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Fort Worth party facility refuses to host gay couple’s reception: ‘We don’t do that’

Thursday, February 21, 2013
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FORT WORTH, Texas — A gay couple in Fort Worth, Texas said that a local meeting and party facility has refused to lease them space for their upcoming wedding reception because they are gay.

Justin Hudgins (left) and Ben Allen

Ben Allen and Justin Hudgins told KXAS-TV that after eight years together, they had decided to get married, in Mexico, because same-sex marriages are not legal in Texas.

But when they contacted the All Occasion Party Place, upon learing that the event would be for a gay couple, the owner refused to lease the space, telling them, “we don’t do that here.”

In a subsequent email after the phone conversation, the owner wrote: “It is because of God that I will not be a part in your reception and I know he loves you but not what you are doing.”

“It almost felt like a sucker-punch to the face,” Allen told KXAS-TV. “Initially, I didn’t know how to respond, so I called Justin immediately and told him what happened.”

“I was kind of floored a bit. I thought, in today’s day and age, for someone to deny you simply because you date someone of the same sex, it doesn’t really make sense to me.”

Allen and Hudgins will be married in Mexico on April 6 and plan to have their friends and family at a private reception when they return home.

All Occasion Party Place is located just outside the Fort Worth city limits in Tarrant County, so it doesn’t fall under the city’s anti-discrimination code, which does offer protection in such situations.

The owner of the facility refused to comment.

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