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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]


Joan Rivers Officiates Her Second Same-Sex Marriage In New York

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Joan Rivers, the self-proclaimed "Queen of the Gays" and all-around funny lady, was ordained by the Universal Life Church and may quickly become the go-to officiant for New York gay couples. After performing a ceremony atop the Empire State Building in 2013, Ms. Rivers was again asked to perform her duty last week.

HuffPost reports:

On Aug. 15, the 81-year-old comedian, author and icon married William "Jed" Ryan and Joseph Aiello at New York's Plaza Athenee, Out magazine is reporting.

As it turns out, it was the second time down the aisle for the couple. In June, Rivers agreed to marry Ryan and Aiello on the spot at a Barnes & Noble signing of her new book, Diary of a Mad Diva, in Manhattan. Although photos and footage of that ceremony were picked up by numerous media outlets, the couple didn't have a proper marriage license at the time, so Rivers vowed to arrange a second ceremony so the men could legally tie the knot.

Thanks for the love and support, Joan! Now, what celebrity officiant would you want presiding over your wedding? Sound off in the comments below.

Photo via Out Magazine.


Gay Wedding Video Of The Day: Ben And Daniel Tie The Knot

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Ben and Daniel met ten years ago; now, they've tied the knot in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains, and we are lucky enough to witness just how loving and sweet they are. While the vows are epic, it is their friends and family that really show how special these two are. 

You're invited, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Gay Wedding Video Of The Day: Ben And Daniel Tie The Knot" »


Wedding Venues Can't Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples, New York State Agency Rules

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The New York State Division of Human Rights has affirmed the state's Human Rights Law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the case of Melisa and Jennifer McCarthy, a lesbian couple whose 2012 request to wed at an Albany area farm and wedding venue was turned down after owners found out they were a same-sex couple.  

New York Civil Liberties Union, who represented the couple, released the following statement:

“Marriage should be a time of celebration, not discrimination,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “This ruling sets an important precedent protecting the rights of LGBT New Yorkers, and will help ensure that businesses understand New York law and treat all patrons with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

Added Jennifer McCarthy:

“No one should have the happiest time of their life marred by discrimination. We hope this decision will protect all New Yorkers from having to go through the hurt that we experienced.”

Liberty Ridge, the wedding venue in question, was told to "cease and desist from discriminatory practices in public accommodations" and was ordered to pay the McCarthys $1,500 each and a fine of $10,000 to the state. The owners must also prove to the Division on Human Rights that they're conducting anti-discrimination training at their workplace. 


Lupita Nyong'o Celebrates Friend's Gay Wedding With Message of Love

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Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o attended the wedding of celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson and his partner Jason Backe in NYC yesterday and posted the above Instagram pic with a message congratulating the newlyweds:

"I witnessed the man who adds so much beauty to my life legalize his beautiful marriage. Thank you for the reminder that love and its declaration can be simple. Congratulations @tedgibsonbeauty."

Gibson sent back a message of thanks to the actress via Instagram:

What a fun evening thank you @lupitanyongo for making it so special xo

Congrats gentlemen!


PA Bakery Owner Cites Desire to 'Stand True to God' In Her Refusal to Bake Gay Couple's Wedding Cake: VIDEO

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A popular bakery in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania is making headlines after denying a wedding cake to a gay couple, WFMZ reports:

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 9.04.42 AMBethany and Jennifer Petrich now have to make a change of plans for a ceremony to renew their vows, WBRE reported. The women wanted to get a cake from The Cake Pros, a bakery in Schuylkill Haven.

"I loved the work they did and it tasted great. It's a hometown bakery. I wanted to support my hometown," said Jennifer Petrich. "My mom, who is planning our wedding, called and made the appointment for us. It was okay at that time and she was open and honest and said it's for Bethany and Jennifer."

But the women say things took a not-so-sweet turn when Jennifer's mom received a phone call.

"They had called and said to her that they were a Christian bakery and the owner had talked to Jesus for two weeks and that because it was two females getting married she couldn't make our cake," said Jennifer.

Watch an Eyewitness News report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 8.52.55 AMSaid bakery owner Lorraine Fleming:

"I'm not sorry for my decision and I feel strong. I know that I'm doing the right thing...It was hard to do. We have homosexuality in our family and it was a hard decision to make. But in the end, when I die and am one-on-one with God, I have to stand true to him"

Fleming said since news got out of her refusal, her employees have faced harassment and she has been forced to take down the cake shop's Facebook page. 

Last week, we reported on a similar story out of Columbia County, Pennsylvania - where a bridal store turned away a lesbian couple looking to buy wedding gowns.

Pennsylvania remains one of the 29 states without a comprehensive, sexual orientation-inclusive non-discrimination law on the books. 

Continue reading "PA Bakery Owner Cites Desire to 'Stand True to God' In Her Refusal to Bake Gay Couple's Wedding Cake: VIDEO" »


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