Maryland Trolley Co. Ends Marriage Tours To Protest The Gays, ‘Bigotry’

Grubbs2As Maryland plans to celebrate its first same-sex nuptials following November’s big marriage win, trolley company Discover Annapolis tours has announced it’s getting out of the wedding business because it doesn’t want to allow gay couples to marry on their route.

Well, announce is a strong word: rather, as the Baltimore Sun reports, Discover Annapolis owner Matt Grubbs (pictured, polishing his pole) wrote to a potential client, a straight man, Chris Belkot, that his company is Christian and therefore won’t participate in Maryland’s inclusive laws.

“We’re a Christian-owned business, and we are not able to lend support to
gay marriages,” Grubbs wrote. “And as a public accommodation, we cannot discriminate
between gay or straight couples, so we had to stop doing all wedding

Grubbs then urged Belkot write to his representatives to “request they amend the new marriage law to allow an exemption for religious conviction for the layperson in the pews.” Grubbs also described marriage equality as “repressive bigoty.”

He went on, “The law exempts my minister from doing same-sex weddings, and the
Knights of Columbus don’t have to rent out their hall for a gay wedding
reception, but somehow my religious convictions don’t count for

Shocked and appalled by Grubbs’ comments, Belkot wrote back, “It is your right to run your business any way you see fit, but let’s be
honest here, you drive a trolley up and down a street. Not exactly
God’s work.”

Grubbs had no other comment other than that his discriminatory decision is costing his business $50,000.


  1. Disgusted American says

    ..and Im sure if it were ANY OTHER Group…like Jews/blacks,hispanics….there woudl be OUTRAGE!!! FU Bigot – be GONE, and DON’T DARE Try Blaming this on Gays/lesbians – ITS YOUR CHOICE – No one elses!

  2. Walter Fletcher says

    On 98Rock this morning it was said this company stands to loose 50k in revenue because of this I think it will be more because they did not count the marriages that would have happened now that his business would have probably doubled or tripled.

  3. Ricco says

    It is as much God’s work driving a trolly up and down the street as it is to be a minister, if done in the right spirit, just as being a minister is no more God’s work than driving a trolly up and down the street if done in the wrong spirit.

  4. MalaysianHo says

    I agree with mr. Grubbs, I dont think it is fair for him either. I encourage him to write to his representatives to amend the law so that no religious cults are exempted.

  5. guest says

    It makes no sense, and never will. There is no national outcry about refusing to serve anyone from a blond male to a black female to a man with long hair; it’s not allowed because it is considered blatant prejudice. I am floored that anyone, anyone alive, gives the slightest shred of respect to this “religious exemption” BS. These “religious” individuals do not care about anyone else; they’d serve MURDERERS and happily remarry the DIVORCED — but when it comes to gays, suddenly they have this “strong conviction” and will go to frightening lengths to avoid having to touch gays with a ten-foot pole.

    I absolutely refuse, as is my own American right, to show the slightest bit of respect to their prejudice. To me, their “religion” is turning them into, or has turned them into, idiots and far, far worse. They get zero respect from me, and their “religion” does NOT allow them, in my opinion, to discriminate like this — unless, and I mean this very firmly and I will not back down on it, unless we are all now permitted to discriminate FREELY against any section of the “religious,” refusing to serve catholics, presbyterians, you name it. Fair is fair. This either goes both ways or else it is not allowed, end of discussion.

  6. Bob R says

    Good. Discriminate all you want. Lose money. I hope you go out of business and someone whose mind is in the 21st century and not the 15th takes over your operation. Hateful old white bastard, I can’t wait for all of you to be pass on, only to find out there’s nothing but a long dirt nap in the end.

  7. Fahd says

    Back in the mid-century, there were probably many places of public accommodation whose owners shut down or sold off rather than permit “Negroes” to enter. I think before you know it, you’ll have a gay-friendly trolley. Annapolis has plenty of midshipmen to accommodate, after all.

    As for this “pole-polisher”, may he rot in the hell his version of Christianity envisions.

    Time marches on.

