Discrimination | Gay Wedding | Minnesota | News

Minnesota Hunting Club Agrees to Pay for Gay Couple's Wedding After Initial Refusal

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A Minnesota hunting club has agreed to pay for a gay couple's wedding after its initial refusal of the request was brought to the attention of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Star Tribune reports:

Leblanc'sThe owners of LeBlanc’s Rice Creek Hunting and Recreation Inc. agreed to pay about $8,500 to cover the upcoming wedding of Cole Frey and Adam Block, as well as apologize to the two men and comply with the state’s nondiscrimination law in the future.

Frey, 20, and Block, 18, said Friday that they met last October and became engaged in November. In February, Frey said, he contacted LeBlanc’s to inquire about having the wedding at its clubhouse after his stepmother suggested it. He said he didn’t immediately reveal that he was marrying a man, and was told their desired date was available.

A few weeks later, Frey said, he went to sign papers and leave a security deposit. “That’s when they found out it would be between two males,” Frey said. “They told us they don’t condone same-sex marriage, and they wouldn’t be marrying us on their property.”

Following settlement talks with the Department of Human Rights, the club's owners claimed it was a simple case of misunderstanding state law. 

“They made a mistake and we did everything in our power to correct it,” [LeBlanc's attorney Paul Rogosheske] said. “This couple is going to have a great wedding and I can assure you LeBlanc’s is going to be open to everybody.”

A Minnesota Department of Human Rights press release adds:

This is Minnesota Department of Human Rights’ first same-sex wedding case involving discrimination in public accommodation based on sexual orientation since same-sex marriage was legalized on Aug. 1, 2013. Sexual orientation was added to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights Act in 1993.

[top photo via Facebook]

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  1. The 2 guys are very young and they end up getting a free wedding - great! They must have good karma. Congratulations to both of them!

    Posted by: David From Canada | Aug 24, 2014 3:11:52 PM

  2. They were engaged after a MONTH?! Divorce watch 2015

    Posted by: Jmac | Aug 24, 2014 3:15:17 PM

  3. @JMAC: There's a big difference between getting engaged after a month and getting married after a month. They'll have been together for nearly a year by the time they're married.

    Posted by: JMC | Aug 24, 2014 3:22:25 PM

  4. @JMAC - well, I hope you're wrong. People have successfully married at that age in the past, and it just might happen again. Why not a gay couple?

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Aug 24, 2014 3:22:42 PM

  5. lol...baloney! This was no "misunderstanding" of state law....... it was pure out and out discrimination....However, I am pleased with the outcome of the case and the response of the Hunting Club and I hope it keeps its promise for future same sex weddings....I am not reading an outcry from the right wing yet that this place was "forced" to accommodate a customer's request......This place is a public accommodation and must obey the law

    Posted by: Bernie | Aug 24, 2014 3:33:30 PM

  6. and 18 year old has no business getting married.

    Posted by: Ryan | Aug 24, 2014 3:33:43 PM

  7. Happy there wedding will get paid for but I give them 2 years tops after tying the knot.

    Posted by: Derrick | Aug 24, 2014 3:42:28 PM

  8. Wow, I mean if this were an opposite sex wedding, i'd be saying "hooray for metaphor" 'cause it'd likely be a shotgun wedding at a gun club. I guess in the long run this is the march towards normal you all wanted.

    Posted by: Nathan | Aug 24, 2014 4:05:11 PM

  9. There are an awful lot of bitter queens and angry homophobes posting. Enjoy some good karma - wish these two well, and try to improve your own life.

    Posted by: Mark Austin | Aug 24, 2014 4:06:28 PM

  10. Getting married at 18 and 20 is their business. If it's not meant to be, they'll find out, just like zillions of young straight couples before them. But that's as irrelevant to the story as the business owner's personal beliefs.

    Discrimination is everyone's business, and this is how the laws should work. The business learned that, if they want to keep doing business in the state, they need to comply with state non-discrimination law, just like everyone else. No special exemptions to discriminate against gay couples.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 24, 2014 4:07:28 PM

  11. why is it that people on this (and a few other) forum always resort to the descriptive "bitter queen" when they are bitching at someone that disagrees with them?

    Does the LGBT REALLY need that much internalized homophobia?

    For all you know, the people you are calling "bitter queens" could be considerably "butcher" than you are.

    And have you thought that YOUR comment is just as bitter and hateful as any of the verbal grenades our real enemies lob our way?

