Discrimination | Fort Worth | Gay Marriage | Texas

Texas Wedding Venue Refuses Gay Men


An anti-gay banquet facility in Texas has refused two men who wished to have their wedding reception at the venue. Ben Allen and Justin Hudgins, who have been together for eight years, plan to marry in Mexico in April. They also intended to hold a local reception for friends and family at the All Occasion Party Place located just outside of Fort Worth - that is until the owner told them she doesn't conduct business with gays.

KVUE reports on the refusal of service:

“She immediately responded with, ‘Well, no, I don’t do that,’ and that was just the end of that,” Allen said. “It felt like somebody had just hit me in the face.” But Allen said he was told by phone and by e-mail the business won’t serve gays.

“It is because of God that I will not be a part in your reception, and I know he loves you, but not what you are doing,” an employee at the hall, Robin Hearne, wrote to Hudgins in an e-mail he provided to WFAA. “I simply said I can not rent to you which is also my right.”

While the All Occasion Party Place has a Fort Worth address, it is apparently located just outside of the city limits. This prevents the application of Fort Worth's anti-discrimination laws. Allen and Hudgins are looking for an alternate location for their wedding reception.

Watch the KVUE news clip, AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. Uh, the "All Occasion Party Place" needs to change their name, perhaps add "*except for fags" to the end.

    I believe things are changing so that soon it will not be in a business's financial interests to take such a stand but that change is slow, especially in certain states.

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 23, 2013 1:10:57 PM

  2. OK, the place is basically a warehouse. No self respecting gay couple should be seen there. Find a place that respects you for your reception.

    Posted by: Jim Elliott | Feb 23, 2013 1:19:05 PM

  3. As much as this sucks, I'm not sure why it's a big deal. In Texas it probably is in many businesses' financial interest to gain notoriety for not serving gays. It was the same way in the South even up until a few decades ago. It becomes a badge of honor, and that can be true even somewhere like Dallas/Ft. Worth which would seem to be too metropolitan. And, more importantly, such discrimination is legal unless it's a place of accommodation (which then puts the business under the Commerce Clause). I'd rather it be that way really: if I go into business and a bunch of Westboro freaks (or the woman from the Party Palace and her ilk) want to use my facilities I should be able to refuse them business if I want to.

    Posted by: Stefan | Feb 23, 2013 1:21:10 PM

  4. Well, I like to think of situations such as this as "win for her WIN for us." Yes, she "wins" because she doesn't have to worry that she is condoning "that sinful gay lifestyle." . We WIN because we can be assured that hard-earned money will not go to her in the form of profits which she can then use to support anti-gay organizations. At least we know now not to send our $$ to her. WIN for us!

    Posted by: Nathan C. Nickel | Feb 23, 2013 1:24:07 PM

  5. The place looks a a glorified laundry room.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 23, 2013 1:28:12 PM

  6. she's probably friends with rick perry

    Posted by: capetom | Feb 23, 2013 1:29:29 PM

  7. I'm with David Hearn & Jim Elliott (above). I was going to say the place looks like "The Nixon Monument," referencing the great cartoonist B. Kliban... https://lh3.ggpht.com/_i3lRnft7JYc/S2rd4PTzH3I/AAAAAAAAAls/wZN763OCBGs/s320/05.jpg

    Posted by: PixelWizard | Feb 23, 2013 1:37:06 PM

  8. Why do you even have to tell the proprietress what the nature of your party is? I'm having a party. Caterers will be coming in to set up. Stay out of the way.

    Better yet, throw a big party, stage a fake gay wedding reception, stand back and film the hilarity.

    We do not have to ask permission to be gay.

    Posted by: I DO! | Feb 23, 2013 1:37:56 PM

  9. I would refer every deadbeat white-trash $hit-$mearing trailer park couple to this woman that I know. See how long she stays in business.

    But why don't gays want to give their business to gay-owned venues? Why wouldn't you even consider paying money to someone who hates you? I understand the principle, but I don't get the pragmatics of it.

    Posted by: Love Me, Love My Gay Boyfriend | Feb 23, 2013 1:45:37 PM

  10. Here we go again, Christ. OK Ok gay entrepreneurs, here is a great idea that can make money too. A GBLT Angies list for goods and services. Put your gay $ where it will be appreciated. It’s TX so I’m sure this place will thrive with the publicity generated from this story. I’m sure other GBLT folks in their area must be able to steer them in the direction of a non fundamentalist owned business

    Posted by: NE Rich | Feb 23, 2013 1:46:29 PM

  11. Dog bites man. Move along; nothing to see here.

    Posted by: Tatts | Feb 23, 2013 1:55:39 PM

  12. I don't know what to think about the issue raised by STEFAN (above). If I were in any kind of business I would not want to serve the Westboro people. Would that be unlawful discrimination? I am sure there are plenty of people who despise gay people as much as I despise Westboro, no matter that they're unjustified and I am justified...eye roll...in my opinion.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Feb 23, 2013 1:57:20 PM

  13. @Stefan... you say:

    " And, more importantly, such discrimination is legal unless it's a place of accommodation (which then puts the business under the Commerce Clause)"

    A rental hall is a place of accommodation. Accommodation as a legal term refers to any business that provides services to the public. In the case of a rental hall, once they offer rentals to the public, the are required to offer those rentals to ANYONE because of the civil rights legislation. But, federal civil rights legislation doesn't offer protections based on sexual orientation. Many local governments do though. And, Ft Worth does. This business just happens to be located outside the city limits. So, they can legally discriminate. But, they are still a public accommodation business and CANNOT refuse service based on race, gender, religion, creed or national origin.

    Posted by: anonymous | Feb 23, 2013 2:16:46 PM

  14. "Heterosexual Christian Occasion Party Place"

    may their business fold :-)

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 23, 2013 2:31:12 PM

  15. I checked out their website. It's a windowless warehouse "party space" with a disco ball, a corner stage and some sad little lanterns hanging too close to the ceiling. Move along boys...you and your fabulous friends will be happier in a more gay-friendly, festive, and attractive place.

    Posted by: Joe in CT | Feb 23, 2013 3:16:34 PM

  16. They just looking for publicity to launch themselves as..."activists""..

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Feb 23, 2013 3:43:33 PM

  17. Why the phuck would gay guys give money to these bigoted c**ts ?

    Upgrade, please !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 23, 2013 3:44:52 PM

  18. When asked which was the most important commandment, Jesus answered that to love God was most important, with loving our neighbor as ourselves playing a hard second. He doesn't seem to have mentioned hating gay people. However, "christian" hotbed Texas seems to think hatred of gay people is the 'first and great commandment," and that those other two--well, they don't seem to count.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Feb 23, 2013 3:50:24 PM

  19. shocking! if they dont want your business then take it to someone who wants it...bugger them! plus you will probably get a better service with someone who actually wants to do it!

    Posted by: Martin | Feb 23, 2013 3:50:28 PM

  20. "TEXAS WEDDING VENUE" - that's really all I needed to read.

    Posted by: Craig | Feb 23, 2013 4:01:58 PM

  21. @Alan Brickman I am guessing you are a cynical, old know-it-all. Congratulations on that.

    Posted by: Sam | Feb 23, 2013 4:07:53 PM

  22. People often say, in response to stories like this: Why would any gay person want to give them business in the first place? The problem with that idea is that you don't know going in that a business is going to discriminate--you find out when they refuse you. At that point you can either quietly take your business elsewhere, or you can call attention to the discrimination so that others don't suffer the same treatment and, when non-discrimination laws apply, you can get the business legally nailed for their bigotry.

    In my state, what the banquet facility did would be clearly illegal. (Likewise, a gay-owned business couldn't turn away those they don't happen to like.) It is a place of accommodation--as Anonymous notes--and non-discrimination laws don't allow public facilities to discriminate where I live. Such is not the case in TX.

    And, agreed, the place looks like a dumpy airplane hangar. Choose better next time, boys!

    Posted by: Ernie | Feb 23, 2013 4:19:17 PM

  23. I haven't look at the venue and I don't care to. I hate that this self-righteous sow runs her business the way she does but, that said, I'd rather know that and NOT give her any money.

    In the part of the country where I live local businesses often put Bible quotes or "Jesus fish" in their yellow pages ads and I don't use them. It's not that I have a problem with ALL people of faith but I figure that if you have to include it your advertising you're not the kind of "Christian" I'm likely to want to give my business to. In my experience, the "born again" are usually the ones you regret having been born in the first place.

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 23, 2013 4:24:48 PM

  24. @Anonymous--Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't realize the definition was so expansive.

    Posted by: Stefan | Feb 23, 2013 4:55:56 PM

  25. Tatts, I have to disagree with you -- there IS plenty to see here. I'll give you that it's not exactly surprising; this sort of discrimination does occur with disturbing frequency, and the stage for this particular production was, after all, Fort Worth. But if the LGBT community and our allies don't raise holy hell about things like this, they will never change.

    Posted by: Reilly | Feb 23, 2013 5:10:29 PM

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