  8. HadenoughBS says

    Kudos to Chris Belkot for his spot-on retort to this idiotic Christianist Matt Grubbs who dares to compare himself to his minister even though Grubbs ONLY operates a public transportation business. And, to label “marriage equality” as “repressive bigotry”, this poor fool of a business owner apparently has no clue what that phrase means. God, these right wing Christians are D-U-M-B!!

  9. HadenoughBS says

    Kudos to Chris Belkot for his spot-on retort to this idiotic Christianist Matt Grubbs who dares to compare himself to his minister even though Grubbs ONLY operates a public transportation business. And, to label “marriage equality” as “repressive bigotry”, this poor fool of a business owner apparently has no clue what that phrase means. God, these right wing Christians are D-U-M-B!!

  10. Oz in OK says

    Ah yes, yet another example of ‘religious freedom’ meaning ‘I want to discriminate against Gay and Lesbian citizens and then hide behind my Bible when people question me’. Seriously, this ‘Christian’ is vastly underestimating how much business he’s going to lose over this.

    And to that I say: Good. Go bankrupt for your ‘Christian morals’ so a more inclusive company can take up the slack.

  11. says

    Marylanders should boycott ALL Christian-Based businesses. Let the trolley tours die on the vine. Looks like a good opportunity for a non-bigoted company to come in with their own set of trolleys or those adorable English double-decker buses (we have them here in San Francisco). If you’re a gay entrepreneur here’s your opportunity! Visit Kiva for funding to start that new trolley touring business!

  12. says

    so, elsewhere in the world (and indeed the USA) there are people whose “Issues and Problems” revolve around not knowing where the next hot meal will come from, how to explain to their children how a sibling was shot dead in school today, and how on earth they’ll make it through another day, another week, another month, another year.

    enter this cracker-@ss whiner. oh, boohoo. you have to close your business rather than deal with the gays. if that aint Delusional First World Problems then I don’t know what is…

  13. Francis says

    Chris Belkot is awesome.

    As for these companies that would rather lose business and revenue than open their companies up for gay couples and people…………oh well. They’re signing their own death certification. Not only do they lose gay money, they lose straight money too. Their loss. These public stands are intentional. It’s all about getting attention to their so-called “cause”. Which is little more than continuing previous institutionalized discrimination against our community.

    Those days are ending and many can’t handle it. They’re arrogant and hate the fact they can’t stomp all over us anymore. Boo hoo. Cry me a river.

  14. jpeckjr says

    I completely respect Mr. Grubbs’ decision regarding his own business. But he is not entitled to an exemption on religious grounds. His own personal beliefs aside, the trolley service he operates is not a religious enterprise. I doubt he presents it as such in his publicity. It does not teach or expouse a doctrine or conduct religious services of any kind. As part of a wedding, it is completely optional. Having an officiant (religious or secular) is required by law. Having a trolley ride is not.

  15. SC David says

    I congratulate Mr. Grubbs on his understanding of the law. This is exactly how the system is supposed to work. Mr. Grubb has it precisely right.

    Now let’s see what sort of interesting, inclusive trolley service opens up to serve a suddenly unmet need for local transport. The barriers to entry for this sort of thing are low, so it shouldn’t take long.

  16. Chuck says

    Good! Go ahead and cut off your ugly, bulbous nose to spite your smarmy, smug, holier-than-thou christian face. And you can just forget about a religious exemption for your little trolly, ain’t gonna happen.

  17. thepolarbeast says

    This man says he is a Christian but he clearly does not know what Jesus preached. Jesus preached INCLUSION not EXCLUSION and it’s just a sad day when we see people making bad decisions based upon faulty teaching by their religion’s leaders.

  18. ChristopherM says

    The last time I checked, gay folks paid taxes for the roads he operates his business on, the education of his employees, and for emergency services provided to his business. I say let him have his exemption…just as soon as we get our money back.

  19. says

    Is this one of those fake trolley-looking buses, or is it a real trolley running on rails in the city streets? If it’s on rails then the company has a monopoly (an operational necessity) franchise granted by the city which can be revoked by the city and given to a competitor who wishes to serve the public interest, including serving as a wedding venue.

    Of course if it’s a just a bus then they can have their wedding-free hater bus and some other bus operator can run a wedding-friendly bus.

