Ind. Knights of Columbus Council relents, will allow gay couple’s reception

Taylor Butcher and Ale Shields

Taylor Butcher and Ale Shields

MADISON, Ind. — A Knights of Columbus Council in southern Indiana reversed course on Wednesday and said it would allow a wedding reception for a same-sex couple after previously refusing to host the event at its venue.

Taylor Butcher and Ale Shields

Taylor Butcher and Ale Shields

Taylor Butcher and Ale Shields are planning to get married in April 2015, and had been planning to hold the reception at the Knights of Columbus in Madison, Ind., until they received a phone call earlier this week, reports WRTV.

Butcher said she was told by someone who would not leave their name, that the couple’s deposit money would be refunded.

“I asked if I could get a reason why we’re being refunded and he said it has come to our attention via social media that this is a same-sex marriage. Because this is a Catholic organization, we can’t service a same-sex marriage,” Butcher said.

The couple told WRTV they were targets of blatant discrimination, and took took social media to express their anger over the rejection. The news prompted allies to post negative reviews of the venue and messages prompting them to reconsider.

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But hours after a report aired on Wednesday, the Knights of Columbus posted a message on Facebook saying the issue was all a matter of “confusion,” and that they would host the reception after all, and waive the rental fee:

“Council 934 regrets that there was some confusion over the hall rental request and that no contract was ever signed. We are happy to accommodate Taylor’s request to hold her reception there and we will waive the usual hall rental fee, given the misunderstanding that occurred.”

The couple, who had been considering legal action, has yet to make a final decision as to whether they will take Knights of Columbus up on their offer.

A 2012 report by the Human Rights Campaign noted that the Knights of Columbus had spent $15.8 million since 2005 to fight marriage equality.

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