Watch: Gay Couple Denied Wedding Day at Christian-Owned Venue in North Carolina

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday April 12, 2021
Originally published on April 12, 2021

McCae Henderson and Ike Edwards
McCae Henderson and Ike Edwards  (Source:Facebook)

[Editor's note: The couple never booked the wedding venue but only inquired about it. This article has been corrected to reflect that.]

Location, location, location is true for real estate and for weddings. But one gay couple has been denied the perfect location for their big day because the venue's owners do not believe in same-sex unions.

As reported by ABC11, the owners of the Highgrove Estate in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, told McCae Henderson and his fiancé, Ike Edwards, that the venue was "not the right fit for them" because they are a same-sex couple.

After initially inquiring about the venue for their wedding day, the couple reportedly received a message of refusal that said, "Our owner has unfortunately chosen not to participate in same-sex weddings at this time."

Although same-sex marriage legal in all states, federal and state civil rights protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity are still lacking, making it legal in areas without protections to deny services based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

In a statement, the Highgrove Estate's owners wrote "Highgrove has always welcomed vendors, guests and employees of all orientations and we do not discriminate against a people or group. We believe in the sanctity of marriage as God says in the Bible that marriage is between a man and a woman and we choose to honor Him above what the world decides what marriage should be."

Despite this denial, Henderson said, "This won't take away our joy." However, he doesn't understand being discriminated against over something that he can't change.

"This is us. We are gay and we did not choose to be gay," Henderson told ABC11. "The fact that we don't have access to things other people do is discrimination in my eyes. I think everyone has the right to believe what they want to believe to an extent. I don't think you get to be racist because your religion tells you to be racist. I don't think you get to be homophobic because your religion tells you to be homophobic."

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