    BTW: I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned Judy Garland and/or “The Trolley Song” from “Meet Me in St. Louis”. What’s wrong with you guys?

  20. Steve says

    >”Of course if it’s a just a bus then they can have their wedding-free hater bus and some other bus operator can run a wedding-friendly bus.”

    No, they can’t. They’d be violating anti-discrimination laws. This has really nothing to do with marriage equality. Anti-gay discrimination was already illegal years before.

  21. Tom in long beach says

    This is sooo stupid. I’ve had to hear all kinds of stupid B.S. from people about not wanting to do anything involving “gay marriage”. But then the same people brag about how they cheat on their wives or are always making sexual innuendo jokes. Makes me just want to puke.

  22. Hank says

    Always amazes me when this kind of bigotry rears it’s ugly head… Same BS given by “christians” when de-segregation happened – I’m sure some businesses felt the need to shutter then as well. Discrimination hiding behind faux religion. How so many can stand by murderers, rapists, adulterers, and yet suddenly become holier than thou when gays show up – even kick their gay children out of the house. This is nothing more than a bigot who doesn’t want “those kind of people” on my trolley. I think we saw this in a movie – Hairspray – it was discrimination then and it is discrimination now.

  23. Bruno says

    Awful human being in my opinion but he does have one point: the KOC should not have an exemption in their public spaces. Sure, they’re a religious entity while his business isn’t, but that still doesn’t mean a particular group should get singled out for preferential treatment under the law. Private ceremonies on church property are a matter of separation of church and state; renting out their property for use by the public is another matter. This will hopefully be challenged successfully in court one day, but for now we take what we get I guess.

  24. PapaBear says

    Then he should get out of the business and let someone who is willing to serve everyone one run the trolly.
    This reminds me of the time my partner and I went to the YMCA in Wichita, Kansas, to apply for membership. We were told that they would not give us a membership because they were a “Christian” organization and did not recognize gay people. This was in 2004. We haven’t bothered to go back to check if their policy has changed. I doubt they have changed their bigotry.

  25. john patrick says

    Mister Grubbs does not seem to realize that if individuals who have businesses were to be allowed to legally refuse to serve people based on their religious beliefs, he could be refused service by restaurant owners who don’t like Christians, or by bakers who find that baking cakes for bigots goes against their religious beliefs.

  26. says

    AB: >>”Of course if it’s a just a bus then they can have their wedding-free hater bus and some other bus operator can run a wedding-friendly bus.”

    STEVE: >No, they can’t. They’d be violating anti-discrimination laws.

    Steve — We’ve been outside looking in for so long it’s easy to forget we’re inside now, but the “wedding-free hater bus” would be devoid of ALL weddings (M/F, M/M, F/F) which is what the christer dumbass in Baltimore has elected in order to stay within the law. The “wedding-friendly bus” would be inclusive of all weddings equally, as the law requires.

  27. andrew says

    Grubbs has the right to go out of business in defense of his bigotry. I imagine some open minded businessman will seize the opportunity to make some money offering this service to all.

  28. Mark says

    …and what ever happened to that “love the sinner”. Seems they hate the sinner and the sin equally. Maybe that’s the ‘equality’ their bible tells them so.

  29. Bernie says

    I am rolling on the floor laughing at this man….and here I thought the color of green money would overcome all…silly me that this man blames the GBLT population on his future losses…as we are told over and over again…it is a choice and now he has CHOSEN to be a poor and bigoted businessman..lolll….

  30. millerbeach says

    You drive a stupid trolly. You are not the morality director of the state of Maryland. Nor should you be. So you ignore the vast teachings of Jesus Christ (remember him?) so you can spout off your bigoted beliefs? Sorry pal, Christianity doesn’t work that way. You and all your ilk are doomed to eternal hell because of your behavior. You decided to pass judgement on other mortals, usurping the ultimate authority of God, thus committing a MORTAL sin. You do know what a mortal sin is, don’t you? You are violating one of the TEN COMMANDMENTS!!! Do you get that? Do you understand what you are doing? I honestly think you are too stupid to understand that you are in violation of your own “Christian” teachings. Better yet, read that Bible you are thumping so hard…it works better when you open in and read it. Read about how all Jesus is about is love. Find some in your life, if you can. Your heart sounds mighty hard and cold, and Jesus can’t enter your heart if it is cluttered with hate. Good luck! You need it.

