A disc jockey in Montgomery County, Maryland, has declined to work a gay man’s birthday party, prompting his roommate to file a discrimination complaint.
According to The Washington Post, Dani Tsakounis contacted Ultrasound Deejays on behalf of her brother, Tom Tsakounis, who is throwing a birthday party for his roommate in August.
But when Michael Lampiris, co-owner of UltraSound, found out the party is for a gay man—and that Tom Tsakounis and his husband share a home with the man—Lampiris declined the booking.
Maryland has a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations, but one legal expert suggested the case could test the balance between religious freedom and LGBT equality.
Hearing his sister tell what happened, Tsakounis said, and reading the Ultrasound policy “made me feel like I got hit in the stomach. You feel like: ‘C’mon, in my neighborhood?’ But: Wow, yes — in my neighborhood.” …
In this case, Lampiris said he had never heard of a related law, “but it’s important for us to make a stand. We don’t want to go against the law, but we also sometimes are called to do that if it goes against your faith. To me it would be like a synagogue having to cater to a neo-Nazi party or black DJ having to do a KKK dance,” he said. Gay clients don’t pose a “physical threat – it’s a conscience thing, and conscience is very important for everybody. In fact, I think it’s the most important thing.”
According to UltraSound Deejays’ website, the company “will not be involved in any event involving homosexual celebration or activity. We follow biblical morality.”
Lampiris told WaPo that if the case goes to court, “we would make a stand if the good Lord is willing,” and that, “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
For Tsakounis, it may not be the last issue he faces concerning his roommate’s birthday party. The event reportedly is scheduled for the Knights of Columbus Hall, owned by the anti-gay Catholic group.
It’s unclear whether Tsakounis simply has bad luck in selecting vendors and venues, or he is deliberately seeking out anti-gay ones.
In any case, here’s some reaction to the story from UltraSound Deejays’ Facebook page: