Update: Mint Spring Farm announced April 29 they are changing their policy to allow wedding and committment ceremonies for same-sex couples. Full story here →
NOLENSVILLE, Tenn. — Two Iraq war veterans planning their same-sex commitment ceremony say they have been told by a Tennessee wedding venue to go elsewhere because same-sex marriage is illegal in the state.
Anthony Wilfert and Brian Blas of Nolensville, Tenn., say Mint Springs Farm, which bills itself as “an all-inclusive venue,” agreed to host their commitment ceremony, only to be rejected days later by the owner, reports WSMV-TV.
“I made it clear from the get-go that it was a same-sex ceremony,” said Wilfert. “He explicitly made it clear that it was not an issue, that they would host that type of ceremony.”
Wilfert and Blas said days after two employees told them it’d be fine to hold their ceremony at the venue, they got an e-mail from an owner at Mint Springs Farm reading, “Unfortunately, until same sex marriage is legal in the state of Tennessee, we cannot participate in this ceremony at our venue. I wish we could help, I truly do, but our hands are tied in this situation.”
The couple calls the owner’s response “a horrible excuse for not wanting to host something.”
“It is a private venue,” said Wilfert. “We purposefully chose a place that is not tied to a religious organization for that reason, so to mention something about state law is baffling.”
“To have fought in the military for freedoms and liberties of all Americans, it can be quite deflating to come back to fight a whole new set of obstacles,” said Wilfert.