A lesbian couple in Kansas put their dream wedding venue on blast after the owners let them know in the spirit of “authenticity” that same-sex marriage is against their religious beliefs but it would be against the law to prevent the women from booking the site.
Ali Waggy and her fiancée, Jessica Robinson, said they were prepared to drop the deposit down on their dream venue, The Barn at Grace Hill, after touring it Sunday.
“Their barn is beautiful,” she told The Wichita Eagle.
After emailing the venue to discuss the deposit, they got back a response they weren’t quite expecting.
“While our deeply held religious belief keeps us from celebrating anything but marriage between a man and woman, we desire to serve everyone equally and do not want to keep anyone from using our building who would like to,” the email, written by the owner and reposted to Waggy’s Facebook page, allegedly said.
“Our hearts are to serve, regardless of race, creed, color, origin, sexual orientation, gender or marital status, while maintaining our convictions and beliefs as well,” it continued. “If you decide that our barn is the location you want for your wedding, we have learned that it is most fair to you to know who we are and where our heart is.”
Although the venue didn’t completely ban them from using the venue for their dream wedding, the couple forewent the option on the basis of inclusivity.
“I think it’s more upsetting that we’re still dealing with this, and it’s 2024,” she told the local outlet.
She criticized the venue for being willing to take their money just because it was “illegal” to tell the couple no, she said on Facebook.
Waggy, a preschool teacher, said she “cried all night” after receiving the heartbreaking email, saying she and the venue had been discussing the wedding for many months before they revealed their religious beliefs.
Waggy took to Facebook to discuss her heartbreak and to ask her friends if anyone knew of venues that could accommodate their July 2025 wedding.
The teacher said she wasn’t looked for publicity when she posted on her social media and never expected it to blow up.
“I did not expect that,” she told the outlet.
Despite dreaming of having a barn wedding and having to give up the Newton, Kansas barn, she’s not as worried as she first was. Since posting on Facebook, she’s been given plenty of suggestions for new venues.
Now she says she hopes her post helps other LGBT couples to avoid going there for their weddings.
“If I can help even one other person…not go through that, that’s a win,” she said.
The Post has reached to the couple and The Barn for comment.