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. I have a sincere question for those comparing us being gay and in love to the westboro church. Would you also compare a intteracial couple getting refused into a diner to have a meal with the KKK? Would you say "well, I'm sure the interracial couple wouldn't want a KKK member coming in their diner, so they should probably just go somehwere where interracial couples are allowed"

    No? Why not?

    Posted by: T.J | Feb 23, 2013 5:18:17 PM

  2. Yeah, I'm sensing those who are flippant about the idea of gay couples being discriminated wouldn't be so keen if this was a hispanic couple, or black couple, or handicapped couple told to go elsewhere. I really get the impression the comments would read a little different. It's part of our conditioning though. We as gays have always been told, even as children, that being gay is wrong and evil. Even after coming out and accepting who we are, for many gays, they can't quite shake off the notion that being gay may be evil so gays really do need to get out of the superior heterosexuals way and act in line.

    Often without even realizing they are essentially saying that.

    Posted by: Duration & Convexity | Feb 23, 2013 5:24:22 PM

  3. I agree with TJ. Would some of you also support a gay couple being thrown out of a restaurant when discovered they are a couple (whether asked or if they showed appropriate affection, like holding hands)?
    Would some of you also support me and my husband being denied a hotel room when the manager at the hotel found out we're married? How about a groccery store then? What next?
    Sounds like you want to mandate discrimination in the name of "straight people are allowed to actively act on their hate for us. You all should deal with it."

    Posted by: Kent | Feb 23, 2013 5:34:48 PM

  4. I try to spend my money at companies that stand for fair and decent treatment for all.
    Often I will check my HRC app on my I-phone to see where a major company ranks before I decide on a hotel or gas station, etc.
    They don't list small local businesses, but for those, you can look for signs that they are welcoming -- maybe a rainbow flag sticker in the window or a listing on a gay-friendly website or word-of mouth from gay friends who were welcomed there.

    A 30-second search showed me a wedding venue in Kaufman, TX, near Dallas that offers a 20% discount for using the name of their gay listings website as a discount code.

    I appreciate the idea of fighting this but, come on, how much money would my grandparents have spent at a lunch counter if they had to force them to let their black friend in the door?
    How much money should you or I or even any Christian with a conscience want to spend to support a business where the staff presumptuously speaks on behalf of God, telling you whom He does and does not like and what He does and does not want you to do?

    Posted by: GregV | Feb 23, 2013 5:36:14 PM

  5. A few posters really want to see segregation for gay people in America take place it seems. Need a florist? Find a gay one. And a gay cake shop. And a gay place to eat at. And a gay limo company. Nevermind the fact that in a state like Mississippi where I live in, my spouse and I would be driving hundreds of miles, if not far more.

    Segregation is not the answer. Saying, you're entitled to your thoughts and I'm entitled to mine, but in a business setting, we should be free to partake on equal footing, is what makes for a free country. Not one where a certain segment of the population is segregated.

    Posted by: MandyCandy | Feb 23, 2013 5:42:36 PM

  6. There's no reason a loving same sex couple not harming anyone should have to 'get over' being denied service and entry in various establishments in the U.S, all because of who they inherently love.

    Posted by: 2 Dads | Feb 23, 2013 5:47:15 PM

  7. It's a simple question: would those of you who feel a bussiness should be entitled to discriminate against gay people because they are gay support an anti discrimination clause federally mandated to include sexual orientation as it does gender, race, religion. If not, why not? Why do you support this country stritcly targetting gay people and denying them services but not other demographics. And how is that not a society where homophobia is endorsed? And why is it wrong to say a Christian person shouldnt be allowed in this coffee shop for being Christian, but a gay couple denied is part of life and gay people should learn to move on?

    Posted by: Observer | Feb 23, 2013 5:54:28 PM

  8. If this catches on and we as a community allow and even encourage, which some commentators seem to, businesses denying goods and access to same sex people, then you'll see us not allowed in restaurants to eat. We won't be allowed in toys stores with our kids. Denied membership to gyms to work out at. That's what you're looking at. Why you say? Well, come and live in a place like still water Oklahoma. Where if people know other establishments are getting away with it, you can bet your bottom dollar, 99.99999% of establishments here WOULD have a "No gays allowed" sign right outside their doors. Is that the future we as gay couple want to foster for the next generation of gay people?

    Posted by: Okie | Feb 23, 2013 5:58:41 PM

  9. OK so what about my earlier question? Can I discriminate against Westboro people in my business? I badly want to. If so then why can't they or others who hate gays refuse us service? I want to have it both ways. Can I? Why can't I?

    Posted by: UFFDA | Feb 23, 2013 6:01:34 PM

  10. You know what I find really offensive in all these stories and every single time they are posted? A poster or two comparing a same sex couple in love with the Westboro Church Klan. And it happens everytime. Just stop! Seriously. Enough.
    No, we're not the same as the Westboro church in action, in theory or in principle. Kindly pick a new slippery slope argument. But the moment a same sex couple, harmless and in love, is compared to a hate group that screams profanity outside the funerals of soldiers is the moment you lost the credibility in your argument. And it's highly insulting.

    Posted by: USC Trojans Fan | Feb 23, 2013 6:04:18 PM

  11. Aww, look. UFFDA confirming what we all knew about him: a self hating, homophobic, tool. Thanks for showing you @$$ UFFDA. We always love when you do.