  31. DC Arnold says

    Just a micosm of what white men are facing: not being top dog anymore and fading fast. This idiot is using religion as a cover for his prejudice. Unless that Trolley runs directly to the Airport, I’ve no interest.

  32. SoLeftImRight says

    Religious bigots make very bad capitalists. Step aside, idiot, and let a trolley operator who doesn’t discriminate against anyone beat you in the “free market.” No, you’d rather wallow in your victim stance. I hope you lose your business.

  33. RaleighRob says

    Oh well. The good news is, at the end of the article, a Baltimore limo company owned by a gay man, has a few trolleys and will see an increase in their business to fill the gap left by this dude. So a win for us, in a roundabout way?

  34. jamal49 says

    Another example of a self-important, impious, egotistical, vanity-driven, showboating christian out to get a few moments of publicity for his “deeply-held spiritual beliefs”. He displays his bigotry like a proud but perverted peacock. I hope the man starves to death, dying in abject poverty and humiliation.

  35. jamal49 says

    Another example of a self-important, impious, egotistical, vanity-driven, showboating christian out to get a few moments of publicity for his “deeply-held spiritual beliefs”. He displays his bigotry like a proud but perverted peacock. I hope the man starves to death, dying in abject poverty and humiliation.

  36. BETTY says

    @CRAIG: agreed. If he is so religious why is he taking away what the church is supposed to do? Don’t true religious people get married in churches only? Isn’t that what God wants? Aren’t church marriages “tradition”? Won’t God be mad if you don’t get married in his house? I think Mr. Money Grubber should be more worried about his blashpemy.

  37. BETTY says

    Just checked out their website….in addition to sight-seeing tours, they apparently just do transportation to and from events, NOT the actual weddings aboard the trolley. But I do see problems with their other transportation offerings:

    Rehearsal dinners: will they provide transportation for my gay rehearsal dinner but just not my gay wedding?

    Reunions: there are many families with gay people and gay married people in them. Or, I’m a gay person looking to organize a reunion of all my gay friends.

    Corporate/Association meetings: my LGBT group is planning their annual convention.

    Birthday/Anniversary celebrations: we are holding an anniversary party for a gay couple who have been married for X amount of years. Or, I’m throwing a birthday party for my gay best friend.

    Bar mitzvahs: I’m a gay married person and we are throwing a Bar mitzvah for my adopted son. Also, as a “Christian-owned business” he doesn’t have the same problem/issue driving people to a religious ceremony (be it any non-Christian religion) he does not agree or believe in?

    Red Hat outings: don’t diss the red hat ladies! LOL

    Naval Academy football games: there maybe a gay guy amongst the drunken frat guys.

    So, if he is really going to stand up for his beliefs he may not be able to offer these services for fear a gay might get through the cracks. Otherwise accepting money from a gay person (who might be turn out to be married) makes him a hypoctrite.

  38. F Young says

    I’m not a lawyer or resident of Maryland, but it seems to me that, assuming Maryland’s anti-discrimination law applies to trolley operators, it would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, not just same-sex marriage. Indeed, title 20 of the Code of Maryland prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation as well as marital status.

    So, if the trolley operator did not want to serve gays, he could not just exclude wedding parties. He would also have to stop serving gays and straights for any occasion whatsoever. In other words, there is no legal way to operate a business that is subject to Title 20 if the operator does not want to serve gays.

  39. Diogenes Arktos says

    For those of you who haven’t, read the full “Baltimore Sun” article – both pages.

    @OS2guy: You’re going too far. Please remember that there are plenty of Christian businesses who are more than happy to serve same-sex couples.

    @Anon & GoodCarver: Read more carefully, guys, the paper is in Baltimore, the trolley is in Annapolis. Annapolis is a lovely city even before you add in the charms of the Naval Academy.

    @Little Kiwi: It’s been awhile since I’ve visited your blog. Thanks for the prod via your link.

    @Andrew Belonsky: Please get your facts right. The GROOM uttered the wonderful “repressive bigotry” to Grubbs. There have been too many comments of this sort of late:(

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