Promises, does this woman check to make sure brides never had sex before marriage or had an abortion? I think not, typical hypocrisy, cherry picking the tenants of her fundamentalism. Sad, she deserves to go out of business, she sounds like an idiot.

  5. Bryan says

    “This is going to stay with them for years, because they were again told that their lives are not OK.”

    Well, that’s a choice, isn’t it? Whether to celebrate your good fortune in finding a mate, or cling to victimhood and allow yourself to be traumatized by a superstitious bigot?

    I run an internet services company for nonprofits, starving artists, worthy causes… you get the idea. I’ve repeatedly refused to business with wingnuts, christofascists, and homophobes. Am I guilty of discrimination because I refuse to work to support people whom I believe both seek to harm me personally and do what I consider evil?

  6. Ben In Oakland says

    This story stinks. There is far more going on here.

    I have been a wedding photographer for 25 years. I can’t imagine ANYONE in the business not sitting down with a couple and finding out a great deal about them. nor can I imagine signing a ocntract, which most wedding vendors would insist on, and then trying to renege for hte reasons stated.

  7. Jeff says

    When my husband and I got married 4 months ago I went out of my way to find out my vendors “politics” with regards to same sex marriage. I think we hired mostly hay vendors or known gay friendly ones. Reason for me was the day meant so much I didn’t want anyone to profit from our happy day that would have nothing but our good wishes to our getting married. To add to it they were instructed nothing could come from Target due to their anti gay politics.

  8. Kenn I says

    Sorry, sounds to me like a “gotcha” on the part of the couple & wedding planner.

    One would think when taking to prospective suppliers for a wedding leaving out that they are samesex (even where legal) would be well, on purpose.

    Who doesn’t share that information, up front? It really is important piece of information when putting on a wedding.

  9. Randy says

    I love reading through the comments on these types of articles. There’s always a few blame the victim posts.

    @KENN I: What a stupid comment. Why is the gender and/or sexuality of a person relevant at all to floral arrangements?

    My guess is that the wedding planner went through this place because it was on budget, picked out the items that matched his/her theme and then showed them to his/her clients. That’s why one hires a wedding planner in the first place. Had this been, say, tuxedo rentals or something, then maybe it’d be a little weird.

    Also, not every gay in the village only does business with teh gays. MOST businesses aren’t anti-gay. Usually they’re too pro-money to worry about such trivial matters when it comes to their businesses. Don’t blame people who live in a country where laws protect against this type of activity and gay marriage is legal for not assuming everyone was out to get them.

  10. ravewulf says

    “This is going to stay with them for years, because they were again told that their lives are not OK”

    Yes, it is against the law there, but come on. You gotta have tougher skin than that. Kids here are bullied endlessly for being gay, our rights are taken away and told on a national level that we are immoral. This is just one florist. Get a different one.

  11. JDB says

    While we’re busy blaming the victims let’s at least do it right. The real victim here is the poor, defenseless Christian woman whose very reputation was endangered by the mere fact that she could have been seen to have done business with… homosexuals. This, truly, is a fate worse than death. Indeed, Jesus Himself said “Loathe your neighbor as you loathe yourself,” so she really is only following His commands. /snark

  12. Dickster says

    A STR8 florist!! Who knew??

    I hope she hasn’t placed the Easter Lilly order with her supplier yet. She won’t be in business when they’re delivered.

    But seriously, how can gays get married without a gay florist? The arrangements must be FABULOUS after all!!

  13. jamal49 says

    @RICH It’s LGBT actually. As for the so-called “born-again” christian, I can only say it is but one more reason to despise evangelicals everywhere. They are the enemy and we should give no quarter in this war against us that they have made.

  14. walter says

    may all her flowers turn into skunk cabbages and die and stink. her christian beliefs are her own but keep them to herself. may her business go under soon.

  15. Francis says

    Oh well, she’ll be sued, forced into a decision to either not be a bigot or close down, and she’ll probably run away crying victim after choosing to continue her bigotry. Too bad it has to be this way but some people just have to learn the hard way.

  16. Gregv says

    @kenn: what?? I would never think to tell a salesperson in a flower shop or anywhere else: “oh, by the way the couple I’m buying flowers for are both female (or black… or short, or anything else irrelevant.). All she should need to know is when, where, and how many of what kind of flowers.

    @Jamal and Rich: There’s no one “correct” combination, order or number of categories when referring to the Bghsglssait2saqa bisexual/gay/homosexual/same-gender-loving/same-sex-attracted/intersexed/transgendered/ 2-spirited/asexual/questioning/allies community.

  17. shiatorunochris says

    I have no love for Christian bigotry or hate toward us. But I hardly think that we should do the same.

    I think that business owners should be allowed to discriminate. If Fred Phelps wants to do business with me, I think I should have the right to refuse service to him. I want to be able to tell him why. If I run a bed & breakfast, there’s no way in hell the Aryan Brotherhood are booking with me.

    A consumer is hardly powerless in this situation. If they don’t want my business, I don’t have to give it to them. Let the community know that this business discriminates against LGBT folks and direct them to an establishment that doesn’t.

    It’s my belief that business owners are entitled to running their business according to their viewpoints as long as it is within law (aside from this point), and if doing so limits their customers, that’s their choice. I feel like we use the law as a punishment system, which doesn’t really do anything but close doors.

    I think we have an opportunity to be better than these haters, respond like adults to bigotry, and walk away with our money. Then we can encourage gay-friendly businesses by giving them our dollars.

    Some of the responses above are judgmental, harsh, hateful, and closed-minded. Sound like any other group you know?

  18. AngelaChanning says

    When I accompanied my niece to one of those Wedding expos in Baltimore, as a gay male, I asked most of the vendors point blank if they would handle a same sex wedding. I know this is anecdotal and I don’t wish to paint with a broad brush, but most of the middle-aged women either outright said no (a few of them were rude) or you could tell by their subtext that it went against their ideas of what a proper ceremony should be. The younger women were fine about it. Of course, the gay men were fabulous and surprisingly, so were the straight men. I did not encounter one male vendor at the expo who showed any negativity. Either they were extra welcoming or non-chalant as though a dollar was a dollar and they did not care where it came from. I am only speaking from this one experience and I am sure there are plenty that are accepting.

    And of course, I support marriage rights for the protections that families need…but some of the wedding ceremony business is a complete racket. Many were nice but there were a good number that were annoying little control freaks.

    Thank you for listening.

  19. John Wood says

    We live in a country with freedom of religion. That is the law of the land – it is rule #2 in the Charter of Rights. She does not take tax money, she is not providing any service other than the one for which she is contracted. That trumps any whiny BS about forcing someone to run their business in a PC way.

  20. says

    @John: “According to the New Brunswick Human Rights Act, anyone doing business in the province cannot refuse customers based on race, religion or sexual orientation.” Freedom of religion does not mean freedom to discriminate when you run a public business in a secular society. It means you have the freedom to practice whichever religion you choose, or no religion, in private. Calling it PC is just right-wing PC whiny BS (i.e. denial of law).

    That said, if I were planning to give a florist my wedding business I would make very sure that they were gay-friendly before doing any business with them. It may be my right to get flowers from this narrow-minded “Christian”, but why would I want to give her my $ when I’m sure most other florists would be delighted to do my wedding? Turning away clients is a very stupid business decision on her part, but most bigots aren’t terribly bright.

  21. Jane Sherman says

    Christians – sosme of them – a synonym for Alexander the great (mass murderer) and hitler, a catholic not yet EXcommunicated by his catholic church, despite 55 million deaths and their campaign about life

    http://WWW.nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm, and it also, indirectly speaks to the horrors of the born again christians – born into hate. What a stupid idea. Dead again would be better for that garbage

  22. Mike says

    This makes me sick. The worst of it in my view is that that stupid, foolish, woman is examplifying the EXACT stereotype I fight against. Not ALL Christians are like this in their thinking and actions. There are thousands of Homosexual Christians, myself included, who by all “mainstream Christian” intentions shouldn’t have any part of the religion at all. But, it’s wrong and rediculous. The entire philosophy that’s preached throughout all of Christianity is to believe and be saved, not judge and condemn for brownie points with the man upstairs who says himself we are not allowed to judge; only he has that right in the world. This is why so many people hate the religion. But, they shouldn’t. They should dislike those who act that way not the religion. It’s the same thing with racism. Someone of a different race wrongs you so hate the whole race. STUPID IGNORANCE! SAME thing with 9/11. So now we have to hate their whole country? STUPID, STUPID, FOOLISH, IGNORANT, BIGGOTRY.

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