A same-sex couple have been fired from a popular wedding venue in North Carolina after refusing to organize a gay wedding because of their “strong Christian beliefs.”
McCae Henderson and Ike Edwards booked in Highgrove Estate in Fuquay-Varina at the suggestion of a friend, and after noticing that there were only spaces for the name of the “bride” and “groom” on the online form wrote in the notes that they were “married and married”.
Two days later, we received a response refusing them because “our landlord has unfortunately chosen not to participate in same-sex weddings at this time”, and offering them alternative venues.
The CEO of Highgrove is listed in the North Carolina business registers as Vicky Ismail.
According to her LinkedIn profile, she founded the domain in 2002 with the values of “delivering excellence, integrity, thoroughness and honesty to all of our clients”.
As a result of media inquiries, the venue – which costs around $ 4,000 to $ 7,500 for the ceremonies – sent another statement that read, “God says in the Bible that marriage is between a man and a woman and we choose. to honor her above what the world decides which marriage. should be.’
McCae Henderson (left) and Ike Edwards booked at the Highgrove Estate in Fuquay-Varina at a friend’s suggestion
Vicky Ismail founded the estate in 2002 with the values of “delivering excellence, integrity, thoroughness and honesty to all of our clients”
Highgrove, which consists of an elegant white mansion surrounded by lush forest, claims to offer “the best in southern hospitality”
The couple were shocked, along with Henderson, a lawyer from Raleigh, who told WRAL.com: “We haven’t really gotten that response from a location or vendor we’ve reached out to.
“Seeing this in 2021 was very surprising to us because we haven’t done anything like it. ”
Highgrove consists of an elegant white house surrounded by lush forest and claims to offer “the best in southern hospitality”.
Henderson, who got engaged to Edwards on Valentine’s Day, accused the owners of “disguising their discrimination under the guise of Christianity,” telling ABC11, “This is us. We are gay and we did not choose to be gay…
“I don’t think you are racist because your religion tells you to be racist. I don’t think you are homophobic because your religion tells you to be homophobic.
Federal and state laws protect against discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, and national origin, but not sexual orientation or gender.
The House of Representatives recently passed the Equality Act, which would add these terms, but it seems to be struggling to succeed in the more Republican Senate.
Senator Jim Burgin (R-Harnett County) argued that it was up to Highgrove to decide how they wanted to run their business in accordance with their religious views.
“The freedom of the business owner must be protected, just as the freedom of this couple to marry must be protected.
“I just feel like we have too many laws and too many rules, and the government is too involved in our lives. I think we, as legislators, need to be very careful not to overstep the whole idea of personal religious freedoms and the opportunities to live a life unencumbered by government.
Two days later, the couple received a response refusing them because “our owner has unfortunately chosen not to participate in same-sex marriages for the moment”
A post on Highgrove’s Instagram page explaining why he rejects same-sex couples
Highgrove said it has seen a backlash before, with at least one couple calling off their marriage and at least one threat to the business that has been reported to police.
“The reaction is sad, it has been aggressive, hateful and designed to instill fear,” said the owners.
“What they are asking is that we believe as they do and they will leave us alone.
“We maintain our beliefs in the sanctity of marriage and that will not change. We (McCae Henderson and Ike Edwards) wish we could find the best venue and make their special day a wonderful one.
Highgrove promotes itself online as a ‘classic full service wedding venue’ offering ‘elegant surroundings and great food’.
Her Instagram has a post that says, in part, “Highgrove Estate wants all people’s weddings to be the happiest in their lives.” Highgrove also respects people’s differences in marriage.
“For this reason, we will always be kind and caring when these differences arise. Although Highgrove knows it cannot deliver what is requested, the company remains true to its Christian beliefs.
Luxury venue charges between $ 4,000 and $ 7,500 for ceremonies, according to estimated prices online
Henderson, who got engaged to Edwards on Valentine’s Day, accused the owners of “disguising their discrimination under the guise of Christianity.” Pictured is one of the wedding venues at HIghgrove