    I'm seriously sick of the "bitter queen" epithet. It's time that Towleroad put an end to it, at least here in the comments on this forum.

    Posted by: Mikey | Aug 24, 2014 4:30:18 PM

  12. congrats to them

    Posted by: HIS | Aug 24, 2014 4:30:19 PM

  13. Age has nothing to do with it. Either you can value another human being or you can't. Hopefully they can.

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 24, 2014 4:38:26 PM

  14. There are SO many things wrong with this:
    1. They are too young to be getting married
    2. They got engaged after a MONTH?? WHAT??
    3. Why on earth would you want your wedding at a hunting club?
    4. Why should the hunting club be forced to host this wedding if it is against their beliefs. That is wrong!
    5. It's even more wrong that they now have to pay for THEIR wedding on top of it all.

    I wish them both well, but I won't be surprised if we hear about a divorce from these two in the near future.

    Posted by: wheelie81 | Aug 24, 2014 4:41:18 PM

  15. Really? Why the he'll is it anyone's business how young they are?

    We tell politicians to stay out of our bedroom, but your traditionalist values want to interfere with their lives? Hypocrites.

    So unless your sending them a gift, you shouldn't care if they succeed or not. Even then, you really have no say.

    Posted by: Tien | Aug 24, 2014 4:52:53 PM

  16. "4. Why should the hunting club be forced to host this wedding if it is against their beliefs. That is wrong!"

    Oddly enough, people who have the opinion it's wrong don't seem to do a darned thing to repeal existing anti-discrimination laws. Weird. Almost as weird as all the "pro-family" people who are silent on divorce...

    Posted by: BobN | Aug 24, 2014 5:30:56 PM

  17. "or all you know, the people you are calling "bitter queens" could be considerably "butcher" than you are."

    Mikey, "queen" does not imply being masculine or effeminate.A drama queen can be very butch. There are many other examples.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Aug 24, 2014 5:48:37 PM

  18. They've known each other 10 months and they're getting married?!?!
    I've had heartburn that lasted longer.
    In addition, why would you want to force someone to hold your wedding, this is not the kind of P.R. we need.

    Posted by: I wont grow up | Aug 24, 2014 6:48:34 PM

  19. @IWon'tGrowUp: They're having their wedding elsewhere, so they're not forcing anything. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights, however, is demanding that this business--like all other public accommodations in the state--complies with state non-discrimination law. The same rules apply if the couple had been together 40 years and was turned away because they're black, or Christian.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 24, 2014 7:14:26 PM

  20. Oh, who cares? They're old enough to make their own decisions no matter what the chatter on this TR thread is. "Good luck!" or "mazel tov!" is the thing to say and tend to your own business.

    Posted by: will | Aug 24, 2014 7:15:17 PM

  21. Oh, who cares? They're old enough to make their own decisions no matter what the chatter on this TR thread is. "Good luck!" or "mazel tov!" is the thing to say and tend to your own business.

    Posted by: will | Aug 24, 2014 7:15:17 PM

  22. I get so disappointed in negative comments from people. My grandmother said she would marry the first man who took her off the farm. She met a man and married him at 17, raised a family, stayed with him until his death, and never married again. Things do work out. Drop the negativity. Good luck to the couple!!!

    Posted by: Ed P. | Aug 24, 2014 7:35:50 PM

  23. @Ernie, Jesus, lighten up, I was voicing MY opinion on an open forum. I'm 67 years old and been with my partner over 45 years. I'm an old Stonewall Era Queen. You youngsters need to lighten up. The problem with you whipper snappers is you've lost your sense of humor along with your sense of irony and camp.
    They're still too young to get married, even for a straight couple. They've barely stopped shitting yellow.

    Posted by: I wont grow up | Aug 24, 2014 7:47:17 PM

  24. Marrying that young may have worked 40 to 50 years ago, because the world was A LOT smaller. Relationships were a little easier back then, not as many distractions. I'm not even talking about people being distractions, but the world in general is open now. You should probably experience some of it before such a major commitment.

    Posted by: Billy | Aug 24, 2014 7:56:03 PM

  25. I have no problem with their age. I was 23 and my husband 24 when we married and we heard the same claims of 'give it a year'. It is 8 years later and I've never loved the guy more than I do today. We've got a wonderful life and marriage and that's all that really counts. Best wishes to them both.

    Posted by: Cary Chauvet | Aug 24, 2014 8:01:13 PM

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