Discrimination | Gay Marriage | Maryland | News | Religion

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 transportation."

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 anything."

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.

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  1. 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.

    Posted by: ChristopherM | Dec 26, 2012 1:13:35 PM

  2. 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?

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Dec 26, 2012 1:18:27 PM

  3. >"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.

    Posted by: Steve | Dec 26, 2012 1:20:29 PM

  4. Anastasia, i was gonna go there! LOL!

    seriously. trolley-driver wants to keep gays off his trolley?

    what next? Banning gays from privately-owned "Judy & Barbra Museum" ? ;-)

    happy holidays, honeybun. you always crack me up.


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 26, 2012 1:26:06 PM

  5. 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.

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | Dec 26, 2012 1:45:21 PM

  6. Is this guy hoping for a "Chik-Fil-A" style groundswell of support?

    Posted by: Dee Vee | Dec 26, 2012 1:45:21 PM


    Clang, Clang, Clang, indeed.

    Posted by: Dee Vee | Dec 26, 2012 1:46:24 PM

  8. I'm not sure be driven around Baltimore is that romantic. The city is not particularly nice.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 26, 2012 1:54:59 PM

  9. Baltimore, no offense intended, is a dump. I hope Mr. Grubbs loses much more than 50k.

    Posted by: Goodcarver | Dec 26, 2012 2:01:12 PM

  10. 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.

    Posted by: Hank | Dec 26, 2012 2:08:57 PM

  11. People get married on a trolley? Seriously?

    Funny thing is there are actual churches that will host same sex weddings.

    Posted by: Craig | Dec 26, 2012 2:10:43 PM

  12. 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.

    Posted by: Bruno | Dec 26, 2012 2:12:29 PM

  13. I want to open a restaurant in Maryland where Christians are not allowed.

    Posted by: trees | Dec 26, 2012 2:50:45 PM

  14. Belonsky - "he's polishing his pole" I laughed. Good on you.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 26, 2012 2:55:00 PM

  15. 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.

    Posted by: PapaBear | Dec 26, 2012 2:56:31 PM

  16. Grubbs is truly off his trolley.

    Posted by: Nathan James | Dec 26, 2012 3:30:56 PM

  17. 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.

    Posted by: john patrick | Dec 26, 2012 3:56:45 PM

  18. 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.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Dec 26, 2012 5:06:28 PM

  19. 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.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 26, 2012 5:14:33 PM

  20. ...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.

    Posted by: Mark | Dec 26, 2012 5:18:15 PM

  21. "Clang clang clang went the trolley"

    Posted by: jaragon | Dec 26, 2012 5:19:07 PM

  22. It's their choice about whether they want to be in this business or not. We all have choices to make.

    Posted by: Keppler | Dec 26, 2012 5:42:26 PM

  23. 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....

    Posted by: Bernie | Dec 26, 2012 6:18:40 PM

  24. I don't know who Chris Belkot is, but I love him!!

    Posted by: Chadd | Dec 26, 2012 6:20:04 PM

  25. I assume he'll make up the shortfall by increasing the number of drunken office parties on the trolleys.

    Posted by: BobN | Dec 26, 2012 11:48:51 PM

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