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Pennsylvania wedding facility enforces a ‘no same-sex couples’ policy

Friday, July 11, 2014
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NORTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A Pennsylvania wedding venue has come under fire for refusing to allow a same-sex couple to marry at its facility.

Inne-of-the-AbingtonsThe Scranton Times-Tribune reports that The Inne of the Abingtons, located in North Abington, Pa., rejected a recent inquiry by a Greenfield Township woman to host her wedding at the facility because of her sexual orientation.

Desiree Mark, 29, says that when Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court, she abandoned her plans to be married in New York or Connecticut and instead focused on planning a wedding in her home state.

But when she sent queries to Scranton area wedding venues requesting an appointment, she learned that marriage equality does not mean equality for gays and lesbians.

“Unfortunately, we do not hold same sex marriages at our facility,” read the email from Courtney Killeen, wedding and event planner for Inne at the Abingtons. “I truly do hope you find somewhere that will fulfill all your wedding dreams.”

Killeen told the Times-Tribune it is the inn’s policy to refuse service to same-sex couples. “I don’t agree with it,” she said, adding the policy was put in place by owner John O. Antolick.

Antolick did not respond to requests for a comment, and a local television says they were quickly asked to leave when approaching Antolick about the policy.

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Many people in the community agree that the privately owned establishment has a right to turn down business, but many disagree with they reason why.

As Think Progress notes, the Inne’s discrimination is perfectly legal:

“When the commonwealth became the 19th marriage equality state earlier this year, it also became the first state to offer same-sex marriage but absolutely no nondiscrimination protections for the LGBT community. In Pennsylvania, it is legal to fire, refuse housing, and deny service to individuals just because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Last year, Pennsylvania lawmakers introduced a sweeping bill that would have established these protections, but it has yet to advance.

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