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]

Comments

  1. JMC says

    @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.

  2. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    @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?

  3. Bernie says

    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

  4. says

    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.

  5. Mark Austin says

    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.

  6. says

    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.

  7. Mikey says

    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.

  8. wheelie81 says

    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.

  9. Tien says

    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.

  10. BobN says

    “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…

  11. Mike in the Tundra says

    “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.

  12. I wont grow up says

    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.

  13. says

    @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.

  14. will says

    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.

  15. will says

    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.

  16. Ed P. says

    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!!!

  17. I wont grow up says

    @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.

  18. Billy says

    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.

  19. says

    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.

  20. says

    I wasn’t trying to be heavy, @IWon’t … you’re certainly free to oppose the principle behind non-discriminatation laws if you like. And I certainly appreciate being called a whipper snapper at my age!

    Great that you’ve been together with your man for over 45 years. If I’m doing the math correctly, you must have been 22 or less when you met. See, young relationships can work out!

    I wouldn’t advise people to get married at 18 or 20, but, hey, they’re adults. And I know 2 guys under 30 who’ve been happily married since 2006. You never know … and it’s their lives.

  21. steve talbert says

    The world is as big today as its been for millions of years. In terms of community, now with the internet great distances are like down the block. Lots of people get married at 18 and 20. At last there won’t be a disagreement over wine or champagne. I would have done it in Mexico where we could have least had a toast. LOL

    half of marriages end in divorce. Given that the avg age if first marriage US older, maybe waiting longer causes people to get more stuck in their ways. Wish them luck.

  22. Gigi says

    What a bunch of sourpuss c#nts some of you guys are. My man and I met when we were both very young (20 and 19), and we just celebrated our 25th anniversary last March. We didn’t get married (it wasn’t legal then) but keeping a relationship together, and remaining happy and in love is not easy. It’s a lot of work but well worth it. I wish these two guys all the best.
    Congratulations boys!

  23. UFFDA says

    I’m touched by these two and can’t think of anything more wonderful than having a lot of sex with someone you love and want to marry when you’re very young. And that’s what they’re doing. Rah rah rah boys, you can make it last and have the last laugh too.

  24. Gerry says

    18???? where are the adults to tell them to wait til they are at eat 21!!

    They are too young!! i see a divorce in the very near future!!!!

    I know when I was 18, I was in no way ready to settle dodwn with just one man!!

    This is a HUGE MISTAKE!!!!

  25. says

    You know, I gotta say it about Minnesota, they passed their marriage law in the legislature after beating back the anti-gay amendment, they also had protections for LGBT people since the early 90s, probably this business realized this behavior would not float here….

  26. Ridiculous says

    This is why people do not support gay marriage. These two have no clue what love is or if they are actually in love. I’m so tired of this BS. If people don’t want to bake a cake for you or allow you to get married in their club, why would you want to? Take your MONEY elsewhere where it will be appreciated. And as for the marriage, good luck! But as with so many gay men, good sex does not equal love, simply lust.

  27. Christopher's Dad says

    To: I WON’T GROW UP. I like you. You still have your sense of humor. Sometimes the younger ones need correcting. Keep telling it like it is.

  28. JustBeingReal says

    Oh look it’s a troll commenting as “Ridiculous” to tell us that “This is why people do not support gay marriage. These two have no clue what love is…” because all the haters would NEVER do anything like these two guys.
    I know you can’t stand it Ridiculous but we Gays do love each other too. You just keep hating, cause hate is all you will ever have in your life.

  29. Julian says

    Kids who shouldn’t even be engaged yet, not sure this is a story worth posting. Sure, discrimination is wrong. But the terrible judgement on the part of these young guys is too obvious in the story and detracts from what you are trying to point out by posting it.

  30. oncemorewithfeeling says

    If they’re of legal age to get married, then they’re old enough to get married.

    How is this even being debated here? Nobody here knows these two. The idea that finding lasting love so young is impossible is not an idea put forth by anyone who ever found a lasting love so young.

    So it didn’t happen for you or random people you know. It didn’t happen for me, either, and I’m glad of it because I would have missed out on what I did have. But it sure seems right for these two.

    As for businesses that insist on breaking laws: no customer is EVER wrong for wanting to do business with a public accommodation and no business is EVER right to break any law.

    Glad I could clear everything up for everyone.

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