A Mississippi wedding venue apologized over the weekend after a video of its manager rejecting gay and interracial couples went viral on social media. The venue later took down its Facebook page.
In the video, viewed more than two million times in social media, the Boone's Camp Event Hall manager tells LaKambria S. Welch that her brother and his fiancee, who had reserved the venue for their wedding, were no longer welcome.
Said the woman: “First of all, we don't do gay weddings or mixed race … because of our Christian race, I mean, our Christian belief.”
When asked what in the Bible led to her decision, the woman replied, “I don't want to argue my faith.”
Deep South Voice reported: ‘Welch says she believes the venue found out her brother and his fiancée, whose names she has not provided to DSV, through Facebook. “The owner took a look at my brother's fiancée's page and wrote her back to say they won't be able to get married there because of her beliefs,” Welch told DSV. “He told my mom and she contacted the owner through messenger to only get a ‘seen' with no reply. That's when I took it upon myself to go get clarification on her beliefs.” The Mississippi Secretary of State's website lists Donna and David Russell as the owner of Boone's Camp Event Hall, LLC. Filings also show they own Boone's Camp Mini Storage, LLC.'
A staff member at the venue, presumably the woman in the video, apologized in a now deleted post to Facebook, the Washington Post reports: ‘“To all of those offended, hurt or felt condemn by my statement I truly apologize to you for my ignorance in not knowing the truth about this,” the now-deleted apology read. “My intent was never of racism, but to stand firm on what I ‘assumed' was right concerning marriage.”'
The City of Booneville distanced itself from the wedding venue in a post on Facebook, writing: “The City of Booneville, Mayor, and Board of Aldermen are aware of the comments recently made by a privately owned business located within the city of Booneville. The City of Booneville, Mayor, and Board of Aldermen do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status. Furthermore, the City of Booneville, Mayor, and Board of Aldermen do not condone or approve these types of discriminatory policies.”