    Posted by: Jordan | Feb 23, 2013 6:11:12 PM

  12. @ UFFDA

    Pick a new argument and comparison. You're only exposing your own anti gay bias with that comparison. A gay couple does not equate to what many perceive to be a terrorist group like Westboro Church who seek to terrorize communities and events. That you can't grasp that means you should walk away from this debate, because you're only further going to expose your own bias.

    Posted by: IonMusic | Feb 23, 2013 6:13:36 PM

  13. So UFFDA, thank you for confirming what many of us were asking. You DO think any and all business should freely discriminate and deny services to gay people in this country. Your ideal is a 1950 ideal where we gays are having separate water fountains and denied entry in a restaurant. That is sitting well with you because you harbor anti gay beliefs. Don't expect all of us, and those of us comfortable in our skin and sexuality, to adopt your same point of view.

    Posted by: Kent | Feb 23, 2013 6:16:13 PM

  14. @UFFDA... No a business CANNOT discriminate against the Westboro Baptist Church. The federal civil rights laws include a ban on discrimination based on religion. Discrimination based on race, religion, gender, creed and national origin are all illegal based on federal law.

    Posted by: anonymous | Feb 23, 2013 6:16:32 PM

  15. Guys. UFFDA is a known troll on here. He also posts as Andrew. Another looney tunes. They go on rants about how Irish and caucasian men are mistreated in the gay community. And constantly harps about so called reverse racism in the gay community. And he's expressed how he knows very few gay people in real life, by choice, and doesn't like to surround himself with us, but gets a kick out of visiting our blogs to comment about gay people. He also thinks homophobia is often invented by the gay community and rarely exist in society. That's who you're dealing with here. A Grade F troll.

    Posted by: Bama-Man | Feb 23, 2013 6:18:48 PM

  16. @ Craig

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

    Posted by: Craig "

    As opposed to Oregon wedding cake bakery or New York Subway car, or English bed and breakfast, or New Jersey boardwalk pavilion, or ....

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 23, 2013 6:22:33 PM

  17. To answer the question for all the simple minds who bring up the Westboro Church or any other extremist hateful organization as a comparison to a loving gay couple:

    No, I would NOT discriminate against the Westboro Church members entering my place of business. I would serve coffee, a meal, a venue, a hotel room to a Westboro church member and the whole family. Just as I think they should with a same sex couple. Now if the Westboro Church started to scream, threaten and shout their opinions at my other patrons in my establishment...then I would deny them entry or exit them out of my business. But that would be based on their disturbing the peace and actions, not their beliefs.

    And in the case of these and similar cases of same sex couples denied entery, they aren't disturbing the peace when entering your business venue. If they were shouting pro gay stances, surely you'd have the right to exit them out your business as well. But giving them the boot based on their beliefs is NOT the America I want to live in, nor should you settle for living in.

    Freedom should mean we are all entitled to varying beliefs, but should be able to coexist and not be denied access to basic goods based on beliefs.

    Posted by: Scott Johansen | Feb 23, 2013 6:25:51 PM

  18. @ Scott Johansen

    A -to the mother effing- MEN!

    Posted by: Diego | Feb 23, 2013 6:28:00 PM

  19. Scott Johhansen for the win.

    Posted by: LazerLight | Feb 23, 2013 6:28:52 PM

  20. @ ionmusic

    "A gay couple does not equate to what many perceive to be a terrorist group like Westboro Church"

    Only an idiot would consider there WBC to be terrorists. Clearly what they do is SPEECH. Terrorist scream Allah's name and then blow something up or kill people. The WBC screams God's name and wave offensive signs at people. What kind of moron would equate the two?

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 23, 2013 6:29:11 PM

  21. I basically agree with what Scott Johansen wrote. Westboro church peeps are only offensive because of the words they use, profanity laced, and their frightening behavior. Not their thinking. And gay couples aren't entering a flower shop screaming gay rights slogans with profanity. They are wanting to pay for a cake, or eat at your restaurant. In exchange for money. Not your endorsement of who their beliefs. But you actively seeking to deny them access based on who they are and their beliefs is skating on a slippery slope that can crack in the future. What group based on who they innately are should we then deny access to?
    Open your mind and really reflect on that.

    Posted by: Hugh | Feb 23, 2013 6:33:24 PM

  22. We need a federal law banning discrimination against sexuality and I know it will happen within the next 10 years after marriage equality wins. You watch.
    No more of having gay people standing on the sidelines being told to accept discrimination. Those days are slowly yet surely being chipped away.

    Posted by: M | Feb 23, 2013 6:34:27 PM

  23. Guys: Ignore David Hearne. He's a major conservative who's passionately defended Anne Coulter, Romney, Marco Rubio, Log Cabin Republicans. Please identify the trolls on this site, and there are a great many, and give them the silent treatment. We should know by now where people's agenda is when they post on here.

    Posted by: Lelo | Feb 23, 2013 6:36:31 PM

  24. Basically, someone like David Hearne and UFFDA, by their own admission want it to be legal for everyone to have a 'No Gays allowed' billboard outside their business. And for gays to not only deal with it, but learn to accept it as a whole. That is their homophobia speaking and it's important we as a community not be brain washed by their tactics that dictate we, as tax paying citizens, be treated as second class citizens. This is 2013 in the United States of America. No, you should never settle for an argument that concludes gay persons should be denied services for being gay. And don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

    Posted by: Steve-ATL | Feb 23, 2013 6:38:48 PM

  25. This is why federal discrimination laws need to include sexual orientation. And that really should be the next chapter of our movement in the coming few years.

    Posted by: Kevin Alonso | Feb 23, 2013 6:40:00 PM

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